Many businesses will have to experience tendering for contracts in some shape or form. This can cover applying to supply goods or services either to other businesses or the government. At a basic level it could include a quote for a job or a proposal stating why you should be given the business. However, the public sector or large corporate companies have more complex tendering or bidding processes.
Whatever your industry, whatever the process, there are some common success factors for tender writing. If you are involved in tendering for contracts and want to do everything you can to be successful, you should consider the following 6 top tender writing tips:
- Be prepared! Try and be tender-ready, with your business particulars all in order. This helps to take the pressure off when having to respond to tight deadlines. It might include developing and maintaining a Workplace Health & Safety Plan or a Quality Assurance Plan.
- Make sure you respond to the tender specification! Most government tenders or large corporate tenders provide documentation packs. These often include Specs or Requests for Proposals which outline what they are asking for. There are three simple steps you can follow to ensure you cover what is required:
- STEP 1 – If using a portal or online form, copy and paste the full question into Microsoft Word first to draft your response. Put the questions in bold to differentiate between your answers. Once you are happy with your responses you can paste this back into the form.
- STEP 2 – Read and re-read the specification setting out what they are asking of you (this will be outlined in the tender documentation) and highlight or underline each element.
- STEP 3 – Use these highlighted or underlined sections as headings to include in your responses, making sure you cover all elements of the spec fully.
- Sell yourself! Refer to your experience and give examples – providing quality case studies and/or references. Make sure that you include information on your relevant licences, awards and accreditation. Research what sets you apart from your competitors; this is what stands out the most when tender documentation is being compared. Highlight how your company will add value and include how your services positively differ to those of your competitors. Keep it factual through and avoid using general marketing fluff!
- Write in detail! Answer each question comprehensively. It is important to make sure that you answer the question that has been asked – not the question you wish you had been asked!
- Allow time! Set time aside for double checking – get someone else to proof read for accuracy, spelling, grammar, punctuation. Cross reference once again with the specification. Have you covered everything? Do not underestimate the time it will take you to do this well. Set aside plenty of time early in the process and find somewhere quiet where you will not be disturbed to complete this work.
- If in doubt, get help! Call a consultancy such as The Tender Team for assistance. They can ensure the highest quality submission, removing any mistakes and allowing you to strengthen any weak areas of the bid in order to have the best chance of winning.