How to win government tenders

Are you looking to secure the perfect government contract for your business? Don’t miss out on our government tender writing tips.

In the 2020-2021 financial year, the Australian government made available over 84,000 government tenders or procurement contracts, with a total value of nearly $70 billion. It’s easy to see how winning government tenders can truly fuel a company forward. But how do you gain a unique competitive edge, overcome the competition, and secure a government contract?

Here are Tender Writers’ must-know tender writing tips.

Be informed

The first step to a successful tender is to inform yourself about the department or agency that has issued the EOI, RFP or RFT.

During your research, aim to find information about:

  • Their core services – available on their website
  • Their executives and policy directors
  • The key requirements in the EOI, RFP or RFT
  • If you’re not sure of anything, remember you can ask the government’s procurement contact questions about the tender.

Thoroughly read each question

Not complying with specific tender requirements is the reason why 60% of tenders are unsuccessful. So before getting started with your tender response, thoroughly read the questions, highlight core requirements, and keep an eye on supporting requirements.

During this initial stage, it is important to print out all the documentation, read it, and understand the context of the tender – this will help you with your narrative and relevant supporting evidence.

Respond in full and address each requirement

When writing government tenders, be sure to answer the questions precisely. Don’t assume that the government knows anything about you or your organisation or your experience.

You want to communicate what makes your business the preferable choice over other tenderers. So your responses to the questions in your government tenders must position your company for success whilst answering the questions precisely.

You’ll be asked about:

  • Your company’s capabilities and achievements
  • The methodologies and approaches you will use
  • Previous experience – make sure you can document this with statistics and case studies
  • Outcomes or results that you will deliver.

It is important to answer each question in full. While some questions might require you to repeat details and information that you have already shared, you should not shy away from duplication! Repeating something that you have already said will reinforce your statements and ensure that the message sticks.

Be sure that your government tender:

  • Provides evidence of relevant and recent experience
  • Demonstrates your company’s capabilities with accurate examples
  • Demonstrates that you understand what the government is seeking
  • Highlights your competitive edge

Don’t leave unanswered questions.

  • Always answer in full questions that include words such as “shall”, “will”, or “must”
  • Leverage questions with terms like “should”, “may”, or “could” to add more details about your company.

In your tender or proposal, there are likely to be questions that don’t apply to your company. In this case, you should still address the question and highlight why this isn’t relevant to your business.

For example, you can write:

  • This is not applicable to [company name].

Plan your answers

When you are writing your tender, in most cases it is not what you say, but how you say it Here are some tips to make your answers truly stand out:

  • Keep an eye on any word count limits to ensure you are not going over that word limit
  • Use diagrams, images, graphs, and photos of your company, products, and people.
  • Unless you are reflecting terms used in the question, opt for a conversational tone and don’t use jargon.
  • Address the reader directly using ‘you’, ‘your’ and their name.

Add value to your proposal

Any company that tenders to government wants to know how to win government tenders. Unfortunately, there is no “one-size-fits-all” formula for successful tenders. However, there are ways to increase your chances of submitting a proposal that stands out.

As we have seen above, supporting your statements with evidence and case studies can help. But adding value to your tender can also be an effective way to secure a competitive edge.

Some ways to add value to your tender or proposal include adding testimonials and evidence for the outcomes that you deliver.

Very importantly always include where possible:

Keep an eye on timings and deadlines

Understanding the government’s objective in issuing the Request for Tender, Request for Proposal or Expression of Interest; adding value to your proposals; and answering the questions in full can help you write winning tenders. But all of this is in vain if you miss the submission deadline!

Tenders are submitted through an unforgiving automated system. This means that if you are late with your submission by just 60 seconds, your proposal will be rejected. Since computer failures and uploading issues do happen, always upload well in advance.

Partner with professional Tender Writers for government tender success

Whether you are responding to a government tender for the first time, or this is not your first rodeo, partnering with professional tender writers at Tender Writers can help you increase your opportunity for success. Get in touch or ring us on 02 8036 5532 to learn what we can do for your business. 

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