6 Things Beginners Need to Know About Writing Tenders

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  • About Tenders

When you’re first starting out with tendering for new business, knowing where to start from and what to do can get very confusing very fast. And with all the terminology and jargon used in tendering, knowing where to go and who to ask when you have any questions can be like looking for the Minotaur in a Labyrinth. How does an RFT differ from an EOI? What is a PQQ and what do the terms ‘procurement’, ‘vendor’ and ‘framework agreement’ refer to when it comes to the tendering process?

While Google can be a great source of finding out the meaning of everything you’re unsure of, for more technical questions, it is always best to turn to the experts. Every tender request has an option for you to submit your questions and the people on the evaluator panel will get back to you with an answer to your question. Please note that this answer will be visible to every company applying for the tender. If you’re still unclear about something, turn to the experts at Bidsmith, a professional company for tenders in Melbourne with years of experience writing tenders for various industries including government, Defence, construction and more.

Before you start writing your first tender proposal, read on to find out the top things to know for beginners when it comes to the tendering process:

Read each question carefully

A major mistake many first-time tender preparers make is assuming they know what a question means. If you have even the slightest bit of doubt about a question, don’t hesitate to ask for clarification! It’s infinitely worse to get the answer wrong than worrying about wasting an evaluator’s time by asking too many questions.

Include all necessary details

Almost every tender application will include a list of basic information about you and your business that is necessary for qualification. This may vary from tender to tender, but most of them will require the following:

  • A company profile and capability statement
  • Your ABN
  • A price list for the services or products you are offering (fixed or variable), and a breakdown of your quoted prices, including GST and other taxes the buyer is likely to pay
  • A proposed schedule
  • Applicable insurances
  • Any necessary licences and certifications required to conduct the job
  • Intellectual property rights, where applicable.

Leave no question unanswered

Even if a question seems repetitive, take the opportunity to present your answer in a different way. Because most tender documents have strict word limits, you may use what seems like the same question asked in a different way to further elaborate on your first answer. Do not copy-paste the same answer. Go over each part of your tender response and match it to the tender documents to ensure you haven’t accidentally left a question unanswered.

Answer the selection criteria succinctly

Meeting the selection criteria is what will get your proposal through the first round of evaluations, which is why it is so important to pay close attention to this section. Read the questions carefully and answer them as succinctly as possible. Rambling on and on, or failing to meet the stipulated requirements will indicate a failure to follow directions. Also make sure you stick to the template provided and don’t change it by even a word, even if it has a spelling or grammar mistake.

Prior experience matters

If you’re a completely new company hoping to bid for a government tender but have no prior experience to prove your ability to get the job done, it’s highly unlikely that you’ll win the contract. For newer companies, it is always best to bid for smaller contracts and get some experience under their belt before setting their sights on larger projects. Because tender preparation is a highly time and resource-consuming process, bidding for contracts you have little to no chances of winning will only result in a waste of time and resources.

If you have previously worked on similar contracts, make sure to mention these in your proposal, and also provide contact details for your previous clients. Examples are the best way of showing a client that you have what it takes to get the job done.

Don’t forget to proofread

How terrible would it be if you lost out on a proposal you were sure you’d win only because you let spelling errors, grammatical mistakes or typos slip through? While a single typo or two is not likely to get your proposal disqualified, it does leave a bad impression on the evaluator. Your ability to pay attention to detail is brought into question, which may as well cost you the entire tender.

Before submitting your tender in Melbourne, consider getting in touch with the tender experts at Bidsmith. From proofreading your tender, to guiding you through the entire process from selecting the right tender for you, preparing the necessary documents and writing the proposal, our experts are here for you.