The most common questions we hear as tender writers (including “how do I win a tender?”)

What do people ask us most about tender writing?

As tender writers, we’re naturally asked lots of questions about writing tenders especially, of course, how to win tenders!

If you have lots of questions about whether your business should be responding to tenders, here are some of the most common questions we’re asked about responding to tenders.

1. Do you have to be a large company to respond to tenders?

Not at all. Some of our clients are start-ups and single-owner businesses. Most are SMEs, many with less than 10 staff. What they all share in common is the drive to grow their businesses. For them, winning tenders is an important part of their business development strategy.

The success that our clients enjoy when using our tender writing services shows that it doesn’t matter what size your business, it’s how you complete the tender response schedules that’s important. This includes having a clear value proposition, excellent quality writing that answers all the questions, and making sure that all the compliance requirements and evaluation criteria are covered off properly.

2. Will I win?

This is an important question and one that any tender writer worth their weight in gold will answer.

Any business submitting a tender wants to win the contract. Otherwise, why bother? And of course, you’ve got to be in it to win it.

Winning a tender is down to many variables. And it all starts with your Bid/No Bid decision.

The Bid/No Bid process

Companies that win tenders choose to respond only to requests for tenders (RFT) and requests for proposals (RFP) that are strategically important for their business and for which they fulfil all the evaluation criteria including the right experience and resources.

This means only submitting tenders to:

  • Organisations that you’ve been targeting
  • Industries that you’ve been targeting
  • Or for services that you excel at delivering.

Tender-winning companies use the Bid/No Bid decision-making process to decide whether or not to proceed with a tender response. This process can take as little as 5-minutes or many hours, depending on the nature of the tender and that of the business considering the tender opportunity.

What is the Bid/No Bid process?

The Bid/No Bid decision-making process is simply a review of the request for tender or proposal (RFT/RFP) and how it aligns with the company’s strategic direction. For example, the Bid/No Bid process will ask:

  • Is the RFP or RFT for a service that we can provide?
  • Do we have the resources to deliver the service if we win the tender?
  • Do we fulfil all the evaluation criteria. For instance, if the RFT says it is mandatory to have ISO 9001:2015 and your company doesn’t have this, you can’t tender.
  • Is the potential client or its industry one of our target clients/industries?
  • Who will we be competing against?
  • What value propositions can we make in our tender to make us the first choice?

3. If I decide to tender, what else can influence my opportunity to win?

As mentioned, there are many variables influencing the outcome of a tender. You don’t necessarily know who you will be competing against, what they may offer as value propositions, their experience and of course, their pricing.

But don’t let that put you off. They don’t know what you’re offering either!

If your Bid/No Bid decision results in you deciding to tender, the good news is that you can maximise your opportunity for a successful tender result by following our guidelines, which we share with our clients. These are:

  • Become very familiar with all the tender requirements first: read the RFT or RFP carefully. Know the key information, such as due date, any required attachment (e.g. certificates of currency), if any plans are required (e.g. transition-in plan). Knowing the tender inside-out is half the battle.
  • Understand the compliance requirements: Similar to the point above, making sure your tender complies with all the requirements stated in the RFT or RFP is vital. Most tenders are rejected by procurement because they fail to fulfil all the compliance. For example, the tenderer has forgotten to attach their certificates of currency or their Quality Policy.
  • Decide upon your value propositions: During your Bid/No Bid decision-making you may have determined the value propositions that you will present in your tender response. If not, do this before you start writing your response. Successful tenders have 3 or so key selling points or value propositions that they articulate in the executive summary and throughout the tender. This presents a consistent theme to the procurement team reviewing your tender; it enables them to understand quickly what it is you are offering and why it will benefit their organisation.
  • Answer the questions properly. This might sound obvious but few tenderers do it well. Don’t waffle on about your business. Address the point or points made in the question. In your response refer to the organisation that’s issued the tender and how your service will benefit them or the results or outcomes that you will deliver.

For instance, if you are tendering to the Australian Government and the RFT asks you to describe your capability and capacity to deliver the service, break your response into two:

  • Firstly describe your capability. Capability means that you are capable of delivering the service. Describe your skill sets; experience or track record; your locations; any accreditations, certifications including ISO; your internal processes (e.g. quality control).
  • Second, describe your capacity. Your capacity means that you have the capacity to deliver the service. This is down to your people, software or other technology, your methodology or delivery process and plan, and your availability.
  • Pricing: This is always a tricky one but the rule of thumb is to present your best offer. Successful tenderers’ pricing is in the lower half of all the pricing presented by all tenderers. Of course, you can’t know what other tenderers will offer, and if they will cut their prices to help win the job. But you must be confident that you can deliver at the price you are offering.

4. Should I ask a professional tender writer to help me?

Using professional tender writers means you’ll find the tender responses process to be far less stressful as they will reduce your tender work load. Plus, you’ll have a much better opportunity for success. A tender writer will manage and write a high quality tender response for your business and addresses all the evaluation criteria. They’ll make sure too that all the compliance is addressed.

Many organisations choose to work with Tender Writers because they are tired of writing tenders that don’t win, or because they have to submit tenders but don’t have enough in-house resources to support tender writing.

Tender Writers guarantees a significant improvement in the quality of your tenders that will improve your chances of winning.

When you invest in Tender Writers’ services, you’ll be supported by expert tender writers with a highly-specialised skill set and tender management processes honed through two decades of helping businesses win contracts with large companies and the government.

The good news is that once we’ve worked with you writing tenders, you’ll have excellent content that you can easily recycle for future tenders without needing our input.

Or, you can use the tender content we’ve created for you to write the response to your next tender and have us review, edit and proofread the draft. That way, you’ll be confident that you’ve answered all the questions properly, and that the English is spot-on.

As well as writing tender responses for clients, there are other ways Tender Writers can help you improve your tenders:

  • Reviewing, editing and proofreading tenders you have drafted
  • Auditing your recent past tenders to help you improve your future tenders
  • Writing complying policies and procedures to support your tenders

5. How much do tender writers charge?

Tender writing fees are based on two factors:

  1. The complexity of the request for tender. That is, the number of documents comprising the RFT, the number of questions to be answered, the number of policies or plans to be included.
  2. How much information you already have to hand. The more you can provide, the better. This could be previous tenders or proposals, capability statements, website content.

However, many clients don’t have much information to share with us. We mostly source the information we need to write tenders during telephone or videoconference meetings. Our aim is for our clients to not have to write anything.

To provide you with a proposal for tender writing, Tender Writers needs to review the Request for Tender or Proposal documents and confirm the information and resource you have available.

As a general guide, tender writing costs range significantly. Many clients find that they need more help with writing tenders than they realise at the outside.

Fees mostly range from $3,000 to $7,000, but some tenders can go up to $20,000 plus GST or more, although this is very unusual.

It’s important to keep in mind the value of the tender to your business if you win:

  • How much revenue will the tender win generate over what timeframe?
  • What will be your return on investment?

This will help you determine the investment you’re prepared to make to be in the very best position to win.

Our Tender Audits are completed for a fixed fee.

Contact us about tender writing today

Whether you’re writing a government tender for the first time, or if this is your hundredth tender submission, 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 or 0448 566 377 to learn what we can do for your business.

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