Whether we are discussing specialized commercial buildings, residential skyscrapers, or just a renovation project, some general contractors always seem to have an advantage over the competition. So, what are the factors that make them more desirable business partners than others in the race? There could be several reasons or just one, depending on the project, the client, and the contractor in question. As to what those reasons are, we will get to that next.
Building and Maintaining Reputation
A good reputation is even more important than experience at times. For example, a roofing company with 20 years of bad reputation is far less likely to land a project than a company with just 5 years of good reputation. Of course, reputation is not built in a day, and it is a multifaceted development, built on several interrelated factors. Those same factors are also the other qualities of a contracting business that may determine their chances of winning projects.
Prioritizing Worker Safety
An accident at a worksite may lead to injuries, deaths, lawsuits, delays, additional expenses, loss of employee(s), loss of morale, and a long list of other long-term negative effects. All of those come together to form one of the main reasons responsible for contracting companies getting a bad name. To ensure worker safety, the management must take all preventive and precautionary measures against potential accidents which are likely to happen without those measures.
For example, falling from a significant height is the leading cause of both deaths and injuries within the construction and renovation industry. Therefore, to uphold the company’s reputation and safeguard the workers, well-reputed contractors will only invest in OSHA & ANSI-approved safety harness systems, retractable lifelines, and other fall arrest systems, as would be adequate for the job. The same goes for any other type of safety gear as well.
Calculate Your Bids with Precision
Low bids do have a significantly higher chance of winning, and it is the lowest estimated cost that often wins. However, a bid must be practical enough to provide the contractor with at least a decent profit margin, without them having to cut several, major corners. This is easier said than done, of course, but there is a core principle of Lean Manufacturing that is often used to make the right calculations.
The focus must be on accurately calculating how much it would cost to complete the project and:
- Meet all expectations/requirements of the client exactly, but NOT surpass them.
- Make a profit from the job without bending any minimum quality standards set by the authorities.
Never presume or add expenses to the client’s original plans and expectations while bidding. That may come later if you do manage to win the bid.
If a potential client wants something impractically cheap, working with them will not help in building a good reputation. If the materials used are of low quality, everybody will blame the contractor when things start to fall apart. This will most likely even include the client who refused to shell out the minimum amount necessary for getting the job done right. This is how a bad reputation is built in the long run, and that’s much worse than working with a select few clients in the early days.