As I always do in my posts, I make it simple and straight to the points. Some approaches can be achieved online while some can be achieved offline. But I hope that at the end of this write up, a builder can know few approaches he can follow to secure contracts for himself.
Set up a website or grab a dashboard in an existing website:
One cannot talk of the best way to connect with people and make them see what you can do.
Earlier in a post Why Architects should get clients online, I explained all the benefits that follow online marketing, so, set up a website, place your services or products online. If you do not have your own website, you can look for some established mono websites that allow every user to upload to his dashboard just like our own site www.prodesigners.com.ng. Please make sure that you update your services and products in a manner it can be of standard. Well, to be honest, opening a website is not were it ends. You still need to promote the website via youtube videos, google adwords, facebook and twitter sponsored adverts, etc.
Set up your price:In other to avoid future misapprehension, it will be better if you attach the price of your products and services as you upload them. This is to make the client to have a pre idea of your pricing status and make his decisions before calling you. Further parley can sometimes set in any way.
Write guest post with your name on other websites in your industry:
We are still on possible online approaches towards securing a contract for those who do not know how to go about it, especially the fresh graduates in the building industry. If you have done the above stated, to make more people visit your website and for them to see your ideology and services, you need to do guest posting on related websites within your industry.
Visit business directories and contact businesses you would be of service to:
There are many other companies that need you to work for them, depending on your own profession.
If you are a building technologist, you can visit an online business directory like www .vconnect.com to check and list out Architectural firms, estate developing firms, etc and contact them to give you a chance. Send this to as many as you can, I bet you that some of them must reply you. You never can tell as not to try it.
Seek for contracts that are within your capacity:
In a country like Nigeria, there is a high rate of hustle for contract among professionals, especially the fresh graduates who have had none or few contracts. But for these fresh graduates, the hunt for a fresh contract is a different ball game, as first impression matters a lot for this fresh graduates. To establish a viable name in the industry, a fresh professional has to make sure that he accepts the kind of contract he can be able to handle. This is to give him the confidence with time than grabbing huge work he can’t handle and discourage or scare away potential clients from coming.
Know the other companies you are competing with:
Contract pursuit is a competition that requires adequate vigilance. In fact it is resembling a war and of course, you cannot be fighting a war that you don’t know who your enemy is. If you don’t know the companies you are competing with, then, you are already slowing down your chances of getting a contract.
Know what you can offer that others can’t by knowing your brand:
Of course, it is only the big guys that are already known that we always tend to get more contracts, even without much advert. So you can’t expect a fresh graduate to play around with the big guys and win. I mean, what does he think he can offer that the big guys can’t offer? For a fresh contractor in the building industry to get contract, he has to examine himself and note out the advantages he has that the big guys don’t. What do I mean by this? Since the Nigerian ministry of works releases contracts for big companies and small companies, a fresh builder should checkout contracts that are to be done in rural areas which big companies may consider unfit for their status
Make sure you are registered:
To avoid future issues with regulatory bodies, professionals in the building industry are expected to have had their professional examinations to be inducted into their professional associations and stay licensed.
Well, this is not the same case for student builders as they are not licensed at this stage. Therefore, it is expected of students to attach themselves licensed professionals when carrying out a contract
Become a sub-contractor for the big guys:
You don’t have to get that contract directly if you don’t have the necessary link. What about seeking for a sub-service for a big company that has already secured a contract. There are some big companies that get very cumbersome projects and therefore seeking for sub companies they can distribute different roles with. If you keep doing this, it does not only keep you busy but promotes your name and helps you establish the relationship with the big guys till you hit the big contract.
Checkout the website that these contracts are listed for bid:
In Nigeria, builders visit the official website of the ministry of works and related websites, to know when an advert for tender on contracts. Ofcourse, some adverts are thrown open, while some are closed and the others are negotiated. Some others are rotational distributed among trusted building companies
Build a relationship out the network or office
Sure, government can seem impersonal, but relationships are very important. It’s easy to lean too hard on cold calls and databases. So while filling out the forms is a prerequisite, get out of the office, network, and try to meet the decision makers both in the government and the large contractors. And do it in person, if possible.
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