How to tender for business
Are you wondering how to tender for business? If you haven’t considered tendering for contracts as a viable way to grow your business, you should. It’s highly competitive, so you want to make sure your bid is the best it can be. You want to stand out from your competitors.
Here are our top seven tips to help your tender for business stand out…
Plan your response
A winning bid response is all in the planning. A buyer can tell straight away if a response has been meticulously planned over those that are rushed.
Once an ITT (invitation to tender) is released, it’s a good idea to work backwards from the submission date. If it’s a DPS or framework, it could be a good idea to set yourself your own submission deadline. This can help you stay focused and motivated.
A lot of businesses think due to the rolling deadline that they can submit it whenever. Then, before you know it, the deadline comes around and everyone rushes their response.
Do your research on the buyer
When you tender for business, you should do your research on the buyer. This can help you plan your tender response. The commissioner may have certain targets or objectives they need to meet each year when doing business. This gives you an advantage as a small business. This is because many businesses and public entities have targets to work with SMEs.
Additionally, smaller businesses are likely to be more sustainable. You may be using environmentally friendly cleaning products or working towards being carbon neutral/negative. Working with businesses that do this is a big bonus for bigger businesses or public entities.
Tailor your case studies and testimonials
It’s common for buyers to ask for up to three case studies when you tender for business. These should be within the last three to five years. They must be similar in scope and style to the contract that you’re going for.
Including a positive testimonial from a past client can help build your reputation. However, bear in mind the word count. If you do this, you may also need to include the contact details of the client. This is because a buyer will likely want to check you aren’t fabricating this.
Another way to strengthen your case studies is by including how you overcame any challenges. This will demonstrate your problem-solving skills and flexibility. Both of these are essential to fulfilling a business contract.
Make sure you have the relevant qualifications and accreditations
When bidding on contracts, it’s important to include the relevant qualifications and accreditations. You should check you have these before you even consider applying for an opportunity. Reading the specification thoroughly can help as it will detail what you will need. Even if it’s 80 pages.
Sticking to the format doesn’t have to be boring
One of the biggest challenges you may face when you tender for business is standing out from your competitors. Due to the competitive nature of tendering, it’s only natural. You may have stellar responses, but sometimes that isn’t enough. The way you convey and display it can make a big difference.
This is where formatting comes in. The way your format your tender for business, there are multiple ways you can get into the buyers’ good books.
- Use bullet points and subheadings. This can break up blocks of text and this can really help, and a buyer will thank you for that. They’re likely to subconsciously favour a response that’s broken up than one that’s block text.
- Stick to the format. The formatting guidelines will be outlined in the specification. It’s important that you stick to these. They’ll likely state the font type and size. Make sure you adhere to the formatting rules on tables. Buyers can be particularly pernickety about these.
- Think about design. Although buyers are strict about formatting, that doesn’t mean that it has to look boring. You should consider including your brand colours and logo in your proposal. This can help your response stand out from others.
Present added value
Another way you can improve your response when you tender for business is by presenting added value. Buyers are always keeping an eye out for responses that demonstrate added value. This is because they are wanting to get the most value for money.
In the public sector, contracts are awarded to the most economically advantageous tender (MEAT). This is when the bid is assessed on more than just price. Innovation, ability to deliver on time and sustainability could be key factors considered in your response. Added value builds on this.
You should ask yourself how you’re going to add value to the buyer. It’s not enough to just meet the requirements. You need to state how you as a business as a whole can benefit them.
Be united when it comes to company CVs
When you tender for business, you may be required to include company CVs in your response. It really shows attention to detail to present them uniformly. Imagine you’re the buyer. You’re faced with a tender response from a business that contains 10 different CVs, and they all look different.
Then, the next response has 10 uniformly formatted CVs. You’re going to think the latter has put more effort into consistency. Taking the time to do this can really strengthen your bid when you tender for business.
Remember to keep them personable. It’s always a nice touch to include a professional yet friendly-looking photo of the team member. This way they can put a face to the name. Include all the key and relevant experience and qualifications and their role in this project. This can help you gain a buyers trust by showing their capabilities.
Hopefully, you now have a better idea of how to stand out from the crowd when you tender for business. You should be looking to create a uniform approach in the way you represent your brand. Just because you have to adhere to formatting doesn’t mean your response has to be boring. You can jazz it up with brand colours.
Presenting added value will never go amiss with any buyer. If they can get more value for their money, they’ll favour you over your competitors.
Need assistance with your next tender?
Although you’re a bit more familiar with what’s required, you might still be looking for some support with your tender. Writing isn’t everyone’s strong suit and that’s ok. Outsourcing to bid writing specialists can help you secure that next contract and grow your business.
Here at Hudson Succeed, we pride ourselves on being bid writing experts. We hold an 87% success rate and have over 60 years of collective bid writing experience.
We offer four levels of bid writing support to suit every business need. You may not need the whole tender written for you; you may simply need it proofread before you submit. We can help with that.