How to write successful government tenders

Did you know that the top reason why, every single year, more than 60% of tenders to all levels of Australian government don’t make it through the first round is because the tenders don’t meet the specific tender requirements.

Winning government tenders is a challenge. If your tender doesn’t address all the criteria, then your bid won’t get past the post. Plain and simple.

When you’re dealing with a government tender in Australia, you have to respond in exactly the right manner. Not sure what that means? Our professional government tender writers explain below what you need to do to maximise your opportunity for successful government tenders.

After all, winning a government tender is great for business. It gives surety of regular income, prompt payment and looks great on the corporate CV. Winning a government tender is a great win for your business, so give yourself the best chance of success by following every single requirement – to the letter!

Here’s how to win government tenders in Australia

  • First of all, print out the whole tender document. That’s everything – all the documents including the draft deed or contract, response schedules and scope of requirements. Read through them carefully, highlighting which forms and questions are mandatory.
  • In the tender scope and response schedules, highlight the questions or sections that use words such as willshall or must. Think of these as signs to tell you that it’s essential that you answer these parts.
  • Also look out for sections or questions that use words such as shouldcould or may. These indicate where you can provide additional supporting information. There may be space in the tender response schedule for you to do this or you may be asked to provide an attachment. Make good use of opportunities like this to show the procurement assessor more about your offering.
  • Never, ever submit a tender that includes blank spaces, unanswered questions or “n/a” in your response, unless the tender question gives you the option of doing so. If a question doesn’t apply to you, address it by stating, “This question does not apply to my business because…”. You’ll be compliant and the assessor will get the right impression that you’ve paid attention to what you’re doing.
  • Your tender response gives you licence to explain why your business’ product or service will benefit the government. Your tender response is not there to denigrate the competition. By emphasising your strengths and focusing on what you can do, it will reflect well on your business and still get the message across that you’re better than your rivals.
  • Think about what it is that you are offering to the government. Don’t waffle on about the features of your product or service or how long you’ve been in business. Write about the results and outcomes that you achieve for your clients. And if you’ve worked with government before, particularly the agency to which you are tendering, remind them of what you’ve done for them.
  • Illustrate points with graphics. If you have a methodology, use a flow chart to show its process. Include a team organisation chart, too. Show photos of your products in action. If yours is a service, include a team photo. Use short testimonials too. These can be short quotes from happy clients with the client’s name, job title and company.
  • If there are word counts, stick to them. It doesn’t matter how good you are, if you’re even one word over in just one section, the words beyond the word count limit won’t be regarded. Check carefully to see if words used for diagrams or images contribute to the total; many a submission has come unstuck by not clarifying what “750 words max” actually includes.
  • Write in conversational language and don’t resort to jargon or “government speak”. It’s perfectly fine to reflect back words used in the tender questions, of course. Be succinct and consider using attachments (if permitted) for in-depth explanations if absolutely necessary.
  • Be absolutely certain of the date and time by which the tender must be submitted. If you’re late – even by a fraction of a second – your tender will be automatically rejected. Bear in mind that 99% of government tenders have to be uploaded to a portal, so make allowance for technical issues. Even better, submit your tender the day before the deadline.

Read our article on making it easier to win government tenders, which includes more advice in writing government tenders.

Knowing how write government tenders is  Tender Writers expertise. Over the past two decades, our tender writers managed and written literally hundreds of successful tenders to government, helping companies to win millions of dollars in new business.

Whether you’re writing a government tender for the first time, or this is not your hundredth time, partnering with the 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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