City Work You Can Bid On


work in Your City

Just because you’re a small business, doesn’t mean you have to be stuck pinching small jobs from craigslist or the local ads. Actually, you could be staring at a huge project right now and you didn’t even realize it. I’m going to give you a pretty big tip on finding consistent work in your city- all year round.

I worked with a successful contractor who basically had his hands in every field of work. He was a sub-contractor for restoration companies, supplied his services to property managers who looked after apartment buildings and ran multiple residential and commercial jobs in between all that.

We were chatting one day and I had to ask him,” Where the heck do you find all your work?”

Well, it turned out he found a lot of his work from the city’s public website.

The city has projects all over and they post it online for contractors or small business to have the opportunity to bid on each one. It’s kind of like the approved permits issued by the city, but you have to beat out the competition by putting in the right quote or bid for the job. You can find all their new projects at B.C Bids.

You can also register for their service or browse throughout the projects yourself. Each job will have a subtitle of the job description and a detailed PDF for download.

If you register, the service will send you notifications, via e-mail, of bid opportunities posted in the commodity groups and locations that you select when registering. The e-mail will contain a web link to the updated information.

The Job Posting

So, that summer ” The Contractor ” and I decided we wanted to put a bid on some work. We found a posting for painting 14 different Schools for the North Vancouver School District.

Here’s a copy of that exact job description that was posted and we bid on.

ITT No 16-098 Closing time: May 26 2016 02:00 PM
Posted date: May 10, 2016
Exterior Painting – Various Locations – Metro Vancouver Housing Corporation
Advertised on the Metro Vancouver web site ( and BC Bid(

Information for Tenderers

The Metro Vancouver Housing Corporation, hereinafter referred to as the “Corporation”, invites Tenders for the Exterior Painting – Various Locations – Metro Vancouver Housing Corporation.

SCOPE: Supply all equipment, materials, labor, and supervision required to prepare the exterior surfaces and apply them to paint and/or stain at various Metro Vancouver Housing Corporation locations in accordance with the specifications of Tender No. 16-098.

Site #1: Eastburn Square, 7730 – 6th Street, Burnaby
Site #2: Fraserwood, 22450 – 121st Avenue, Maple Ridge
Site #3: Meridian Village, 3156 Coast Meridian Road, Port Coquitlam
Site #4: Inlet Centre, 321 Noons Creek Dr, Port Moody
Site #5: Guildford Glen, 14860 – 101A Avenue, Surrey
Site #6: Knightsbridge I + II, 12551 Cambie Road, Richmond
Site #7: Adelaide Court, 10771 Auburn Drive, Richmond
Site #8: Maple Vine Court, 7500 Frances Road, Richmond
Site #9: Odlinwood, 10771 Shepard Drive, Richmond
Site #10: Alderwood Place, 8700 General Currie Rd, Richmond
Site #11: St. Andrews Place, 95 St. Andrews Street, North Vancouver
Site #12: Ashdown Gardens, 590 South West Marine Drive, Vancouver
Site #13: Kelly Court, 2929 Nootka, Vancouver
Site #14: Hemlock Court, 1411 East 17th Avenue, Vancouver

Tendering documents may be downloaded directly from the Metro Vancouver website at or obtained from the Purchasing Department, 5th Floor, 4330 Kingsway, Burnaby, BC, Tel. (604) 432-6326 at no cost.

Please return your Tender, in duplicate comprised of one original (please use fold-back clips in place of binders) and one copy including all attachments and enclosures, in a sealed envelope and bearing the name of the firm bidding, to the following specific physical location not later than 2:00:00 p.m. local time on the 26th day of May, 2016 (the “Tender Closing”):

Purchasing & Mail Reception,
Metro Vancouver,
5th Floor, 4330 Kingsway,
Burnaby, BC V5H 4G8

There will be pre-tender meetings at the below-listed dates, times and locations. The meetings are not mandatory, however, attendance by all parties interested is highly recommended. Those parties in attendance should bring their own PPE (i.e. steel toe footwear, safety eye glasses, hard hat, hi-visibility vest).

Date, Time, Site: Address
May 16, 2016 @4:00 pm Site #1: Eastburn Square 7730 – 6th Street, Burnaby
May 16, 2016 @8:00 am Site #2: Fraserwood 22450 – 121st Avenue, Maple Ridge
May 16, 2016 @10:00 am Site #3: Meridian Village 3156 Coast Meridian Road, Port Coquit.
May 16, 2016 @11:30 am Site #4: Inlet Centre 321 Noons Creek Dr, Port Moody
May 16, 2016 @ 2:00 pm Site #5: Guildford Glen 14860 – 101A Avenue, Surrey
May 18, 2016 @ 2:00 pm Site #6: Knightsbridge I + II 12551 Cambie Road, Richmond
May 18, 2016 @ 3:00 pm Site #7: Adelaide Court 10771 Auburn Drive, Richmond
May 18, 2016 @ 4:00 pm Site #8: Maple Vine Court 7500 Frances Road, Richmond
May 18, 2016 @ 1:00 pm Site #9: Odlinwood 10771 Shepard Drive, Richmond
May 18, 2016 @ 5:00 pm Site #10: Alderwood Place 8700 General Currie Rd, Richmond
May 18, 2016 @ 10:00 am Site #11: St. Andrews Place 95 St. Andrews Street, North Vancouver
May 18, 2016 @ 12:00 noon Site #12: Ashdown Gard. 590 South West Marine Drive, Vanc.
May 18, 2016 @ 9:00 am Site #13: Kelly Court 2929 Nootka, Vancouver
May 18, 2016 @ 8:00 am Site #14: Hemlock Court 1411 East 17th Avenue, Vancouver



The Best Bid Wins The Job (1)


 The Walk Around

After deciding we were interested in making a bid, we met up at first location at Fraserwood at 8 am. There were about 5 different companies standing around with their pens and paper in hand, ready to go. While waiting for the people who will be doing the walk around for the project, we quickly introduced ourselves to each other.

Then the big wigs showed up. They passed around a clipboard that we would all sign in with our personal names and the company we were representing for the bid. They proceeded with a formal introductory about the project and listed expectations they had for whoever won or was awarded the bid.  Next, we followed them around the building as they explained what needed to be completed. Everything was already on the paperwork we downloaded so it was a pretty simple process.

They answered any questions or concerns we had like procedures for weather delay, getting access to resident’s balconies for painting and the ability to use a boom lift to reach awkward parts on the building.

Don’t be afraid to ask as many questions as you can because at the end of the day it’s your responsibility to make sure everything is done properly or you just won’t get paid.

We went to all 14 jobs listed that week, and only put a bid on two buildings to paint. Seems like a lot of work for two buildings but they pay well if you’re able to put together a good quote and be awarded the project.

We downloaded the paperwork again so it wasn’t wrinkled and filled in the quote for the two buildings. We triple checked our paperwork so we made sure everything was filled in correctly and put it in a large sealed envelope.  Then, we taped our business card in the corner for identification, wrote out our company name and address in the middle of the envelope and to whom it was directed in the upper right-hand corner.  The package was ready.

I drove down to the city office and personally delivered it to the bidding office, just to make sure it made it there on time and to the right person. We were good to go!



Remember, the lowest bid is awarded the project!

Good luck with Your business everybody!

Mike and the Trade Trackers Crew