Tendering is a different way for your small business to expand into different private, commercial, and government sectors. Rather than soliciting potential prospects, tenders are posted, and potential prospects come to you. Now, it may sound simple, and easy, but tendering is far from easy as it involves a lot of careful planning, preparation, industry knowledge, and the ability to offer a product or service offering optimal value to the potential prospect.
Tendering is the process of selling your product or service to a potential prospect who’s looking for a for a specific amount of a product or service. The reason why a tender is referred to as a ‘Silent Salesperson’ is because there is not much selling involved at all, and instead its all about positioning your product or service to the potential prospect. Your tender will either sell, or fail to sell, your solutions and proposals.
Here’s a few tips on how to prepare for your next tender, and hopefully win the tender bid.
What’s Expected Of You
Submitting a good tender will demonstrate your understanding of what the tender is asking by proposing a solution your business offers in order to meet the requirements in the tender. Far too many businesses submit tenders in hopes of gaining new business, but a tender is much more than potential new business, its more about building value for the potential prospect, and developing a long term mutually beneficial relationship.
The potential prospect’s requirements will be set out in a ‘Specification’ (sometimes called a ‘Brief ’), which you must read, along with any additional information that may be sent to you before you submit your response. Fully understanding the specification, the evaluation criteria – the way in which bids will be scored are key vital pieces of information.
When you submit your bid, certain minimum standards will need to be met. Tender issuers receive hundreds of tenders a year, so making sure that you comply with the minimum standards is critical. Anytime you’re submitting a tender, keep in mind the following:
- Your business can meet the requirements of the tender
- You offer exceptional value for money
- Clear and concise explanation of how the work will be carried out
- Clear timeline of how long it will take to fulfill the tender
- Your tender is to the point, easy to read, and concise
Preparation For Tender Submitting
When you submit a tender its important to understand that there is only one winner. Only one business will be chosen to offer their product or service. You only get one chance, and you got to get it right the first time. Before you get to submitting your tender, it is essential to understand the tender, and fully prepare by doing the following:
- How long you have to submit the information
- What information is being asked for and how long it will take to gather this
- How long you will need to draft, edit and check your tender response;
What Can Make Your Tender A Success
In order for your tender to be a success, you must be able to offer value for the money. Secondly, you need to be able to write. The first of the two is pretty self explanatory, so let’s focus on the writing part of the tender. Writing skills are absolutely critical in tender writing; contracts are often lost on the basis of poor writing that is unclear, illogical and fails to get across the key messages of the offer being made. Both the structure and writing style of your bid are important to get right the first time.
Here are a few things to keep in mind next time you decide to write a tender:
The structure and order of your bid should be logical,and should follow the order of the specification or invitation to tender documents which you have been sent.
Getting your point across in as little words as possible is what will separate you from the rest. You must write to the point, avoid weak language, and include a lot of punch lines. This is why tenders are put together by a group people, most are info gatherers, some researchers, and one is a solid writer in the group.
Proper grammar and a sense of humor is a must. A tender is not a novel, but rather is summary of your product or service, the value you bring, and why you’re different than the rest.
Why Tenders Fail
Cordell Government Tenders is a great website offering many different commercial, residential, and government tenders. There is a lot of business to be had if your business fits the tender. Tenders often fail for reasons which are avoidable. Being competitive means being able to stand out amongst your competition and putting forward the best offer.
Despite most tenders being pretty straight forward, many submitted tenders fail to impress for the following reasons:
- The tender is unclear and inconsistent
- The tender does not meet the requirements
- Missing information
- In concise throughout
Tenders are a great way to bring in additional business and revenue to your business. Ensuring that you read the tender throughout, and gain a full understanding is essential. Keep in mind that your tender needs to provide value. The dollar figure must be relative to what your business will provide. Take your time with submitting your tender, do your research ahead, and its best to work with a group of people on tender submissions, this way you can double check, triple check and bounce ideas off of each other. Good luck!
Photo Credit – Stevenerat