Is responding to tenders right for you?

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 successful tender 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 tender or proposal? The bid document will be very clear about the criteria by which the procurement team will be evaluating your tender and you need to be equally clear that your business can deliver the goods. Tendering takes a lot of time and resources, often taking you and your team away 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. Even better, seek help from the professional tender writers at Proof Communications. Our tender writers will manage and write the entire response for you, giving you peace of mind that your tender is the best it can be.

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 tender response 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 got 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.

Complying with the tender requirements is absolutely essential. We can’t emphasise this enough. If you fail to address all the criteria and don’t tick all the boxes, including attaching all the required documents, such as your insurance certificates, you won’t get past the first assessment stage.

Companies that submit successful tenders, including successful government tenders, understand this and make sure they’ve covered everything off. They leave enough time for a double-check that every question in the tender response schedules has been answered and that all the documents are properly referenced in their tender response and attached.

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 those are the rules!

To be on the safe side, assume the person evaluating your bid knows nothing about you or your business. This is true even if you are the incumbent. The procurement team assessing your tender at the first stage may not be familiar with your company and its relationship with their organisation.

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 copy edit the tender to ensure every section sounds focused and tight. In other words, that it speaks with the right tone and voice of your business and that it reads as written by one person. Sometimes tenders that have lots of contributors are a mangled mess of different “voices”. There’s no coherence to the content.

If the bid is important enough to you, investing in copy editing and proofreading services will be money well spent.

Each year, Proof Communications’ clients win millions of dollars in new business from the tenders we write for them to government, listed and private companies.

Contact us now to learn how we can help you win more contracts too.

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