From the start of your career in portable sanitation, you will learn that it is a very competitive business. This is especially true when bidding on contracts. Contracts are not only a highly prized, predictable source of income, they help establish lasting business relationships and build your reputation as a portable restroom operator.
The key to successful bidding is to put the real value of the bid on capabilities and responsiveness, not just price. When you continually undercut other bids, it’s a race to the bottom. By focusing on a standard of service, you can continue to evolve your business and develop professionally. What do customers value most? A preferred service vendor they can trust. You’re worth the price!
A good starting point is to ask for a ballpark figure – how much was the last successful bid for the same event or contract? This figure will tell you if you can make a competitive offer. But remember, numbers don’t tell the whole story. Your goal is to win the business at a higher rate, but with better service.
The main sources of contract business are:
Take the time to understand the full scope of the event. Give clients all the products and services they want and need, and charge accordingly. Don’t sell yourself short and don’t underestimate just to lower the price. The cost of toilets per attendee is usually much lower compared to other costs.
Parks, recreation sites and forest preserves can be very busy places when outdoor activities are at their peak. This can place a strain on your services, so it’s important to focus on the details of the contract requirements.
Industry contracts (usually 3-5 years) are difficult to win. Responsiveness and capabilities are a must.
The Small Business Administration (SBA) works with federal agencies to help small businesses win government contracts. Start by visiting the SBA website at https://www.sba.gov/contracting/what-government-contracting.