OK, so you’ve cottoned onto the fact that there is money to be made by winning tenders. Your business is going pretty well; you’re ready to take things to the next level. Here are some aspects of getting onto the tender merry-go-round that you need to consider before you get started writing tenders.
You cannot ‘dip your toe in’
Commit to tackling the request for tender fully or don’t do it at all. Taking a half-hearted approach will come through loud and clear in your tender and it won’t get past first base. Wasted effort all round.
Can you do it all?
Can you honestly say that your business can deliver every single thing that the request for tender is asking for? If you’re not able to produce evidence of being able to meet key criteria in the tender, leave the table now. If you think you can make up in one service area what you lack in another, jog on. Seriously.
How much time do you have?
Writing a tender response takes time. A lot of it. Tenders, especially government tenders, can be very lengthy and complex, requiring a considerable investment in time and resources to do justice to the response. Remember that your colleagues you’ll almost certainly be asking to help you also have a normal workload to deal with, too.
If you know the value of the contract, check it against your turnover. Sometimes a contract value that equates to a large proportion of your turnover can count against you in the selection process.
What’s the cost to you?
You need to do your sums and work out whether winning the tender would actually be beneficial to your business in the long run. If it’s touch and go as to whether it would be, then maybe you should give this one a miss.
Will your customers suffer?
Assume you win. If heaps of your resources now need to be diverted just to satisfy this one contract, will you be letting your loyal customers down in any regard at all? Be confident that winning the tender will enhance your business offering, not detract from it.
Price is so not everything
Many tenderers present a super-keen price and wonder why they didn’t win. Surely they were the obvious choice, no? Nope. The prospect may be looking for a cost-effective solution, but they’re also looking for far more than that. They’re looking for value for money. When writing a tender, make an offer that’s well rounded and strong in more than one aspect, especially if your trump card is price.