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3 Steps to Winning the Profitability Game

Posted: July 2, 2018

Conley Smith, Sr. Business Writer

OK, you’re a doors and hardware contractor. Your construction estimators are doing a great job using takeoff and estimating software to ensure bids are accurate down to the last door frame and hinge. Now, you’re busy winning lots of projects. But at day’s end, you’re still struggling with profitability.

What’s wrong with this picture? Construction experts will urge you to “bid what you do best.” It’s kind of like “eat right and exercise more.” But what does it really mean if you’re a mid-size concrete, walls and ceilings, or flooring contractor?

Keep Calm and Win the Right Work

Here’s an easy three-step formula from our white paper, Overcoming the Pitfalls of Estimating, to help any contractor, estimator, or project manager determine the best construction projects for their business:

  1. Review and calculate the percentage of profits from all jobs in the last year.
  2. Sort the list of jobs from most profitable at the top to least profitable at the bottom
  3. Only take leads for work based on the top three most profitable jobs

Contractors who offer specialized services win almost twice as many bids as firms offering general construction services, according to Construction Business Owner. You never want to win so many jobs you can’t properly manage them all. The solution? If you’re a concrete contractor, think about specializing in decorative concrete. By serving a particular segment, you can charge more for expertise and quality. That’s what we call a win-win.

Stop Chasing Work You Don’t Want

Contractors can’t be good at everything. Landing the right work in the right market, business segment, or geographic area is one way to stop chasing work you may end up regretting. For example, some contractors specialize in second-story additions, kitchens, and bathrooms, or develop an in-depth knowledge of how older homes are constructed.

Another way is to focus on types of construction projects like:

  • Government jobs
  • Hospitals and medical facilities
  • Schools and universities
  • Renovation and adaptive reuse
  • Sustainable building

If you really want to get creative, put time and money toward special security clearances, certifications, and training for your team. Remember, you can’t call it a specialty if you list out 10 different specialties. Think strategically to highlight your firm’s strengths to beat the competition.

Take the Next Step

Want to learn more about bidding what you do best to improve your profits? On Center Software can show you how to lessen your risk. Read our full white paper, Overcoming the Pitfalls of Estimating, for more winning strategies.

Don’t forget—having the right takeoff and estimating tools can play a big part in this equation. Contractors who use On-Screen Takeoff to eliminate manual takeoff and bid more profitable work report an increase of up to 40% in bids and profits*.


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