A reader writes: “I am not getting many bids. What can I do to improve my chances?”

This is a common challenge for someone just getting into the industry. There is a wealth of information available to you at the site where you found this article as well as other sources. It is all about workloading. Following are some common suggestions/questions I provide to clients:

1. You will have to determine what your wages and benefits package is going to be since labor is the primary driver in most contracts.

2. You need to decide what is your focus: low ball, social issue, best value, high profile, etc.

3. What is your specialty? Office cleaning, floor care, carpet cleaning?

4. Do you have the bandwidth in money, time and talented staff to do one or all of the above list?

5. You need to survey your current market to determine your targeted accounts: small routes, small buildings, large office complexes, car dealerships, banks, etc.

6. You need to know the local competition as to size, focus, connections.

7. You might consider partnering with (or outright purchasing) a local company and keeping the management team for a transition period.

8. You need to be surveying what is the current pricing for these different types of accounts and then comparing your numbers to theirs. There should be a local Business Journal with some good info.

9. Look at joining local BOMA, Chamber of Commerce, etc. to network.

10. Consider bringing in a commercial job coach out of his trade area to assist.

11. Check out the Internet for companies that provide a subscription bidding service for your size business.

12. Check the national associations for estimating software and workloading manuals.

13. Check with your vendor(s) to see if they have software.

14. Finally, bid, learn, bid, learn, bid, learn and keep good records as you sharpen your pencil and get a better grasp of the market.

Remember that it is an ongoing challenge so keep sharpening your pencil and learn from each experience.

Your comments and feedback are always appreciated. I hope to hear from you soon. Until then, keep it clean…

Mickey Crowe has been involved in the industry for over 35 years. He is a trainer, speaker and consultant. You can reach Mickey at 678-314-2171 or CTCG50@comcast.net.