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  • Writer's pictureTristan Wilson

11 bits of unsolicited highway bidding advice

Note: Shout out to Kevin Kelly (KK) for his format that I borrowed. See more on KK in the notes below.

Photo: ASTEC Industries

  1. Bidding is not estimating. First, get the cost right (estimating). Then, work on the pricing (bidding).

  2. You are what you do. Actions, not what you say, define who you are.

  3. Every reasonable bid is an opportunity to send a message to your team, your company, your competitors, your owners, and your market. The inverse applies: A no-bid on a job that should have been bid is a missed opportunity.

  4. Most contractors fail to dissect the competition’s perspective. Don’t be like most.

  5. Contractors who win every competitively bid job will go broke. Contractors who lose every job never get started. Sometimes but not every time, a contractor needs the job. Everyone must eat.

  6. Cut through the noise and understand the job risk as quickly as possible.

  7. In the long run, maturity is more important than accuracy.

  8. If you are reading this, you likely underestimate your ability to move the market.

  9. Picking margin is hard. A sense of wonder and appetite to understand all the available information at your disposal makes it easier.

  10. People drive the work of estimating, not machines. Simple please’s and thank you’s go a long way to make those people feel appreciated.

  11. A level head is your best asset.

Thank you for reading. At Edgevanta, we are building a platform to help contractors maximize their competitiveness in the project acquisition process.


Tristan Wilson

CEO and Founder

Edgevanta, LLC


Who is KK, you ask?


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