If you are going to build a successful electrical business, you are going to need to have a good understanding of how to find new customers and bid on jobs. This can be challenging for anyone but can be especially intimidating if you are new to the industry. A lot more goes into the bid process than just “time and materials.” Read this article to find some basic tips for putting together bids and filling your calendar with electrical jobs.
Here is a list to help you get started:
1. Don't be afraid to start with a template
Many electricians have a standard bid proposal ready to go that they customize for each job. If this is not something you want to develop from scratch, there are electrical bid templates available online for purchase. There are also plenty of free resources available if you are confident that you have what it takes to design a template yourself.
2. Research how much other electricians charge
It will be helpful to know the average prices other electricians in your area charge when you are setting your prices. Check out ProMatcher’s Electrician Cost Report to see how much companies in your area typically charge.
3. Give in-person estimates
Whenever possible, you should avoid giving estimates over the phone. It can be difficult to provide an accurate quote without evaluating the job site in-person. You will also need to determine if this is a job you have the professional expertise to complete.
Remember that scheduled walk-throughs are your chance to impress future customers, which increases your chances of winning the job. That’s why dressing professionally and treating people’s homes and businesses respectfully is so important.
4. Include overhead expenses
Each job estimate should account for overhead costs, which include administrative staff salaries, bookkeeping expenses, office rent and utilities, vehicle maintenance, and workers compensation.
Use ProMatcher to find more marketing ideas for your electrical business.
5. Write everything down
The more detail you include in the job estimate, the better! The proposal needs to include how long the quoted price is good for as well as define the payment terms. Be as clear as possible about the services your bid includes and those it does not. Explicitly writing out covered services helps prevent disagreements from arising after the project starts.
6. Consider all the factors
It’s important to account for all the factors that affect the cost of a job when you are putting together your bid. Think about:
- Permitting fees: electrical or building permits
- Specialty fixtures
- Your travel time to the job site
- Current condition of electrical wiring in the home or business
- Equipment needs
- Building height
Read more: Job Leads for Electrical Contractors
7. Consider using electrical estimation software
As you can probably tell, putting together an electrical quote takes a lot of time and energy. Many electricians have begun switching to using estimation software that automates the quote calculation process. You should research if you have the funds to purchase this type of software as it could potentially save your business both time and money in the long-run.
8. Establish a price list
Developing a base price list can be super helpful! Transparency around pricing can help to build trust. You can include the price list in your brochure or on your website. This gives potential customers a good idea of how much you generally charge for a particular service. How much do you typically charge to replace an outlet? How much do you usually charge to install a generator? Make sure to include a disclaimer that clearly states that there are many factors that may increase or decrease the cost of someone's unique project. Each electrical job needs to be quoted individually.
It’s fairly common for interested customers to ask for references or to seek out reviews online. Ask a couple of your most satisfied customers if they would be willing to serve as references. Encourage all your customers to leave you reviews online.
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Last Updated: September 25, 2018