If you want to improve your chances of winning your next construction bid, then our experts at BWL Consulting have shared their winning construction bidding tips that helped them to achieve a 92% bid writing success rate and a solid reputation within the construction industry.

How to win a construction bid

1. Get clear with costs

At this stage, you will have already investigated if the project is financially worthwhile for your business, having accessed risk via the Bid/No Bid stage and reviewed profit margins.

An important first step in creating your construction bid strategy is to fully break down all costs in order to help the client determine a clear return on investment.

Price is always going to play an important part in the decision-making process, which is why it’s essential to break down your costs and back up your requirements with clear data and explanation on why each cost is required. For example, you may have a more expensive project management fee compared to a competitor, however, this may be because you’ve invested in a specific technology to help improve efficiencies which would actually benefit the project more.

If you don’t explain this then your potential client won’t know - so make sure you make it clear.

2. Plan for a quick turnaround

When it comes to winning a construction bid, speed is of the essence. Most bids take around one week between the first call for bids to be submitted to the client engaging with a business or contractor.

Whilst quality shouldn’t be compromised, as an in-depth bid is essential to influence a decision-maker, it can also put you at an advantage if you can provide your bid sooner than your competitors. This helps to avoid ‘bid fatigue’. As each new proposal is submitted to the client, the bids start to look similar and those submitted last may be less likely to be engaged with.

Hold a meeting with your team to delegate responsibilities and create a plan for turning the bid around quickly.

3. Draw out the benefits of your solution

The next stage in your bid writing strategy is to work with your team to storyboard all the questions and address the concerns the client may have about the contract and/or project. Once you’ve listed these, start to create solutions against each point, demonstrating the clear benefits of your proposed solution. This helps to alleviate any concerns and put you at an advantage to competitors beyond cost.

For example,

The client is concerned about the accuracy of time estimates

Can you share some stats and information on how many of your quoted projects have been completed on time?

The client wants to know how communication will be handled throughout the project so key stakeholders are kept informed and up to date

Do you have specific testimonials from a client demonstrating how communication was of a high standard, or do you utilise construction apps to help improve communication between all parties involved (such as Fielden’s).

If there's an opportunity to do so, launch a clarification to ask what issues they’ve faced in previous projects so that you have an even better understanding of what pain points to cover in your bid.

The easiest way to demonstrate communications is through the development of a draft Communication and Interfacing Management Plan. This is an effective means of describing who will communicate, what they will communicate, when they will communicate it and the frequency of communication. The Plan can be aligned during mobilisation to suit the specific requirements of the Employer. Once created, it can be adapted for each and every bid.

You should also map out anything that competitors might be offering that you cannot and be prepared to explain why your chosen strategy will actually create more value for the client.

4. Demonstrate experience, qualifications and skills

Your bid should have a section that clearly highlights your team’s key responsibilities, accountabilities, qualifications, skills and any relatable key competencies. This is best demonstrated through the use of a RACI Matrix, an organisational structure and CV’s tailored to the contract and/or project.

Create a process within your business for gathering key information about all your projects and contracts. When the time comes to bid, you can back your responses up with factual evidence and references. This is an excellent opportunity to showcase your hard work, but avoid it becoming a marketing exercise - evaluators hate marketing literature.

5. Build trust with decision-makers

A further way to give you a competitive edge is to build trust with decision-makers early on. This can be achieved by engaging with them at industry events, or by connecting with them on social platforms such as LinkedIn and Twitter.

Just make sure your connection request includes a clear reason for connecting, otherwise, it may be ignored!

Where Public Sector contracts are concerned, try to look at previous contract notices to see who the Category Manager or Procurement Officer is that will be leading your opportunity.

By using capture planning early in your planning process, you can tailor your bid to suit the requirements of the decision-makers. It may sound a bit Darren Brown but think about it, if you had been a Communication Manager for years and jumped into procurement, a bid that drew out communication and interfacing would sound more familiar and provide more confidence.

6. Ask a Bid Consultant to review your proposal

You’re more likely to win a construction contract if you work with an expert who has experience in creating winning bids on a daily basis. It’s recommended that you engage with a bid writer either at the start of your bid project or even as a final measure to review your bid.

Quite often, key aspects of the specification are missed which reflects in the terminology used in the bid. Terms and conditions can also include additional requests which can impede your chance of submitting a compliant bid.

BWL utilise a combination of experience and intelligent software to review all your responses and evidence against the bid requirements. We also provide you with a breakdown of any area’s of non-compliance and have the ability to make amendments and improvements at very short notice.

BWL Consulting can help

Whether you’re looking for a professional to review your bid or would like someone to take the construction bidding process completely off your hands, our expert team of bid writers and solicitors can ensure you’re well equipped to compete, even on the most sought after construction projects.

Speak to our team for a no-obligation discussion on how we can help you win your next construction bid.

If you're looking for help with your next bid or tender, we're happy to arrange a free consultation with you to discuss your requirements in further detail.