In February we received notice via Facebook and Twitter from several contractors who said they were doing much more early season bidding than they had in the past few years. That’s great news, an indication that the dam has busted through and contractors will be flooded with work this year — hopefully.
In preparation for the upcoming season we offer these tips, garnered from various sessions at the 2012 National Pavement Expo in Memphis:
- Know your job costs. This is essential to the success and longevity of every business but it is especially important in bidding situations where the competitive environment might encourage you to trim your margin. Remember: The only thing worse than not getting a job is getting a job that ends up costing you money.
- Be a professional. The credibility and referral rates for your business rest as much on your professionalism as on the quality of the work you do. From your approach to pursuing work, the contract you ask clients to sign, the appearance of your equipment and crew, and the billing and end-of-job follow-up your company is being evaluated and compared with others. Make sure you come out on top when those comparisons are made.
- Be in touch with your suppliers. Let them know your plans and needs so they aren’t surprised (and you aren’t disappointed) midway through the season.
- Be accessible and responsive. Whether through a website monitored regularly or a 24-hour phone line make sure you can be reached so you can respond to customer concerns or complaints (or even kudos).
- Let your employees know what you expect. They can’t meet (or surpass!) expectations if they don’t know them. By letting employees know your expectations and the benefits to them of meeting those expectations you can develop a cohesive, team-oriented atmosphere that will help you get more work done quicker and at a higher quality—and your employees will be happier. And while we’re on the subject of employees, make sure to provide the training they need whether they are new to the industry or not. Most employees want to do good work, excel in their job, and grow in the company. They can’t do any of that without proper training and guidance.
Of course there are a lot more ways to get your season off to a good start – you can let us know what works for you via www.Facebook.com/PavementMagazine or Twitter (@PavementMag).