Construction news services such as ISQFT or The Bluebook provide a great source for projects to bid. For a new electrical contractor it provides a way for the company to get their name out in front of potential clients. Nothing speaks better of your company than a professional looking proposal with a competitive number. On the other hand if you are not savvy it will also be apparent.
From a freelance electrical estimator’s point of view construction news services are not so great though! I always advise my clients to steer clear of paying an estimating firm to estimate a project listed on one. The reason for this is quite simple. The job is on the internet. Everyone knows about it and the competition will be extremely stiff. Typically the guy who makes the biggest mistake is awarded the project. During good times I was very satisfied with being awarded 20% of the work I bid Despite a slowly recovering economy these are still not good times. If you elect to bid on a posted project be prepared to face odds as bad as one in thirty depending on your market! That being said, are those really the kind of odds you would feel comfortable with to pay someone to provide an electrical estimate? I am not saying you should not bid the job only that you should estimate it in-house.
If you use a construction news service properly it can be an awesome tool. The key to being successful is knowing which jobs are worth pursuing and paying a professional to estimate.
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