During January when most of the jobs at the company I work for dry up, I had to go out and scrounge around finding side jobs (like at the Sunglass Hut, snowplow proofing a mailbox, or even just reselling stuff I find at Goodwill).
Here’s the deal though with working alone and hunting for side work – you have to make job bids yourself. When you work for a construction or renovation company, the bosses officially make bids and deal with the clients. When you fly solo, it all falls to you.
There was a tile job that this dude wanted done on his floor. The tile had been laid back in the 1970s and was in bad shape. He wanted the interface between the carpeting and tile to be spiffed up (and not have half missing tiles – see the photo).
So I tell the guy what I’ll do and he likes it. I give him a cost estimate and then wait to hear from him. The thing about me is, I may scrounge for side jobs and resell things from Goodwill (which some people think is uncool) and try to get little jobs from any angle I can… but I’m not dishonest. I need work, I need to feed my family, but I won’t screw someone else over to do it. When I make a bid, it’s an honest bid that fairly covers the cost of supplies and my time, nothing more and nothing less.
But I never heard back from the guy. Someone else gave a lower bid and he must’ve gone with it.
How do you win a bid on a job?
Bid the lowest amount you possibly can. And then cut corners to cover the costs.
Don’t be a douche and do that though.
What do I suggest?
Be honest. Don’t underbid yourself and then force yourself into cutting corners. Someone is paying for you to fix their home, the place they live in – don’t screw someone over on the very roof that’s over their head. You’ll lose bids doing it this way sometimes, but at least you can live honestly and sleep well at night.