Are you always looking for ways to bid more work? Whether you are in painting, roofing, concrete, home building, landscaping, steel erecting or anything else construction related the basic principles remain the same.
Get on the right bid lists.
Establish relationships with architects, general contractors, home builders, engineers, business owners & managers and the like. Have a long list of contacts in other trades as well. As the saying goes: "It's not WHAT you know but WHO you know". So true!
Build on the new relationships you have established.
Get in front of the decision makers as often as you can. Buy lunch, offer "value engineering" input (alternate ways to do something that will save them money), become an invited guest, not an unwelcome pest.
Join your local Builders Exchange, Online Planroom or Lead Referral Service.
These are fine if you are looking for volume in the commercial end. However, most of the jobs on these services are public work. Public work brings many more bidders to the table and ultimately a much more competitive environment. (LOWER PROFIT MARGINS!)
As much of a pain as it might seem, get on the horn with past customers.
This can be the most profitable of all ways to generate jobs to bid. Even if the customer has nothing at this time, odds are they will know someone who is looking for your services. Your only cost is the few minutes to ask for the referral.
Get yourself in the Yellow Pages!
If done right, and you cater to the residential sector, a good Yellow Pages ad can bring more business than you can handle. A good problem to have by the way.
Local newspapers, weekly bulletins, fliers, brochures, business cards, magazines, newsletters, restaurant placemats, whatever you can think of. Most contractors go about this the wrong way and it can become very costly. Poor results can put a sour taste in your mouth toward advertising. Research how to craft an offer, ways to respond, headlines and sales copywriting before dropping a wad with no chance of return.
Radio & TV Advertising
The same as above print advertising. Make sure you have an irresistible offer and an adequate budget before venturing into these waters. Beware the ad reps hounding you with long term contracts and such.
Define your targeted prospects and send them some stuff. Be creative to get noticed. This will produce the best leads if you research your market and hit the right people at the right time with the right message. This process can also lead to establishing and building relationships for more work opportunities far into the future.