Reduce or eliminate costly mistakes on future bids by researching the factors involved in the development of bid estimates. Make reasonable adjustments for variable factors, such as overly aggressive deadlines, extreme weather conditions, and timely availability of materials, trained crew members and other subcontractors.

Establish a procedure whereby copies of all bids prepared in the past (and all future bids) are retained in a central reference file or electronic database. You can use this information to compare past performance and expedite the preparation of future similar bids.

Research the performance history of other subcontractors who will be working on the project before you. By knowing the performance histories of these subcontractors, you can be prepared for possible time delays due to the need for additional cleanup, extra materials required, enhanced supervisory efforts, etc. This information will allow you to prepare a future bid more effectively and profitably. It can also alert you to potential losses in current jobs in progress.

NOTE: For other closely related topics, be sure to review the section on Estimating Procedures (to be published later) in this series of articles on Business and Job Management.

Mike Holt’s Comment: This newsletter was extracted from my Business Management and Management Skills’ Workbook. Watch for our next newsletter, and as always, we encourage your comments and feedback. Send us your real-life experiences. Please respond to

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