Government tenders and other tenders – how do they differ?

Savvy business owners know that winning a tender, bid or proposal can change their business life. Whether you have the opportunity to respond to a government tender or to a request for proposal for a new business contract from a publicly listed or privately owned organisation, success can be the difference between restless nights and long-term financial security. It also looks great to have a major contract in your client list for your own marketing.

Writing tenders and writing proposals, however, is a challenge for any organisation that isn’t used to the process. Submitting successful tender responses is time consuming. All tender writers know that an excellent tender response requires careful planning from the beginning. Your tender or proposal response must align with what the potential client is looking for and the best way to do this is to identify your key selling points. And there’s often considerable compliance requirements to address, especially for government tenders. Even for those who regularly tender for new business, the process is challenging.

Government tenders – what makes them so complicated?

Although the goal of bid and tender writing services is essentially the same, writing government tenders is considered a bit more challenging than tendering to other types of organisations.

Since government tenders are open to public scrutiny, they follow a very specific format and must be written in strict adherence to all instructions given in the request for tender or proposal.

Often complicated by numerous documents, government tenders require a lot of reading before you can begin to think about responding to the RFT.

There’s also the challenge of understanding the different types of tenders, proposals, expressions of interest and quotations issued by government. Government tenders involve acronyms, such as RFT, RFP, RFQ and EOI, plus significant paperwork. Making sure that all the paperwork is correctly completed with your tender is vital. More than 60% of companies responding to tenders fail because they do not complete all the compliance requirements properly.

The upsides to winning government tenders

Winning government tenders has many upsides. Despite the hard work involved in putting the tender together, successful government tenders make it more likely you will win business from other government departments and enjoy quick and reliable payments.

But winning government business through government tenders can be arduous. Understanding what the government procurement team is looking for; knowing how to answer the questions in the request for tender or proposal; and dealing with the paperwork that comes with government tenders requires expert skill and experience.

Responding to government tenders requires a rigorous approach: all the criteria must be thoroughly addressed; all the questions answered appropriately; and all the required compliance in place. You may also need to consider visuals, such as a cover, illustrations, flow charts or an organisation chart.

Non-government tenders – are they any easier?

Likewise, tenders from other types of organisations, such as listed companies or large private companies, often have a rigorous tender response process, with a formal request for tender or proposal that can be just as challenging. They too can come with lots of documents, online templates to be completed, or even worse, Excel spreadsheets to provide written responses.

Others, however, can be much more informal and you may therefore find the process of tendering to listed and private companies very different to tendering to government.

Most requests for tenders or proposals from government, private and listed companies come with a template with word count limits and file format requirements. You need to address the selection criteria, choose relevant referees and comply with other requirements in your tender. Whether you are responding to an RFT or RFP, missing any required information could disqualify you from the tender.

Government tender writing services – call the specialists

Since 2000, Proof Communications has helped many scores of companies to win millions of dollars in new business, through our bid and government tender writing and management expertise.

We have a verifiable track record of success in helping companies win government tenders — including ones from the Australian Government, local and state governments and related agencies.

We’ve managed and written more than 1,568 tender and proposal responses over that past two decades – most of which to government –  helping our clients to win tens of millions of dollars in new business.

Our tender writers  have enjoyed stellar careers in their respective fields and have proven their expertise in writing successful government tenders, as well as in providing impeccable tender copy editing and tender proofreading services.

Contact us today on 02 8036 5532 or reach us here.

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