When done properly, tendering can be a great way to secure new business, and retain existing clients for your business. No matter what industry you’re in, or the size of your business, tendering could be a great option for you.
Public sector organisations have to demonstrate value for money in their procurement, whilst trying to support SMEs and local businesses. However, they can’t just give work to small, local businesses, suppliers must demonstrate their competence, and ability to deliver the goods/services, and that they comply with all the necessary laws and regulations.
Here are some handy tips to help you in your next bid.
- Be selective: bidding everything is not a sensible approach. Only bid for work that fits within the core offering of your business, and that you can demonstrate your experience and ability in this field. Read the tender documents, and understand the specification before you start writing a bid, and see if it is suitable. Also consider the contract size, if your business has a £250,000 turnover but the contact is for £10 Million, you’re likely going to struggle in demonstrating your ability to undertake the work.
- Be sure to read (and follow) the instructions: ensure you follow the word/character counts, font size, layout, document margins, file format, deadline instructions. If you don’t your tender is likely to be rejected, or severely marked down. Double, and triple check everything before you submit your bid.
- Don’t include generic company information or glossy brochures, unless you have been specifically asked to do so (which is almost never). Don’t cut and paste from any marketing/promotional material into your bid, these won’t be written to answer the questions in the bid.
- Always say “yes” when asked if you have a policy: bids often ask if you have company policies, such as business continuity, environment, equality & diversity. To be “pass” you must answer yes. If you don’t currently have these policies (or they are not up to date), then you’re likely not adhering to the law any way. Get these policies, so that you can answer “yes”.
- Ensure your case studies are brief, specific, and relevant: ensure you make them relevant to the requirements of the bid. Split the case study into sections: “Background/Introduction, Key Challenges, Solutions, Outcomes and Lessons Learned. Bullet points can help you communicate the message more clearly, use specific, measurable outcomes (eg. budget saving of 7% found). Other answers within the bid should contain references to previous examples too, this helps to demonstrate your other points and show you really know what you’re talking about.
- Show how you can “add value” to the contract: with no, or limited additional costs. Added value can be things like finding efficiencies in processes, exceeding required Service Level Agreements (SLAs), knowledge transfer, training packages, and social value.
If you’re struggling with winning bids, or you’re not sure where to start, our team of expert bid writers can help you develop a winning strategy. Click here to get in touch for a no obligation discussion on how we can help your business secure more business.