Should you respond to a request for tender?

Should you respond to a request for tender? Making the Yes/No decision

Tender writing takes a lot of time and effort with no guarantee of success. So when a request for tender or a request for proposal comes your way, it makes sense to take a little time – even a few minutes will do – to think about whether to respond or not.

It’s natural as a business to want to maximise every opportunity. The pipeline is essential, after all. If you’re tasked with writing a tender, as the tender writer you want to be confident that your business stands a chance of winning before you invest time and money in responding to the tender or proposal opportunity.

Questions to consider when deciding to tender or not

The tender or proposal Bid/No Bid process, also known as the Yes/No decision and the Go/No Go decision, is quick, straightforward and very worthwhile.

Here are a few questions to ask yourself when deciding whether to respond to a tender or proposal:

1. Is the organisation that’s issued the tender a good fit for your business? Very simply, is working with this organisation or their industry one of your company’s strategic goals? If not, don’t be waylaid by responding to the tender. Stay focused on your strategic goals.

2. Does your company meet all the assessment criteria set out in the request for tender or request for proposal? Do you have the right experience, for example?

3. Can you meet all the compliance requirements in the tender? For instance, do you have the right insurances, and policies such as WHS and risk management? Are you able to prepare an Indigenous Participation Plan?

4. If you’re not a tender writer, do you have an internal or an external tender writer or other staff with the skills and time to write an excellent, compliant, on-time tender response?

5. If you are successful, will you have sufficient resources to deliver the service, product or project to the client’s expectations?

6. Would winning the tender mean greater financial outlay, such as taking on additional staff or moving to larger premises? In other words, can you afford to win?

Better results – more tender wins

Taking even a few minutes to answer these questions will help you to decide whether responding to the tender will be worthwhile. Companies that go through the Yes/No decision making process quickly find that they stop responding to every request for tender or request for proposal that comes their way. They become choosier about which tenders, proposals and bids to go for. And that makes them better tender writers, more focused on writing successful tenders, with better outcomes as a result.

For help with your tenders, contact Proof Communications on 02 8036 5532 or 0411 123 216 or go to

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