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How to Price Your Bid for a Government Job with Anna Rose

The City of San Diego provides you with direct access to bidding and contracting opportunities on all its construction projects. Whether your business is contracting, subcontracting or consulting, you have an opportunity to partner with the City.

Visit the Citys designated website PlanetBids to view, at no cost, construction and architectural & engineering consultant contracts currently open for bid.

To bid on upcoming CIP construction projects or other infrastructure project contracting opportunities, your business should:

  • Become prequalified to be able to bid on construction projects
  • Register as a vendor are required to register and qualify to conduct business with the City.
  • Visit the Small Local Business Enterprise program for information on small construction contract bid opportunities and benefits such as restricted bidding, bid discounts and preference points when bidding on City contracts.
  • View the construction, architectural & engineering and consultant contracts currently open for bid.
  • Finding Lucrative Projects Outside Of The Government Sphere

    While government jobs offer unique benefits, they are hardly the only projects worth seeking. Many construction companies actually prefer to work in the private sector, as the competition isnt as fierce and the processes can be more streamlined. If youve ever waited in line for hours at the DMV, you already have an idea of the negative side effects of government bureaucracy.

    Its true that non-government jobs are less procedural than government jobs, but that doesnt mean you should treat your bidding any less carefully. Make sure you allocate enough time to do a thorough analysis of the project before submitting. Your bid should include every document and detail requested, with extra emphasis placed on your companys differentials.

    How Contracts Are Awarded

    After evaluating bids, Procurement Services will issue a contract to the successful supplier.

    The name of the successful supplier, award date, and the contracted prices will be available on the Alberta Purchasing Connection following the contract award.

    Unsuccessful suppliers will be debriefed by Procurement Services, upon request.

    The solicitation will specify if the award will be made to one or more suppliers.

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    Construction Procurements With High Levels Of Complexity

    Two stage process

    Stage 1:

    • Request for Qualification is publically advertised on Alberta Purchasing Connection to shortlist or to prequalify proponents based on qualifications and experience.

    Stage 2:

    • Shortlisted or prequalified proponents are invited to submit proposals in response to an Invitational Request for Proposal.

    Best Construction Bidding Websites

    Government Contracting

    BidClerk is a construction bidding website that has over 400,000 projects listed. Tons of projects are added to their database yearly, with 1.1 million active contacts and commercial projects. BidClerk has projects submitted from all over North America, with the ability to search for projects by location. Their project summaries are very detailed which means less time wasted on research.

    Subcontractors can search for a project based on sector, specific project details, the contacting method, the project type, contacts, pre-bids, building use, construction type, etc. Subcontractors can also track a projects progress, forecast project opportunities, get instant project updates and receive alerts.

    Dodge Construction central allows subcontractors to search based on business type and provides industry trends, construction leads, bid management, and custom research. They also provide a resource where subcontractors can find 100,000+ products for the construction project.

    Another great feature to help prevent extra work and reduce risk is Dodge Constructions checklist for subcontractor pre-qualification. This way, you can assess whether you are fit for the project and avoid bidding for those that you cant really deliver.

    This website is noted as the #1 source for Federal, State, and Local government bids.


    7.ConstructionWire aka BuildCentral


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    Rfps From Local Governments

    In 2014, federal, state and local government agencies spent nearly $271.1 billion on construction projects. The majority of these funds paid for roads and related infrastructure, as well as sewage treatment plants, school construction and water facilities however, annual government construction spending at all levels generates many opportunities for vendors in construction. BidNet provides you with targeted construction bids from city, county, state and special district governments via Bid Alert® Bulletins, a daily summary of open construction contracts that match your business needs and allow you to easily review construction RFPs and RFQs and quickly submit bids on those that interest you. These include requests for proposals seeking to source building products, heavy machinery, general contracting, landscaping, pre-fabricated buildings and specialty trade contractors.

    Technology Changes Construction Bid Preparation

    Since their introduction more than 20 years ago, the evolution of construction bidding applications has made the preparation of construction bids much easier. General contractors use these tools for estimating, budgeting, and refining their bids.

    Having a centralized, online workspace to manage bids and project information is critical. Bid management software, integrated with estimating and takeoff software, is the industry standard for top performing GCs, says James Benham, CEO, JBKnowledge, which makes SmartBid.

    Bid management software helps them manage subcontractor data, monitor communications, share project documents, compare bids, and compile the most complete package for owners. Not to mention, solutions providers often have customer service and success staff who can help companies optimize their bid process on top of implementing the software.

    These solutions automate job costing, which calculates the price of executing a unit of work including labor, materials, and overhead. Therefore, if the contractor knows that installing a sink costs a certain amount, and there are 12 sinks in the building, then the the total cost for sinks will be close to 12 times the job cost. He does not need to calculate each one separately unless the sinks are not uniform. You can also define jobs and save them within the software to reuse on future projects.

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    Minority And Women Business Enterprise Policy

    In accordance with North Carolina law, the City of Raleigh encourages and provides an equal opportunity for Certified Minority and Women-Owned Business Enterprises to participate in all aspects of the Citys contracting and procurement programs.

    The City has an aspirational goal of 15% of the total contract amount to be performed by MWBE businesses in contracts awarded by the City for: construction and building projects of $300,000 or more and construction and building projects of $100,000 or more that have any state funding.

    If there are any questions, contact the MWBE Program Manager, at PO Box 590 Raleigh, NC 27602, , or 919-996-4330.

    Top 10 Construction Bidding Sites You Should Know About

    Learn How To Get Bonded And Bid On Public Entity Contract Jobs!

    Be part of our exclusive Construction Professional list and get exclusive discounts and monthly executive summary

    Getting the right construction project is never easy. Researching about upcoming bids is already a challenge and without any help, you might never land on the job that you need to grow your firm.

    So if you havent heard yet, there are some great construction bidding websites out there that can help contractors find new projects that are the best fit for their area of construction expertise.

    Searching for construction bid opportunities online can be a real pain for contractors and subcontractors. So where should you look to find the best construction jobs to bid on?

    Should you visit your local municipal or government site for public bid opportunities? It could take hours or days to sift through the jobs to find the right one for your construction company.

    Rather than spending countless hours searching every source for jobs, contractors can take advantage of the best construction bidding websites to find commercial projects online, where bids can be submitted directly.

    To help you find the real gems, we compiled a list of the best construction bidding websites that can help link contractors and even subcontractors with private and/or public sector projects that align with their expertise.

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    Consider Bidding On Government Projects

    One of the best places for any small business to look for bidding opportunities is with government construction. Whether its a school, office, utility building, transportation center, or something else entirely, there are always government projects going on.

    Government jobs can be particularly nice when the economy is dragging. Other jobs may dry up, but the government will always carry out designated projects. Some projects are even initiated with the specific goal of stimulating the economy.

    Each year, the government awards hundreds of billions of dollars in federal contracts to businesses to meet the needs of federal agencies and the military, explains The governments goal is to award at least 23% of those contracts to small businesses. To sell your products or services to the federal government, your business must meet specific requirements. Although the contracting process can seem complicated and overwhelming at first, the government provides lots of information and tips to help you learn to compete as a federal contractor.

    So how does the government make decisions for bids? The process is much more heavily regulated than with non-government jobs. Mountains of paperwork are often required, so its important to allocate enough time to do everything correctly. Fail to attach the correct documents or provide all the necessary details, and your bid will be dead in the water.

    Here are 6 resources that could be worth checking out:

    Documenting The Construction Bid

    As we have noted, government projects usually require extensive documentation and forms. The same applies to large commercial construction. The smaller the project, the less onerous the project becomes.

    All construction bidders are generally required to detail their bid in a document called the bid template, the bid sheet, or the bid form. This specifies the project site and the names of the owner and customer. It gives a project narrative, explains what is not included or is the owners responsibility, and sets a completion date and cost. It provides a breakdown of costs, materials, and labor. The owner will sign this to formally accept the proposal.

    Excel | PDF

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    Form Relationships With Each New Contract

    Construction bidding websites are certainly an increasingly popular means of obtaining clients. However, many companies also receive a substantial portion of projects in the form of requests for proposals from past clients.

    Its important that you build relationships with every new client you take on to benefit from this stream as well.

    In this article, we discussed where to find construction jobs to bid on. We hope the list weve put together will serve you well as you continue to look for new opportunities. If youve found construction jobs to bid on, you should go ahead and read our article about tracking and improving your bid-hit ratio.

    For more tips on construction-related topics, including resource management and estimating, visit the Bridgit blog.

    How The Contract Bidding Process Works

    Bidding on Federal Construction Projects

    Prime contractors and subcontractors can search the previously mentioned directories for contract opportunities that match their capabilities and place bids on the contracts.

    Follow the instructions on the requests for proposal and be sure to include all the information requested by the hiring agency. Then, calculate your bid price and include any costs youll incur to perform the work, as well as profit.

    Once youve signed a government contract, youll be expected to complete the contracted work for the bid price, so make sure you can complete the work profitably.

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    How Do You Win Construction Bids

    Contractors and subcontractors are able to win bids if they can prove they are the best choice for the job. The detailed job descriptions offered on most good construction bid sites can help them find the perfect projects for their experience and skill so they can focus their attention on winning the bids that will get them more work and make them more money.

    Because companies tend to use the same vendors over and over again for their projects, construction bid sites can also be a valuable tool to help contractors and subcontractors get their foot in the door to these companies.

    How To Register As A Contractor For The Federal Government

    The first step in registering as a contractor for the federal government is to get a Data Universal Numbering System number. A DUNS number is a unique nine-digit number for each physical location of your business that is issued by Dun & Bradstreet. The number is used to track your success on contracts and your creditworthiness.

    Next, you must register your business with the System for Award Management database at You must register in order to be awarded a government contract. You can even have contracts given to you simply by being listed, as federal agencies often use the database to find businesses that meet their needs.

    In order to register at, you will need to know your North American Industry Classification System code. This code describes the products, services, or industries that you furnish. You may also want to list your Standard Industrial Classification or SIC code on your registration. Including these codes helps agencies find your business when they are looking for the products or services you supply.

    If youd like to work with the General Services Administration which offers a wide variety of lucrative contracts youll need a past performance evaluation. You apply for the evaluation online and will be subjected to an independent audit of your customer references. The audit rates your past performance based on a statistical analysis of performance data and survey responses.

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    Digital Procurement And Online Construction Bidding

    Digital procurement of construction services is becoming the norm. While the method is new, the underlying procurement models have not changed. For example, sealed bidding got its name because bidders would submit bids in sealed envelopes. Today, online bidding systems have made paper envelopes obsolete, but bidders still confidentially tender competitive bids in virtual lock boxes.

    Digital procurement uses websites and software as a service platforms to handle tender calls, requests for proposals, requests for quotes, design bids, distribution of bid documents, bid submission, and other parts of the procurement process. Standard formats and reusable templates facilitate the preparation of bid packets.

    These systems make it possible to disseminate and share large amounts of paperwork, including construction drawings. Users are generally required to register to access a database of tender opportunities. The system will notify users of due dates and any changes in project specifications.

    Such systems are more efficient than paper bidding, and they make it easy for government agencies to show they are informing all bidders simultaneously and giving them equal access to information. They also provide audit trails, which are helpful in the event of a bid protest.

    Once a winning bid is selected, these systems also assist in contract management with performance reviews, sample letters, clause commentaries, and more.

    Use Simplified Standardized Terms

    How to Submit a Government Contracting Bid

    Especially when bidding on a large, multi-part project, its easy to get lost in the details and your bid proposal can end up being confusing. This can result in your company losing the contract to a firm whose bid proposal was easier to understand.

    To avoid this, make sure you use simplified language and, in cases where you must use industry terms, consider utilizing a vocabulary like MasterFormat. This will help the project owner get a clear idea of the services and quality youre offering.

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    What Is A Construction Bid

    A construction bid is a document that a developer submits to a potential customer detailing the estimated cost, scope, and work schedule of a building project in an effort to win the contract against competing developers. The customer solicits construction bids from various developers and evaluates the information provided in order to choose the developer they believe will do the best job for the most appropriate price.

    A well-written construction bid is essential, as it can make or break whether or not a builder is hired for a project. A builder with the lowest cost estimate and fastest work schedule still wont win the contract if they dont accurately provide that information to the customer. And if you do somehow manage to secure a contract with a poorly written construction bid, it can cause mistakes, miscommunication, and waste down the line.

    How We Chose The Best Construction Bid Sites

    We looked at over a dozen construction bid sites for this review. While sites that offered a huge database of opportunities topped our list, we focused on those that offered customizable filters and tags to help vendors find the right opportunities.

    It was also important to include sites that were easy to use. Because good bidding opportunities can disappear overnight, we made sure our providers let users sign up for daily email alerts with new opportunities and updates.

    Finally, although many of the sites we reviewed didnt list their prices, we tried to avoid providers that charged exorbitant subscription fees while offering the same opportunities and tools as more affordable options. In the end, a good construction bid site should help vendors land regular projects from the same companies instead of having to constantly chase after new bids.

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    Best For Quick Setup: Constructionwire


    ConstructionWire was established by BuildCentral, a developer of database products for suppliers and vendors. We chose it as the best for quick setup because it offers an easy-to-use interface and flexible pricing plans to help users get started quickly.

    ConstructionWire makes it easy to search for bids from over 525,000 mostly private commercial projects in its database, each with a value of at least $500,000. Users can search by project, company, or person through three reports: Project Report, Company Report, and People Report.

    The Project Report provides users with leads on new mostly private and commercial construction projects in the planning, bidding, and pre-construction stages. Company Reports provide detailed profiles of companies offering new projects, including the developers, architects, and contractors. Finally, People Reports provide detailed profiles of key decision-makers, including name, title, phone, email, and biography.

    ConstructionWire claims to verify all projects by phone to ensure validity and accuracy and boasts the ability to get data on private projects that are often missed by other providers. The site also offers project email alerts in newsletter format, organizing and grouping projects in folders, and creating and tracking activities on projects with tasks and notes.

    ConstructionWire offers three subscription plans, all with a seven-day free trial.

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