How do I find out about tender opportunities?

If you’re interested in submitting tenders to win new business contracts, you need to know about opportunities!

But how do you find out about new request for tender opportunities? And how do you find out about similar new business such as requests for quotations, proposals or expressions of interest?

There are a number of ways to find out about tenders, proposals, EOIs and quotation requests. Most don’t cost any money. But you will need to take a little time to register for the different tender or procurement websites.

Newspaper advertisements

One way to find out about requests for tender from governments and local councils are advertisements in the newspaper for your capital city, state or local newspaper, such as the Sydney Morning Herald or The Age. Newspapers are being used less and less and these adverts are mostly relevant to certain industries, particularly civil engineering and construction. These requests for tenders are also available online.

Large private and listed company tenders

Mostly companies find out about tenders through other channels. If you want to tender to a listed company, you’ll need to contact their procurement team to inquire about getting on their radar for the product or service that you provide. Large private companies and listed companies don’t usually advertise their tenders online or in the press. You need to be invited to tender. This means that they need to know that you exist.

If targeting private and listed companies for tender submissions is part of your business development strategy, LinkedIn is a good place to start. You’ll be able to find out who to email to inquire about getting on their procurement list for future tenders and proposals. Once you’ve made a connection, you have the opportunity of being invited to tender in the future. Bearing in mind that most contracts last for three years, sometimes five years, so you might be waiting a while before the next tender for your product or service is issued.

Consider too that procurement teams are busy. You may have to be persistent in finding someone to speak to and keep in touch with them. It can be a long game. But if you want to be front of mind when a tender opportunity arises, it’s worth the effort. You’ll be at an advantage when it comes to writing tenders.

State and Australian government tenders

Government tenders are the easier to find out about. Each state government has a tender website. Governments’ tender websites are a great source of tenders for all types of services, from construction to report writing.

You can easily register an account for notifications of tenders relevant to your service or product. There’s no cost – it’s all free. All it takes is a little time. You just specify key words relevant to your business and you’ll receive a notification by email each time there’s a tender, proposal, quotation or EOI opportunity that meets your key words.

You can find details for these services using a quick online search.

Once you receive the email notification for a tender that’s relevant to you, you just log in to download the request for tender documents. Read them carefully to check that the tender is relevant to your business’ capabilities and to your business’ strategy. There’s no point in responding to tender opportunities if they don’t fit with your strategic plan.

Local government tenders

Local councils advertise their requests for tenders on their websites. Some also use Local Government Procurement, a system for local councils to group together to seek a service or product from a supplier. This gives the councils greater buying power.

If you provide your service or product in a limited geographical area, you can register on the local councils’ websites in that area. If you work nationally, however, you’ll need to subscribe to one of the commercial tender alert services.

Commercial tender alert subscription services

These keep subscribers informed with new local government (as well as state and Australian government) tenders in any geographical areas you specify in your subscription. Commercial subscription services are mostly useful for companies working across the country, and for civil engineering and construction tenders, such as those advertised in local newspapers.

Several subscription services provide information about new tenders and tender opportunities. A quick online search using the word ‘tenders’ will quickly bring up a list of providers.

State government ‘schemes’

Many state governments have a series of ‘schemes’. These are panels of companies that are pre-qualified to provide a service. When the government has need of a service that relates to a scheme, it will issue a request for proposal, request for quotation. Government often use schemes for lower value contracts to avoid having to go out to full tender for every single contract.

The NSW Government, for example, has a scheme for recruitment services, another for professional services and one for advertising and digital services.

Getting ready to tender

Writing tender responses is time consuming and can be arduous. You can get help from the expert tender writers at Proof Communications. We’re a team of professional tender writers who’ve written more than a thousand tenders and have over 20 years’ experience. Our clients love our work and the success we help them to achieve when it comes to writing tenders.

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