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Like any great recipe it’s all in the preparation – are you tender ready?

Now, more than ever, precious opportunities to secure revenue for your organisation through tendering are scarce and very competitive. Once you’ve discovered a request for tender (RFT) your organisation is perfect for you need to be 100% ready to win it. In order to ensure you’re in the best position to win any bid, you need to start preparing way before you pen a single word. Some of our recommendations for improved success are:

Build strong past-performance data

To date, we’ve not known any organisation to win a tender on the back of poor past performance. But they’ve tried. Regardless of how good you are at spin, your KPI data for the past 12 months needs to meet the minimum requirements outlined in the RFT you’re about to apply for. If you haven’t delivered the product or service on time or to the prescribed specifications for this client, it just isn’t worth bidding. In order to set yourself up for continued and sustainable business success, you need to meet or exceed KPIs set by your clients. This will not only provide you with an outstanding track record when you re-tender with this client again, but also provide you with a valuable reference site and testimonial for prospects.

Research your competitors

Don’t be shocked when you get to the tender box to submit your bid just before closing time to find it already full and overflowing. In most cases, you're going to be tendering against a variety of organisations every time. You can get a good idea of the identity of other contenders by attending the tender briefing, if offered. How can you differentiate your offer without knowing who you’re up against? Do you know how your pricing compares to the market average? How many of those other submissions are local companies best suited to service the client? Use your (legal) private investigator skills to find out as much as you can about potential competitors and ensure you can offer a better value proposition.

Get your house in order

Spending the last day before a tender is due trying to get a copy of your product liability insurance certificate of currency is not the best use of your time. Practically every request for tender will ask for base information about your company. If it’s ready and up to date, it’s one less thing to write when you’re time poor and trying to get your tender ready for submission. These items could include insurance, org charts, company history, staff photos and profiles, product descriptions and financial statements. Design and maintain a tender content library – it will save you time and sanity in the long run.

This is a small taste of the content presented in our half-day, public “Tender Readiness” workshop to be held in November 2014 (date TBA). To be informed of event details once confirmed, please email us at with your expression of interest.

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