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Anyone have experience bidding for jobs?

527 Views 1 Reply 2 Participants Last post by  spunk
Heya there! I'm cross posting this in TAO but thought you awesome mamas might have some tips as well. Here's the deal:

DH runs his own IT business. I manage the administrative stuff (billing, bid wars, etc) and he manages the actual IT work. We've put in bids for tons of small jobs that were really clear about how much time they would take, so they weren't hard to bid. We just got one that we REALLY want but it's REALLY huge and I"m having a hard time bidding for it. To add into the fun I've been sick for days and am totally miserable and not thinking straight. Anyone want to help?

Here's the specs:

General: Install 400 printers ranging from desktop printers to company-wide AI1s at various locations throughout a large corporate complex.

Details: Detailed printer location assignments will be provided to Contractor. Printers will be shipped to corporate shipping/receiving warehouse onsite in 40 count intervals every 3-4 days. Contractor will transport printers to each location, unpack, install, upgrade necessary drivers and verify printer's network functionality. Contractor responsible for disposing of all trash materials.

It will take about an hour per printer on average. Some will take 15 minutes and some will take 90 or more, so give or take a few. Even if we bill at $50/hour, which is really really cheap, that would be 20 THOUSAND dollars? That doesn't seem right to me? Anyways, landing this would be HUGE for us, any advice or tips?
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Is this for a government agency or private company? Private company if it is small, you can call right before you are sending the response to the RFP - say you want to verify whose attention you should send it to (or some piece of information that is not clearly on the RFP) and try to get into a conversation with the person responsible for collecting the responses (this person might be the decision maker, or maybe not) - try fishing for information - are they getting a lot of responses, casually ask what they are basing their decision on, etc. Your conversation may reveal something that will make you want to change something in your proposal. Also, you may have an opportunity to introduce yourself and your service through a call and then stand out when your proposal is viewed. It kind of depends on the situation - some RFP are just inappropriate to call on (like if it says "no calls please") so you have to kind of play it by ear.

I've also had luck winning bids by adding personal touches to my services and then mentioning that on the phone when I called.
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