13 Costly Bidding Mistakes & How to Avoid Them


Putting together a winning bid proposal is a lot more complicated than putting some numbers together and hoping for the best. Good bid preparation requires a lot of time and effort that involves everything from reading and fully understanding the plans and specifications to accurately estimating costs for labor, materials and equipment. Making even the smallest mistake can mean the difference between having a winning bid proposal and missing out on a coveted project.

Bidding the Wrong Projects

You don’t have to bid on every job you come across. Winning jobs your company can’t adequately perform can be just as costly as not winning them. Remember, it is never too late to abandon a bid you are working on. For example, let’s say you have purchased plans, attended the prebid meeting and started taking subcontractor pricing and you start crunching the numbers only to realize that your company won’t make an acceptable profit. The best thing to do is dump it and move on to the next project.

If at any time during the preparation of a bid you determine that your company cannot adequately handle the scope and requirements of the project you need to make the smart business decision to abandon your bid. Finding the right balance between bidding and winning enough jobs can be difficult.

On the one hand, you don’t want to bid and win so many jobs that you get to the point that you can’t properly manage and deliver the projects but you also don’t want too little work that you aren’t making any money and your workers aren’t staying busy. Selecting the right work to bid is vital to maintaining a profitable business.

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