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Big Three: Tips for Improving Your Bottom Line & Winning the Bid

The Big Three: Tips for Improving Your Bottom Line AND Winning the Bid
By Randy Pierce

The Big Three: Tips for Improving Your Bottom LineWe’ve all seen this scenario: You bid for a job and win it, only to discover that after adding up your hard costs (insurance, gas, labor, etc.), you will actually lose money.

I’ve seen this mistake dozens of times with people new to the industry – they want to bid low so they win the job, but in the end they have a hard time returning a profit. When faced with this problem, the trick is to know what your hard costs are and then add 20 – 40 percent above that to pay employees and make a profit for your company.

But how can you win the bid if your prices aren’t as low as the next guys’? It’s simple – through education, professionalism and marketing.

1. Education: One of the most important things you can do when meeting with a potential customer is to know what you’re talking about. Chances are your customer isn’t an industry expert, so take the time to explain the problem you are there to fix, how you plan to fix it and why that is the correct approach. Explain why your prices might be higher than another company’s: because it’s quality work with quality materials completed by certified professionals. Also explain to them who you are--what your background is and why your firm, an IICRC Certified Firm, is the best choice when it comes to being on the forefront of the industry in terms of certifications and standards.

2. Professionalism: Potential customers are more likely to hire a firm they perceive as professional, so make sure your appearance reflects the image you want to project. For example, don’t show up to customer’s home or office in a dirty t-shirt and jeans. Dress in a clean uniform or branded shirt with your company name clearly printed on the front. In a 2013 study from Harris Interactive, nearly 65 percent of U.S. adults reported that seeing a uniformed employee had a positive impact on their perception of a company.

3. Marketing: One thing that customers hate is feeling like they’re being “sold.” After explaining who you are and why your firm should be chosen for this bid, leave behind some marketing materials with helpful information for the customer. Let them know that even if they don’t hire your firm, you’d like to leave behind some educational materials for their review. Some examples could be a branded magnet with emergency numbers; pamphlets explaining the importance of mold detection, water restoration, etc.; or even a tip sheet on how to effectively remove a carpet stain. (Several tip sheets can be found on the IICRC Certified Firm website at By leaving behind this free educational information, you show the customer that your goal is not to simply get the bid, but to educate them further on the best practices for solving the problem they have.

In order to have a successful business, you must be able to identify what sets you apart from the rest. Whether it is your prices, industry expertise, professionalism or marketing, be sure to promote yourself as a leader in the industry – after all, you are an IICRC Certified Firm!

Randy Pierce is an approved IICRC Instructor and has traveled the United States teaching textile cleaning courses for the past several years. He instructs classes on carpet cleaning, upholstery cleaning and odor control as well as business marketing classes. In addition to teaching, Randy is an IICRC Certified Master Textile Cleaner, Master Water Restorer, Master Fire Restorer, and the owner-operator of a successful textile cleaning and restoration company for the past 20 years.

*For more helpful tips and resources to market your business, visit the Certified Firm only section of the IICRC website at If you don’t have your login information, enter your Certified Firm number as your username and the last four digits of your primary business phone number on record with the IICRC as your password. Please email if you need more information.

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