As a building contractor, you have every confidence in your ability to deliver exceptional quality work for your clients.
Your portfolio of past projects is a testament to your skills and experience, and as far as you can tell, there’s no logical reason why a client wouldn’t want to work with you…
…Which makes the fact that you’re not winning more contracts all the more baffling.
What is it that is turning clients off when they receive your tender?
Could it simply be that your prices are too high?
In all likelihood, the chances are that yes, they are.
Whilst quality assurance is undoubtedly a critical factor in any construction project, the challenge for most contractors is to guarantee that quality whilst quoting competitive, cost-effective prices.
In my experience, the majority of contractors that I’ve helped to overcome that challenge worked typically begin to see a significant increase in the number of jobs they win.
Easier said than done?
Of course, but it’s far from impossible.
Looking to lower your costs without compromising quality and win more work in the process?
Then try the following:
1. Assess On-Site Efficiency
You don’t need us to tell you that paying people to carry out the work on site can be one of your project’s biggest costs.
Yet if those people -be they subcontractors or your own in-house employees- aren’t working at optimum efficiency, then the job is going to take longer to complete and the longer it takes, the more it costs.
If you’re worried that the cost of labour may be making your overall estimate too high, start by asking a few critical questions:
If you’re bringing in subcontractors, can you ensure they’re efficient enough? Can you talk to contractors they’ve worked with previously who can vouch that they won’t take longer than necessary to complete the work?
If you’re hiring your own staff, can you be sure that they’re working efficiently on site?
Obviously, nobody is expecting you to push your staff beyond reasonable expectations, but at the same time, you shouldn’t be expected to lose money and contracts because your staff are underperforming.
If your people are working as efficiently as possible, that doesn’t mean efficiency isn’t an issue.
Maybe your staff or subcontractors are doing the best that they can, but outdated tools or inefficient processes are to blame for the job taking longer than necessary.
Are there any processes, tools or strategies you could be using on site to improve efficiency even further?
By doing so, you could lower your estimates and thus increase your chances of winning projects.
2. Get Quotes From Other Subcontractors, Even If You Always Use The Same One
You’ve been working with the same subcontractor for so long now that you’ve simply begun taking their quotes at face value, but could that quote actually be costing you jobs?
To be sure that you’re getting the best value from your subcontractor, send your tender package out to at least two (though preferably three or four) additional sub-contractors and compare prices.
Is your contractor’s pricing competitive with others?
If so, you may be able to cross that off the list of potential reasons why you’re not winning more contracts.
If, on the other hand, they’re charging you far more than the norm, then it might be time to part ways. The future of your business could depend on it.
3. Compare Quotes From Multiple Builders’ Merchants
Rather than sticking to one supplier, speak to a number of different builders’ merchants to make sure you’re getting the absolute best prices and payment terms for your materials.
Again, we recommend getting prices from a minimum of two merchants, though three or four will help increase the chances of finding even better deals.