Presentation on theme: "Federal Transit Administration (FTA) Opening “DOORS” Program Winning the Bid Jeanne Day-La Bo, DBE Program Specialist Michigan Department of Transportation."— Presentation transcript:
Federal Transit Administration (FTA) Opening “DOORS” Program Winning the Bid Jeanne Day-La Bo, DBE Program Specialist Michigan Department of Transportation (MDOT)
Don’t put all your bid “eggs” in one basket – bid to a variety of clients Work with small business assistance centers and get to know their staff. Procurement and Technical Assistance Centers (PTACs), for example, provide many free or low-cost services, such as e-mailing targeted bid opportunities to vendors. Minnesota PTAC Web address: ptac-meda.net Web search for other small business help, like: myminnesotabusiness.com positivelyminnesota.com/Business
Network! My most successful clients take every opportunity to build relationships. Join professional associations. Attend their meetings, “for fun” outings and conferences. Subscribe to list-serve notices; attend events and training. Share your business cards. Develop a brief “brag” sheet highlighting what you do and your most successful jobs. Keep in touch with DBE/SBE offices and other partners.
“Don’t bite off more than you can chew!” Expanding into new types of work is smart business. But first, Be the best at what you do! Successful DBEs may quote work higher than others, yet primes pick them. Why? They do great work, communicate and coordinate well with others, are efficient, have fewer job problems and regularly get their work done early or on time.
Distance matters – For many businesses, the farther away a client is, the more it costs to provide goods or services. In a low bid environment, your bid may be less competitive. Be realistic – It’s easy to get carried away and bid more than you can accomplish. It’s hard to fix a bad reputation…. “Don’t bite off more than you can chew!”
”Ok, I found a great job opportunity. What do I do?” Assuming anything is bad practice. Don’t assume you know what wages are, or that you know the schedule and all it entails, what the job site covers, or that material suppliers can provide goods without plenty of advance notice. Understand bid procedures. Know what it takes to get a contract awarded. Have required bonding/finances in place.
”Ok, I found a great job opportunity. What do I do?” Study the entire proposal carefully, even if you think some parts don’t apply! Be aware of all project- specific conditions and requirements. Federal wage rates may be higher than what you normally pay workers. Is there a penalty if a project runs late? Are there special or unusual requirements? Is there anything you must do before the bid submission date?
If you’re not sure, ask the experts! Don’t guess! If you are not 100% certain about anything you are bidding on, ask questions. Talk with the designated contact person listed in the proposal. When pre-bid meetings are set up, go to them.
“OK, you want the job. Now what?” Prepare! If the work is site-specific, a facility renovation for example, always take the time to physically go to the job site to study site and local conditions before putting together your bid.
Get to know the key players Schedule an appointment to discuss project details with the project manager. – You may learn something that will make your bid more competitive. – You’re building a relationship for future jobs. “OK – You want the job, now what?”
Get to know the key players Attend pre-bid meetings and networking sessions. You may hear answers to questions you never thought to ask. Meet your competition. Build relationships to develop strategic partnerships that will help with current and future jobs.
Don’t take “no” for an answer. What do you do when a prime tells you your bid is high? Don’t walk away! NEGOTIATE! Look at your bid – is there something the prime could do with resources he or she will have on the job? – For example, a landscaping company may be able to obtain and plant trees and shrubs cheaper than the prime can, but the prime can put in required topsoil cheaper than the landscaper. Consider breaking your bid up into smaller chunks.
Many small business owners have asked me if they should take a job they know they will lose money on, just to get some work. My response: “ARE YOU NUTS????” Taking a job where you will simply break even, or without any profit can put your business in a hole you may not be able to get out of. Never take a job you won’t make money on!
“I got the job!” Winning a bid is the first step. Once you get a job, schedule reminders to chat with key players, even if it’s just to say hello. – By keeping in regular contact, you will know about changes that may affect your work. Relationships built today can translate into more work tomorrow. No job is finished until the paperwork is done! Avoid payment delays. Be sure to get required paperwork in on time.
Questions? Jeanne Day-La Bo DBE Program Specialist Office of Business Development Michigan Department of Transportation P.O. Box 30050 Lansing, MI 48909 Phone: 517-373-9246 E-mail: email@example.com