In simple terms, a tender is a formal offer to perform work. Many industries use the tendering process in order to advertise key projects via a ‘Tender Request’ (similar to a job advertisement) and invite parties to express their interest by submitting a ‘Response to Tender’.
The response usually contains answers to critical questions regarding timelines, budgets and scope of work. Tendering is a highly competitive process and a ‘Response to Tender’ is the main opportunity that your business has to sell their capabilities and quality of work.
A ‘Response to Tender’ can be anywhere from a page or two to hundreds of pages long, depending on the size of the project. Tendering can be a costly undertaking, which is why it’s a good idea to enter the process with as much knowledge as possible. Keep reading to discover our top tender writing tips for newcomers to the tendering process.
Provide all relevant details
Most tender applications will include a list of basic information about your business that must be included in order for it to be considered. This may vary from tender to tender but usually consists of the following:
- Your ABN
- Company profile and capability statement
- The price for the product or service you will be providing (including whether this is fixed or variable)
- A proposed schedule
- GST and other taxes
- Applicable insurances
- Intellectual property rights (where relevant)
Answer the selection criteria
The selection criteria will contain specific questions about your company’s ability to undertake the advertised work. It is important that you read these questions carefully and answer them as succinctly as possible — failure to do so will suggest that you struggle to follow directions. Identify what aspects of product/service delivery are most important to the client and ensure that you structure your response around these.
Examples are the easiest way to indicate to the client that you are suitable for the advertised project. Reference past projects that your business has completed and if asked, include reference contact details. Be sure to reach out to your references first to check that they are happy to provide a positive recommendation, otherwise this tactic may work against you!
Structure your response correctly
Many tender applications have a specific format that you must follow when structuring your response. Do not make any changes to the template document (not even spelling and grammar!) and answer questions in the order they have been provided.
If there is no template, structure your response in an organised and logical order with clear headings and consistent formatting.
The last step and possibly the most important — proofreading. Your business may be perfectly suited to the advertised project but small, silly grammar and editing errors have the potential to bring your entire application undone.
Consider having someone else in your company (or even a professional proofreader) to conduct a final check before you submit the document. A fresh pair of eyes will be able to read for mistakes and also ensure there is tonal consistency across the entire application.
The number one tender writing tip? Consider reaching out for professional advice when completing your next tender application. With extensive industry experience, Bidsmith are bid and tender management experts and will be able to assist you in all stages of the tender application process.
Contact us to find out more by exploring our website or contacting us on 1300 243 294 to find out how we can assist your specific needs today.