Tender writing basics – follow the guidelines

Tendering can, for some, be overwhelming, off-putting even, but when broken down it is just a piece of work that, with the right approach, could open up many new doors for your company. Here we aim to demystify the process by outlining seven tender writing basics, follow the guidelines that if tackled correctly could see you emerge the winner. Allow us to elaborate…

One: Prepare yourself To have a library of documents that are ‘good to go’ will give you a head-start on many of your competitors. These should include documented evidence of your business processes and procedures and updated versions of all your company policies.

Two: To bid or not to bid Selecting the right tender is critical and by following a simple set of rules (listed in detail in our ‘Seven things you simply must do…’ guide) you can narrow down your search and focus your attention on those within your reach.

Essentially, only bid for those that are achievable within the scope of your existing finances, that won’t impact on your ability to fulfil your existing workload and those for which you have existing experience within your company.

Three: Prepare your bid First of all it’s important to understand the key objectives and focus your responses around them. Then put together a team with the appropriate skills and delegate accordingly. Break the tender down into bit sized pieces and decide who is best suited to each bit.

And, finally, compile a detailed work plan, which includes a timeline of activities required to complete the tender documents well before the submission deadline.

Four: The price is right Possibly the most important aspect of your bid. Get your pricing right and the contract could be yours but get it wrong and even the most aesthetically pleasing set of bid documents will be insufficient to win.

Again it comes down to preparing your bid and the associated numbers with meticulous care.

It may also prove useful to do some competitor analysis and gain an understanding into the typically charges for your industry.

Five: Check and check again Obvious maybe, but it’s imperative that before you submit your bid it is checked thoroughly.

It’s a good idea to get a ‘third party’ to check the documents and ensure that all questions have been answered to an appropriate level, as per the original Invitation to Tender.

It is very difficult to proofread your own work and a simple typo really can make the difference between the 1-point that secures the contract.

Six: Timing is everything Another obvious one. But when a deadline is set for a tender submission, it must be adhered to. No ifs or buts. Miss the deadline and your bid will be deemed non-compliant.

Seven: Presentation time The final hurdle. If there is not a clear winner, then the shortlisted candidates will be asked to present their bid to the evaluation team. If you are one, make it concise, informative and interesting and you’ll be almost there.