Contract Surety

Bidding To Win



Estimation errors, failure to understand the plans or address aspects of the application and mistakes related to the bond requirement can all lead to rejection. You could even end up regretting a win, if you did not set the project up for success with a diligent proposal. Experts share tips about bidding to win.


Allocate The Time Needed

Here’s something probably every contractor has done at some point or another: thrown a bid together, perhaps based on a comparable previous project, and hoped for the best. Sometimes hoping works out, but generally, as Kendall Jones of Construct Connect reminds us:


If you rush to put a bid together, it’s going to lead to mistakes. You need adequate time to read through and understand the plans and scope of work….Don’t fall into the trap of thinking that if you’ve done similar work in the past that you can just slap a bid together without doing your due diligence….Omitting scope items, inaccurate measurements, or using the wrong units of measure can spell trouble. Take the time to carefully review your work….


Rushing…will only result in mistakes that will cost you in the end. So, take the time to get it right the first time. Failing to fully complete the bid form and submit all required documents is a surefire way to get what might otherwise be a winning bid rejected. Required documents and paperwork can be anything from bid bonds to acknowledging receipt of any addenda.


A best practice to use when preparing a bid is to make a checklist of everything required. As you develop your bid package, follow the checklist and make sure you have attended to each requirement. If possible, ask someone else to look over the proposal before submitting it to double check that you have not forgotten anything. It’s also a good idea to qualify for The Partnership Account® from Colonial Surety. With this special and complimentary service for contractors, in addition to a surety line of credit, you’ll be able to issue your own, digital bid bonds, in minutes, giving you the flexibility to work on your proposal right up until the deadline. Get an edge with The Partnership Account®:


Pre-Qualify and Get Free Scores Here.


Seek Clarification

Successfully bidding requires a thorough understanding of the project. While this may seem obvious, in the mad dash to bid, sometimes important preliminary steps, like fully reviewing the plans, asking clarifying questions, attending a pre-bid meeting and visiting the jobsite are bypassed. No matter how skilled and up for the project you are, skipping these preliminary steps might result in overlooking something that costs you the bid–or prevents you from actually succeeding with the project should you luck out and win it despite a lack of preparation. Experts remind us of these important fundamentals for successful bidding:


Fully review the plans and specifications to determine everything required to bid on the project and complete the work. This includes knowing everything from what bonds are required to whether there are participation goals for minority business enterprises (MBEs) or if material substitutions are allowed in the bid. If you are unsure of any aspect of the project when preparing your bid, you should seek clarification … .Be aware that there are typically cut-off dates in place for questions to be submitted … .If you are unclear on any aspect of the project, the onus is on you to get clarification. Making assumptions is no way to submit a winning bid.


Most bidding opportunities provide prospective bidders with a chance to attend a pre-bid meeting and visit the jobsite. Often, these are mandatory in order to submit a bid and with good reason. No two job sites are identical, and unknown site conditions can cause unexpected, and costly, issues when construction gets underway.

Always Be Bid-Ready

With Colonial Surety on your side, you can always be ready to bid—and do so faster than the competition too. Let’s connect and talk about The Partnership Account® for Contractors. Once qualified,contractors position their companies to bid and win more than ever, with:

  • a surety line of credit—in writing;
  • a private digital dashboard;
  • a daily snapshot of single and aggregate limits
  • the ability to update work on hand—and increase your aggregate.

All this, plus, we give you power of attorney to issue your own bid bonds. Get in on more action, starting now: The Partnership Account®

Founded in 1930, Colonial Surety Company is a leading direct seller and writer of surety bonds and insurance products across the USA. Colonial is rated “A Excellent” by A.M. Best Company and U.S. Treasury listed. Let’s connect today: Colonial Surety.