When it comes to making the bid on a job, you have to get out there and actively bid on projects to keep your crew busy and your business thriving. Take a conservative approach to the bidding game, however, and your business will likely starve. There simply aren’t many projects that just fall into your lap. Then, there’s planning for the event or job itself! It can feel like a lot to manage.
Planning can make or break small and large events alike. Whether you’re working an intimate private party that requires your services or working on a large outdoor festival, it is essential to establish a plan. Each step is equally as important as the rest. You don’t want to prioritize budgeting but forget to secure vendors on time. With fluctuating costs impacting the event industry each year, it is vital to be prepared so you can pull off a successful event.
No two events are the same, so flexibility and adaptability are fantastic skills to acquire when planning special events. However, most events require the same planning framework.
Read on to discover a helpful guide for bidding on and planning your next event.
Typical Bidding Lifecycle
Although every job is different, the stages of making a bid are usually about the same.
- Solicitation: A client solicits bids on a project. They supply interested contractors with the relevant plans and specifications.
- Due diligence: After reviewing the details of the bid, you’ll want to visit the site to conduct an analysis and make sure you understand the project’s scope.
- Submission: Contractors review the project documents, contact subcontractors, and crunch the numbers. Then they submit their bids by the required deadline.
- Selection: After receiving all qualified bids, the client chooses the winning contractor. As mentioned earlier, the decision often comes down to cost.
- Formation of contract: At this point, the client and contractor collaborate to confirm all details.
- Delivery of project: This stage is where the rubber meets the road. The contractor moves in with their crew and equipment to carry out the required work.
Following the steps listed above will get you through a potential client’s front door. But your competitors are all using a similar approach. You’ll need to ensure that accuracy and efficiency shine through every aspect of your bid, helping it rise above the pack.
“Putting together a winning bid proposal, or even a competitive one, takes knowledge and skill,” says a construction bidding guide from iSqFt. “It’s a bit more complicated than just putting some numbers together and hoping for the best. Good bid preparation for general contractors requires a lot of time and effort and involves everything from reading and fully understanding the plans and specifications to accurately estimating costs for labor, materials, and equipment.
One of the big mistakes contractors make is failing to be judicious in their bidding. It can be tempting to seek out all kinds of projects, but this approach is like shooting a shotgun from your hip and hoping to hit a bull’s-eye 50 yards away. Only bid on projects that match up with your strengths, so you can correctly estimate costs and immediately put your talents to work if you’re able to land the project.
How to Bid the Job
Here are some additional tips for improving chances for success with construction bids:
- Follow the bid instructions studiously
- Properly account for all your overhead costs
- Only work with subcontractors who are skilled and reliable
- Ask the client for clarification whenever necessary
- Keep your information organized
- Provide every detail necessary to state your case
- Include testimonials from happy customers
- Share relevant awards and certifications
- Track your bidding results so you can improve your process
One of the best places for any small business to look for bidding opportunities is with government construction. Whether it’s a school, office, utility building, transportation center, or something else entirely, there are always government projects going on. Government jobs can be particularly nice when the economy is dragging. Other jobs may dry up, but the government will always carry out designated projects.
Finding government projects to bid on isn’t too difficult. Start by visiting SAM.gov. The federal government created this free resource as a hub for contract opportunities. As the website states, “Anyone interested in doing business with the government can use this system to research active opportunities.”
One amazing article we found, filled with resources on making the bid to all kinds of jobs, can be found by CLICKING THIS LINK! You can find information on this site related to everything from government and private sector bidding practices, to important financial considerations.
NOW IT’S TIME TO PLAN
1. Solidify Goals
It is essential to begin by identifying your reason for planning an event before diving into the logistics. Do you want to increase sales? Raise funds for a charity? Or do you have multiple goals? Starting with a clear and specific goal in mind is the key to success.
Next, decide on tangible metrics that will help you reach your goal. If you have managed events before, you could aim to increase your event revenue by 10 percent. If it is your first event, you could strive to grow your social media following or secure a certain number of attendees. Come up with some example metrics that you’d like to hit, in order to measure your success.
Once you’ve solidified your goals, you can begin to outline event details such as:
- Size of event
- Length of event
- Entertainment (speakers, activities, demonstrations, music, etc.)
All of these factors determine exactly what equipment you’ll need to manage the job!
2. Make a Budget
Budgeting is an essential early step of planning. A budget will help you stay on task and create reasonable expectations. If you map out your entire budget in advance, you will save yourself from unwanted surprises later in the process… or at least pad against it.
Be sure to remain flexible as planning goes on because details will undoubtedly change. As obstacles present themselves, make sure to accurately update your budget so that you avoid exceeding your allotted funds.
3. Establish a Team
No special event can get pulled off without a solid team. For large events, team members should get assigned to one specific category, and everyone should report to a project manager who oversees all areas. Smaller events can have fewer team members who multitask and take on multiple areas. Traditional roles for event planning include:
- Driving strategy, overseeing the budget, and managing purchasing decisions are pivotal to a successful event. The project manager is ultimately responsible for executing the event and supervising all of the other moving parts.
- Every event – no matter the size – needs an organized agenda to function properly. The scheduling team member communicates tasks to the appropriate people, coordinates meetings, and makes sure there is time for each portion of the event.
- The person handling the venue acts as the primary contact for all venue-related issues requiring communication with your company. The venue contact helps direct each person where they need to be at the appropriate time.
Preparation Is Key for Event Planning
Whether the special event you’re working is a charity 5k run, a book signing, or a jazz festival, it is essential to prepare in advance. Set goals, create a budget, form a team, secure venues, and vendors, and advertise your event program to potential attendees.
If you need a sanitation supplier to provide portable restrooms and mobile handwashing stations for your event, contact Satellite Industries today. Our providers will ensure that your event is not only fun but clean, safe, and hygienic as well.