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As a sub, I often think about just walking into GC offices to break the ice. Usually I call or email first and try to set up appointment. What do some of you GC's think?
 

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Thom
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Watch permits.

Here in Albuquerque permits are public record. The lumber yards watch and call. The most successful subs at getting new business with me do the same.

Most of the time I'm not interested in replacing subs, I'm satisfied with the ones I use. There are times when I feel it's time to replace one. The way to try-out for that spot is to call me when a new permit is issued. If I'm looking for a new sub that does what you do, I will meet with you, otherwise we're wasting each others time.

Generally, I'd determine if I thought you could do the work, I might even visit some of your work. If you passed this, I would have you bid the job. Assuming your price was in-line, I'd give you the job. I'd watch you like a hawk on this job, if everything is fine, good work, on-time, respectful workers, you would get the opportunity for the next one. You wouldn't know it but on this next one, you would be the only bidder. Assuming your price was in-line, you'd get it. Again I'd watch.

After 2 or 3, you would know you were the only bidder. For many, there would be no bid, just do it. This is where many screw up. They start upping their price. I'm not an idiot. If I think your upping your price without a corresponding increase in materials prices, I'll be talking to the next guy who calls.
 

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After 2 or 3, you would know you were the only bidder. For many, there would be no bid, just do it. This is where many screw up. They start upping their price. I'm not an idiot. If I think your upping your price without a corresponding increase in materials prices, I'll be talking to the next guy who calls.
I understand this thinking, here is what has actually happened to me in the past.

I was working with a new GC, first job doing some site work for the a county job that this GC had won. I looked at the plans and the GC came up with a price that was very low. I agreed to do the work for that price because of a couple of reasons:
I was a new sub to them and wanted to start a working relationship with this company. I also new that he had other quotes. Most important, I needed the work.

We performed well on this job, and was paid for our work.

After that we were asked to quote a bunch of other jobs and I never could get to that pricing again, the numbers he wanted were at cost. He made comments like " boy your pricing has really gone up". The last job I quoted the GC didn't hire me and hired a company that did the work for 30% less than I was. When I checked in on this GC a few months later he informed that the new company he hired installed 400' of under drain at the wrong elevation and he was fighting to get paid form the owner.

We never worked together again after that. The point I am making is that sometimes subs will give you a great price to get his foot in the door but don't expect it every time, he has to make a profit at some point just like you do.

To the OP's question, you have to set up appointments with them. Go see them and ask for plans of any jobs they are doing. It is not easy to get started and you will end up working for the guys that are hard to work for and pay slow. You will have to do this for a while until you prove yourself in you area and then maybe one of the better GC's will give you a shot.
 

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As a sub, I often think about just walking into GC offices to break the ice. Usually I call or email first and try to set up appointment. What do some of you GC's think?
Depends on what I've got going on at the time. If its one of those crazy a$$ days that I'm going in about 15 different directions, someone walking in my office to shoot the sh!t would probably be more of a distraction and a nuisance.
Better to call first to see if they have time for a quick sit down.

"Meet me at the Wings & Ale for a bite and a brew" always works good too.
 

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possibly you could put together a small portfolio with not only pictures of your jobs, but also of the jobs in progress so they can see what to expect. write up a small resume/cover letter. that way if you call for an appointment, you're well prepared, and if you happen to walk in a GC office and they are unable to talk, you could drop off the portfolio so they can look at everything.

just my 2 cents.
 

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I have said this before, network, network, network.

My usual electrician has been stalling me on some small work for one of my larger customers. I can't wait, and called my heat and air guy....asked if he knew someone who might want to get my work....a few hours, I had a call from a guy who is just getting his feet wet. All from knowing my hvac guy. Network, network, network.
 
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