When you hear of a tender that may just be the one you need to win to catapult your business to stratospheric levels of success, take care you don’t suffer from a sudden rush of blood to the head, plunging headlong into the bid process without thinking it through. Putting together a submission is a serious undertaking, so if you’re at all commitment-phobic you might need to think again.
To bid or not to bid. That is the question
Can your business genuinely meet the minimum requirements needed to win? The bid document will be very clear about this and you need to be equally clear that your business can deliver the goods. Tendering can take up a lot resources, often deflecting you and your team from your core business, so it would be madness to commit to something you are simply never going to win.
Do you have the time?
A rushed tender will be a poorly put together tender, so give yourself and your bid team ample time to decide on the approach you will take, make clear delegation of responsibilities and make provision for the regular review of progress. Just as a traveller is always advised to take twice as much money as they think they’ll need, so too must you be prepared to take more time than you think to put together a winning submission.
Don’t be a wallflower
False modesty has no place in your tender. Be prepared to put in the effort to show your business in the best possible light. Not only does the application itself need to be spot on, but your website and the social media platforms you use must also look sharp and professional, because they too will be looked at. Have you all these things in place?
Do as you are asked
Tenders, particularly government tenders, are very specific about what is required – even down to the font size and type which must be used. Choose to ignore any instruction and your bid will automatically be stamped “epic fail”. If you’re not prepared to follow the tender directions to the letter of the law, then this is not the contract for you.
Spell it out. Twice.
To win this tender you must be prepared to devote time to answering every question as fully as possible, even those that appear to be asking exactly the same thing in one section as another. Yes, it can be tedious, but it’s what the client wants and them’s the rules! To be on the safe side, assume the person evaluating your bid knows nothing about you or your business.
And one other thing…
A professional proofreader/tender writer will not only pick up all the obvious typos and errors, but will be able to assess the cohesiveness of your bid as a whole. They don’t suffer from “tender blindness” as a result of being too close to the project, so they’ll edit the document to ensure every section sounds focused and tight. If the bid is important enough to you, investing in their services will be money well spent.