Over the years, we have been speaking with 1000’s of contractors in the Drywall, Gyprock and Plastering trades, and we have learnt what has worked for them when submitting award winning bids.
We have also heard some nasty stories about contractors getting burnt because they have missed a small aspect of the job and have to honour the bid. While you are never going to be able to completely mitigate against missing something, the following 4 steps will allow you to consistently bid on and win Drywall jobs and take home a nice profit at the end of the day.
- Respond to the contractor
It's such an easy thing to do but when you get sent a job to price, respond to the contractor and say “thanks for the email, under the pump will have a price to you by Thursday afternoon. Whether it's a contractor you have worked with for 10 years or a new lead, this establishes a line of communication and if there are any adjustments or clarifications you will be front of mind. And when you do submit your quote on time, subconsciously it reinforces in the contractors mind that you are professional and dependable.
- Understand the job - Checklists
Familiarise yourself with the plans and if necessary get clarifications. Seems obvious but we have heard of Drywall veterans submitting a price having had a quick once over of the plans but missing a key part in the finishing schedule which impacts the cost of materials. Avoid getting burnt by having a checklist that you go through meticulously. It's so easy to go into autopilot and miss something obvious, if you have your checklist and you have to consciously run down through it to check off these key items then you will catch most small things from the start.
Here is a list we like to run through.
- What am I being asked to quote on?
- Installing track? What size etc
- Installing Insulation? What type?
- What type of board and for where?
- What is the finish between wall and ceiling?
- What is the finish at skirting / baseboard?
- What finish is expected on walls and ceilings?
- Are there any areas with finish over brick / block?
- List inclusions, exclusions and assumptions.
The construction industry is tight and we want you to be able to maximise your margin and make the most profit for your company. With this in mind it is vital that you list your inclusions and exclusions on any quote you send out. Or if you have to make some assumptions to send out the quote they should be clearly listed as one of the first things in your quote. A lot of the time plans are not complete or else the engineering and architect drawings can contradict each other and so you can make reasonable assumptions based on your experience, but it is vital you list these out so you are not stuck with the bill if those assumptions turn out to be wrong. There are a few good reasons for this but mainly it is to avoid getting burnt when you arrive on site. If there is any disagreement you can go back to your original quote and point that you have accounted for, any alterations or additions will have to be done at a cost. An example of what that might look like is as follows:
"Included in this quote is the following:
10mm Plasterboard to all New Walls as marked on Plans
10mm Span600 Plasterboard to Ceilings as per plan
Back Blocked Ceilings
3 Coat System
Ready for Paint"
It may not always be as simple as that but if you have the inclusions and exclusions clearly defined you will be less likely to have to wear the cost if any disputes arise, and you will have a good leg to stand on when working with the contractor versus the guy who just sent in a dollar figure. If you want to include marked up plans with your quote, we think that's a great option as well and it makes you stand out from the pack.
- Send your Bids on Company Letterhead
It's simple to get set up on and it makes you look professional. Send out your quotes on company letterhead with as much information as possible, its great branding and it instills a certain confidence in people receiving your quote. You can get set up on ConX with your logo, input your licences and business numbers and all of this information will auto populate on any quote you generate.
ConX makes life easy when it comes to following these steps and submitting a winning quote. Get started with a 14 day free trial today here.