Tender writing is a process that requires a significant amount of work and effort. Many different departments of your organisation must be mobilised to create a single tender proposal. This is why a reactive approach to tender writing never works, and why the tender consultants at Bidsmith suggest asking yourself the following questions to determine if you’re ready to write your first tender proposal:
Realistically, what are your chances of winning this tender?
At Bidsmith, we call this the “Go / No Go” decision. By looking carefully at the tender documents and analysing the details of the contract, you can quite easily discover if you have any chance at winning the tender and whether this proposal is something that you may want to spend time and resources on.
To make a Go/No Go decision, the first thing to look at is the mandatory requirements of the tender. These might include some licences or certifications. If your company does not meet these, there’s no point in progressing any further with tendering, as just an initial evaluation will render your proposal ineligible. Second, check the evaluation criteria. This will outline the areas that the evaluator will be focusing on and scoring. Look at your business from the lens of an outsider and judge how well you meet those criteria. This is where Bidsmith’s tender consultants can provide an objective and professional opinion.
Do you have the resources to complete a project of this magnitude?
Do you have the time, money and resources to meet the deadlines and requirements specified in the tender? Do you have the budget to cater to any unplanned expenses that may arise when completing the project? These may include hiring external advisors or paying for additional licences or services. Over time, these expenses can add up and blow your budgets out of proportion.
Continuing from the previous point, it is always best to consider your profit margins when making a bid. Calculate the man-hours required to complete the project and add 20%. If you’re still making a decent profit, go ahead with submitting your proposal. Additionally, if the tender contract’s value exceeds more than 20-30% of your entire turnover, you might not even be considered for the project, as the buyer may consider it too big for the company to handle. A buyer needs to be sure that the organisation they’re choosing has the money and resources to complete the project and not get bankrupt in the process.
Not to mention, the tender proposal writing process itself can be highly time and resource-consuming. Can you spare the manpower it takes to conduct adequate research, plan and propose a game plan and create a compelling proposal?
What is your USP? How do you stand out from the rest of the competitors?
When it comes to government tenders, there are likely going to be hundreds, if not thousands, of competitors trying to win the same project. What is the one thing that sets you apart from all the other companies offering the same services as you? This is something that every service provider should think of before they start writing their proposal, instead of getting two-thirds of the way in and then realising that another competitor is offering exactly the same services you are.
Do you have any case studies from the industry you want to work in?
Most tenders ask for industry-specific experience to ensure you know and have what it takes to complete the project. Think carefully about the projects you have completed in the past. How do they compare to this particular tender? Is there any job that you have completed that may not be directly related to your buyer’s industry, but is an example of a similar problem you solved for another industry? It may also be helpful to be able to show relevant references from previous clients that prove you can complete the project. If you’re struggling to find at least 3 relevant case studies or transferable skills, it might be a good idea to reconsider tendering for the project.
How Bidsmith can help
Professional tender consultants and writers can take the guesswork out of the tendering process by analysing your proposal to see how likely you are to win the contract. The team at Bidsmith has previously been part of evaluator panels, which gives us insight into the tendering process from both sides of the coin. With experience writing tenders for over 50 different industries and the knowledge gained from being on evaluator panels, we can ensure you land every tender you send a proposal to.
Whether you’d like impartial advice on your tender proposal or would like someone to go over your proposal, or even if you’d like your response written by an expert, reach out to us and we’ll help with whatever you need!