Transcending Low Bid Contract Awards

Three decades ago I saw a sign on the wall of service business that said: “The fastest way to failure is to win all the low bids.” That axiom is still true today.

Power sweeping, like many other services, is increasingly being seen as a commodity. The rise of third party vendors has significantly accelerated this trend over the last few years. To be a profitable contractor, it has become increasingly important to differentiate your company from the rest of the providers in your market area.

The Internet has made this both easier and more difficult than ever before. Today, via a professional website — as well as social media accounts including LinkedIn, Google+ and Facebook Pages — even small companies can build a professional appearance.

However, due to the technical challenges and our fast-paced business climate, developing and maintaining a strong web presence can be daunting. Nonetheless, this is the ‘low hanging fruit’ in building your company’s external image.

Internally, there are other steps you can take to stand out from the crowd. Are your personnel uniformed and your vehicles tastefully logo-wrapped? Does someone answer your phone when it rings? Voicemail spurs a significant portion of new prospects to call your competition. Does your phone’s ‘hold system’ inform about the value and/or variety of services your company offers? That is a great way to suggestion-sell additional services as well as to appear more professional.

Do you belong to local or national associations, like BOMA, CAM, ICSC, World Sweeping Association or others? If so, showcase those memberships via your website, brochures and presentations.

Many sweeping contractor employees are on client properties at night, when their customers are home in bed. Make more profit by showing property managers why your company is a safer, more professional choice to be there when they are not.

WSA contributor Ranger Kidwell-Ross has been providing information to the power sweeping industry since 1988. He is editor of, an information resource for power sweeping, as well as founder and executive director of World Sweeping Association. For more information about WSA visit or contact Kidwell-Ross at