How to Bid a Job
One of the more difficult aspects of self-employment is setting one's own rates and preparing bids for projects. Knowing how to bid a job is a valuable skill, because the amount of time that a job will take is central to a contractor's profit. You'll need to accurately estimate your time and material costs in order to submit a fair and equitable bid for any project. Details after the jump!
Request details concerning the project.
- For instance, bidding on a final deliverable project will differ from an ongoing process.
- Know the client's desired outcome. Your idea of "complete" can vary greatly from a client's expectation. Your contractor bid should be tailored accordingly.
Decide how to price your work.
- Submit pricing based on the quantity of work delivered. For instance, freelance writers often bill by the word, article or blog post.
- Base your pricing on the amount of your time that the project will consume. An event planner might decide that a certain project will fill 3 afternoons and submit a bid based on the typical per-hour rate.
- These include office or creative supplies, travel, other contractor bids or materials.
- Mark up your planned expenses in order to cover price differences and the time you will spend in incurring those expenses.
Consider bidding projects as a range.
- Architects and other construction professionals often bid a job with a minimum amount, due up front, and a "not to exceed" maximum. The difference between the minimum amount and the actual will be billed on a separate invoice when the project is completed.