After fourteen years of contracting experience, Adrian Harmon knows what it takes to place a competitive bid.
He says, "Projects come, they're few and far between, but when they come, you need to be prepared."
As a local minority business, he won the spot as the contractor for the Macon-Bibb fire station on New Forsyth Road. It's an addition to a long list of his city and county projects.
"When you get those opportunities, utilize every reference that you can," says Harmon. "Give a good, fair, competitive number when you initially price the job. A low price number doesn't always win the bid. You do good work and then other projects that come about, then you have good opportunities to be at those."
To place a bid with the city, go to the city of Macon's website. Click "Doing business with Macon" then "Bid opportunities." There, you'll find a list of available projects. Read through and fill out the form. Near the back of the document you will find a checklist of business requirements. Harmon says looking over this list is one of the most important steps.
Harmon also says there are a few other tips he's learned along the way.
"A lot of issues that contractors have in getting work and doing business with the city is being able to carry themselves for 30 to 45 days. A lot of city and county governments sometimes have issues with slow pays, due to no fault of the contract, but sometimes you have to be able to deal with those situations," says Harmon.
He's had years to hone his expertise in how to land a bid and successfully execute projects, but for those business owners just starting out, the city is considering an added resource.
On the table is a $25,000 deal with Alex Habersham, owner of Macon Black Pages.
If council passes the position, Habersham will focus on helping businesses market themselves and prepare them for local government projects.
"The percentage of business that's being done with small and minority businesses can be measurably increased," says Habersham.
Harmon thinks having Habersham act as a liason would help, but also says getting involved with the city government is the best way to stay in the loop.