Many working in the construction industry often think of the estimating process as a numbers game, and with most businesses in the industry typically winning around 20% (or even less) of the work that they’re competing for, this doesn’t come as a surprise. There is therefore a lot of focus on submitting as many estimates as possible, however, this is not the only way to grow your business.
You can also look to scale your business by setting your sights on bigger projects that are likely to bring in far more profit. While big projects often lead to greater rewards if successful, they can also present more risks.
For your business to successfully complete larger projects, your team could be required to undergo training to further their knowledge. This is because such projects often have complicated bidding processes and the client will usually have very specific requirements, which presents risks. Working on larger projects can be beneficial for your business as such projects have higher budgets and also help to boost your reputation within the industry as winning such contracts demonstrates your ability to successfully complete demanding jobs.
Why the estimating process is complicated for big projects
If your business is used to carrying out jobs for clients with one or two owners and/or decision makers, big projects will be an entirely different experience. The key difference with larger projects is the variety of stakeholders that are typically involved in the project because the job will usually be for much bigger clients. Stakeholders that would be involved in bigger projects could typically include architects, engineers, investors and supervision committees.
All the individual stakeholders that are involved in large projects do have their own views and priorities as they all have their own job roles to complete. For example, an architect and an investor will have completely different priorities on the project.
This can complicate the estimating process, this is because the estimate you produce must take all of the stakeholders and their individual priorities into account as they will all be involved in the decision. Therefore it’s important to make sure you’re flexible during this process, as it will be likely that you must attend multiple meetings and amend your estimate accordingly.
What you can do to win larger projects
#1: Minimise errors
Errors on your estimates can be problematic for your business in multiple ways and can have serious ramifications. Errors could have a negative impact on your reputation within the industry and they could also significantly reduce your profit margin. While it is often possible to work around errors without too many consequences on smaller projects, this almost certainly will not be the case with large projects.
If you’re still estimating and taking off manually, this does put your estimates at the risk of human error. While human error is in our nature, it can be extremely costly for your business, especially if you count something more than once or miss something in your take-off as this will make your material and/or labour costs incorrect.
RapidQuote’s estimating software can significantly reduce the likelihood of human error. This is because our software enables you to take-off on screen and builds an accurate list of materials and labour required to complete the job automatically.
#2: Customise your estimates
As well as making sure your estimates are accurate, customising them is another method you can employ to help your business win bigger projects.
Customising your estimates to suit your client’s requirements is a vital step to ensure your success. This is especially important because of all the stakeholders that will influence the overall decision. You can customise your estimates by making sure it is presented in your client’s preferred format and by including content that is relevant to all the different stakeholders.
#3: Maximise the value of your resources
It’s important to look for areas where you can maximise the value of your resources and subsequently reduce your costs. Identifying areas where this can be done and sharing them with your client will certainly impress them, as you will demonstrate your ability to recognise such opportunities and your willingness to look out for your client’s best interests.
To help you recognise potential opportunities to maximise value and reduce your costs, here are some areas that you should review:
Your Project’s Schedule
The first area you should look at is your project’s schedule. This will allow you to explore if you’re able to finish the project any sooner than your projected date. During your review, if you discover that you can complete the project faster than expected, you can then get an idea of costs that you can save on labour and/or materials.
Another area where you could potentially cut your costs is the materials that you require to complete the job. You could look at alternative products and investigate if any of the cheaper options available could offer more durability.
Your spend on labour is another area that you could review. You could look to cut back on your labour costs by bringing in expert contractors that are capable and willing to complete multiple job roles on site. This could help you cut back on your costs as by building a team of such contractors you will reduce the requirement for more staff.
Find more details on how RapidQuote’s software tools can save you both time and money here or get in touch with our team directly. If you would like to see our software in action at a date and time that suits you, you can book a guided demonstration for free here.