When thinking about how to grow a business in the construction industry, competing for more projects is often the first potential solution to come to mind.
This isn’t surprising either, as statistically most businesses in the industry only win around a fifth of the projects that they compete for. While producing the additional estimates may help you win more work and grow your business, it isn’t the only way to do so.
Targeting larger, more profitable projects is another key way that you can grow your business. While targeting such projects can present additional risks, they can also lead to greater benefits if you’re successful.
Large projects present some risk as they can have complex requirements and bidding processes. This can mean that your team must increase their knowledge base to enable them to effectively deliver the project. In addition to higher budgets, bigger projects also increase awareness of your business and its standing within the industry, as working on such projects shows potential clients your business is capable of handling demanding jobs.
Why is the estimating process complex for larger projects?
If you’re typically completing jobs for smaller clients with one or two owners, larger projects will be a completely new experience for your business. This is because large projects are usually for much bigger clients, which often brings a variety of stakeholders into the fold. In addition to the clients themselves, other stakeholders in big projects could include architects, engineers, investors and supervision committees among others.
All stakeholders that are involved in big projects understandably have their own thoughts and priorities as they all have different jobs to do. For example, an investor’s and an engineer’s priorities are going to be completely different.
This can present issues during the estimating process, as your estimate must please all the different stakeholders and their individual priorities. Subsequently, during this stage of the project you must be prepared to be flexible as the client will more than likely require multiple meetings and several rounds of amendments to be made to your estimate.
What can you do to win larger projects?
#1: Reduce the likelihood of errors
Not only can errors in your estimates affect your reputation, they can also have a significant detrimental impact on your profit margin. While you may have been able to work through errors on smaller projects without too many ramifications, with larger projects, it’s likely that you won’t be so lucky.
But what could go wrong on your estimates? Well, if you’re still using manual estimating and take-off processes, this opens you up to the risk of human error. While human error is completely normal, it can be expensive for your business, particularly if you over- or underestimate the material or labour costs for your project because you’ve either counted something more than once or missed something in your take-off.
Ensign’s take-off and estimating software tools can minimise such errors, this is because with our tools you’re able to take-off on screen and automatically build an accurate list of required materials and labour to complete the job.
#2: Tailor your estimates and provide custom reports
In addition to ensuring accuracy, tailoring your estimates and providing custom reports is another way that you can help yourself to secure larger projects.
Tailoring your estimates to accommodate your client’s requirements is key to your success, particularly with all the stakeholders that will be involved in the decision. You can tailor your estimates by including content that is relevant to each stakeholder, as well as delivering your estimate in your client’s preferred format.
Additionally, if they are required by your client, Ensign’s estimating software enables you to export custom reports to attach to your estimate. Some examples of the reports that you can export from the software include: Cover Letter, Scope of Works and Technical Matters.
#3: Get the most value out of your resources
To increase your chances of winning a larger project, it’s vital that you look for areas where you get more value out of your resources whilst reducing your costs. Finding opportunities to do this and suggesting ways to capitalise on them will be impressive to your client, as you will demonstrate that you’re able to identify such opportunities and you’re more than willing to look out for your client’s best interests.
To identify potential opportunities where you can increase value and reduce costs, here are some areas you should review:
Your project schedule
Review your project’s schedule and see if you’re able to complete the project any faster than you’ve projected. If there is a way that you can deliver the project sooner, you can then get an idea of costs you can save on labour and materials by doing so.
Reviewing the materials you require to complete your project is another place you could potentially cut back on cost. You could look for different products and investigate if any cheaper products could offer more durability.
Your workforce is another area that you could review. You could look at bringing in highly skilled contractors that are capable and willing to carry out multiple job roles on site. This can reduce the amount of staff required and in turn reduce the costs you’ve spent on labour.
Keen to start targeting larger construction projects? For more information on how Ensign’s software can help you streamline your estimating process head to our homepage or get in touch with our friendly team. Or if you’re ready to see our software in action, you can book a free guided demonstration of our software at a date and time that suits you.