Online Job Bidding Tips for a Roofing Company
The world of online bidding can be a daunting and confusing place. But it’s the way many people conduct their business nowadays. Almost everything we do is online, from banking to shopping to studying and even working. It makes sense that when people in today’s marketplace are in search of a service, the internet is where they will look. Businesses offering trade services are no exception. Long ago, tradespeople were able to drum up plenty of business by simply handing out flyers and providing a good enough service to create positive verbal feedback, the old “word of mouth” philosophy. With the emergence of television, buying expensive advertising time through this medium was only within reach for the much larger companies, leaving the smaller business owner left behind and reliant on the old school techniques.
Today, all businesses, big or small, can market themselves in the online world. Consumers even expect it. A business that does not have at least a website these days is often considered archaic and strange. Some customers are also discouraged from using their service if they seem to be lacking in modern, tech-savvy skills. Interestingly, while this line of thinking would make sense for an IT company, consumers have come to apply it to all business types. Yes, even the tradespeople who should not be expected to have in-depth knowledge of computers and the online world, given the nature of their work.
So, if you own a roofing company, how can you sell yourself in the online world? Online bidding is becoming more and more popular, especially within the most competitive job markets. The first thing you need to do is get to know how online bidding works. Do some research. Check out the most popular online bidding websites that cover your local area. It’s worth your time to get a sense of how it all works before jumping straight in. See what different features the different platforms have to offer, have a look at the posts, and get a feel for what people are generally looking for.
Once you become familiar with the sites, your next step is to create an accurate and catchy profile. Avoid over-selling yourself. You want people to notice you and be impressed, but the last thing you want is to be promising services you cannot deliver. Always bear in mind that most of these sites have rating and review systems, and if you mislead or disappoint a client, it’ll hurt you in future bidding attempts.
Now it’s time to check out jobs you can bid for. Make sure its something you can do. Pay attention to things like timeframes and job size. Assess what materials you will likely need how many staff you’ll require for the job. Once you bid, you need to be sure that you can deliver exactly what is being asked of you. And of course, you don’t want to be losing money doing it. It may be very tempting to over-quote, testing the waters, and seeing if you can convince someone to pay top dollar for your work. But this is unwise. The main problem with bidding sites is they tend to run by the lowest bidder wins. You could certainly argue that customers are foolish for choosing the cheapest offer, in your experience knowing that quality costs money and anyone saying they can complete the job for well under market value is either lying or willing to lose money. But people want value. And if they have multiple bids, all from services claiming they can offer exactly what they need within their timeframe, they will inevitably choose the least costly option.
This may tempt you to underbid. This is even more unwise than overbidding. While you may find yourself getting more offers, you run the risk of being unable to meet the necessary demands. Remember, you need to carefully consider staffing requirements, needed materials, the tools, every aspect of your business cost. The last thing you want is to end up in the situation of having to ask a client for more money after you’ve reached an agreement. Your only sensible choice in this conundrum is to run the job at a loss and learn from your mistake. But really, it’s better to not make the mistake in the first place.
Bid realistically and honestly. If a job looks like it’ll cost $5,000, then bid $5,000. If you see others bidding $500 or $10,000, don’t let yourself be swayed. It’s likely the higher bidders won’t receive any hits, and the ones drastically underbidding will be unable to meet the client’s expectations, leading them to get negative reviews and decreasing their chances of getting offered further jobs in future. Initial attempts at deception to try and get that initial “yes” are not worth it in the long run.
Your focus should be on conducting yourself ethically and reliably. Tell the truth. Inform and educate potential clients. Most of your customers will not know anything about the intricacies of roofing. But do not play on their ignorance to overcharge them either. Your consumers may not be as expert as you, but the internet has a vast knowledge base these days, and if you seek to deceive, chances are, you’ll be found out eventually. It may not be until many years later when further work needs to be done on their roof, and the next tradesperson points out the flaws in your work or fact that you overcharged them. But if you want your business to be a success, you need to think about these long-term implications and your reputation. And one bad review can speak volumes.
A final point to remember is that it may take you some time to earn successful jobs. Don’t let this discourage you. It’s wise to consider other methods for securing work outside of online bidding, at least to begin with. Give yourself time to build that positive reputation by being honest, ethical, realistic, and reliable. These are values which speak for themselves in any business and will serve you well in the online bidding world. Good luck!