Steve Shuchat, CBSE, is an expert when it comes to bidding and estimating. That’s why the president of Clean All Services — along with Curtis McLemore, CEO of McLemore Building Maintenance — are guiding people in the art of pricing services in today’s competitive market. The two will be hosting the Bidding and Estimating Seminar at the 2019 BSCAI Contracting Success Conference on Nov. 20. This seminar will help novice BSCs get a step-by-step approach for cost estimates, outlining standard overhead costs and more.
What are the major challenges of bidding and estimating? How can building service contractors overcome them?
In many situations when calculating a bid, it can be easy to overlook or exclude important information. An example of this can be payment terms being longer than normal, which can cause cash flow issues for the cleaning company.
The best way to overcome major challenges when preparing a bid is to have a step-by-step system and follow it. You also need to know what information should be gathered from a walk-through or request for proposal, and what questions need to be asked if that information is not presented to you.
The bidding processing can also allow a business to differentiate itself from its competitors. Through your bid, you can show how your company will provide efficient, high-quality processes that will result in high value rather than just low price.
How can building service contractors, both seasoned and young, learn how to bid and estimate better? Where is there room for improvement in the industry as a whole?
It is clear that the Building Service Contracting Industry is very competitive. Any opportunity a person who estimates the costs for cleaning services has to gain knowledge about the bidding and estimating process will provide an edge that can result in thousands of dollars being added to contractor’s bottom line, and can also add to a sales person’s commission.
What is your advice to building service contractors who are new to bidding and estimating?
Be prepared to ask a lot of questions and be a good listener.
Why is properly bidding and estimating so important for business?
Proper bidding and estimating is very important for all businesses for a number of reasons:
- The process establishes the relationship with the customer. A prospective customer may assume many things about a business based on the way that business acts during the bidding and estimating process. Are they thorough? Do they respond to requests in a timely manner? Do they act with integrity? Do they ask good questions?
- It provides a budget for a business’s operations team to execute against.
- If done properly, it can result in high profitability and morale for the business.
- If the bidding and estimating process is not done properly, and bids are regularly too high, you will get very little business, resulting in wasted time and effort.
- If the bidding and estimating process is not done properly, and bids and regularly too low, you may get a lot of business, but your operations team will be very stressed, customers will be dissatisfied, you will probably lose a lot of customers, and your reputation will be harmed.
What is one thing you would like conference attendees to take away from your session?
I want them to be excited about doing their next bid and confident about the process and system they have learned.
Shuchat’s Bidding and Estimating Seminar will be held during the 2019 Contracting Success Conference, November 20-22, in Las Vegas. To register, visit convention.bscai.org.