How do I tender for contracts?

How do I tender for contracts?



How do I tender for contracts?

When supplying goods or services to other businesses or the public sector submitting a tender is a common process. Formal tenders often apply to bigger contracts but at basic level you would be expected to give a quote and or reasons why you should be given the contract. Public sector work will have a specific tendering process such as Government and hospital departments.  By setting out what you are aiming for will help you with your profile, you can then identify your strengths and weaknesses


How do I Find out about contracts?


In the public sector most contracts can be found in local papers and trade magazines. Also looking for online Government tender notices.  Building relationships with potential customers is also key.  Most business leads come from networking getting your name recognised in your industry.  Following up reports on business expanding or relocating – show them how you can help them.


Bidding for a Tender


Preparing tenders can be expensive and can tie up a lot of resources.  If you fail to win a tender it can mean you will be out of pocket so weighing up if a tender is worth going after should be well thought through.  Firstly, make sure you have the tools, skill and technology requirements. Would the work available fit in with your strategy of your business?  Money is a big factor, setting out an estimate on the costs of fulfilling the contract will let you see if it is even profitable in doing so. Also, you will need to consider how this contract would affect your staffing and timescales.


Knowing What the customer wants


Finding out the exact customers requirements will need a meeting or telephone call. You should always raise questions by telephone or email.  Make sure the tender documents are clear and you have your timescales correct.




 How to set out your Tender


The potential client needs to have faith that you can carry out what you have advertised to them. Talk about their needs and how you can problem solve.  Write about yourself your strengths, skills and experience show that you can fulfil their requirements. If the client has set out their own document, make sure you cover everything they have listed.

Analyse your pricing, being cheaper isn’t always the right approach.  If possible add something your competitors aren’t.  Highlight business benefits, service improvements, risk reduction, low maintenance, quality, reliability, previous satisfied customers, lifetime costs, etc.  Lay out your contract management to show you have the properties to do the work in a profitable way to meet the client's needs, hit deadlines and respond compliantly to changing situations.


Writing your Tender


Research is key when writing your tender. A good starting point is to make a list of questions you would ask if a company was submitting a tender to provide a product or service to you.  Your client will expect you to know the purpose of the bid.  As a contractor you should list your experience and credentials for this job.  Be specific in how you will carry out the work and how it will meet the client’s needs.  Explain how you are good value for money while not compromising on timescales or responsibilities.

Explain how you will manage the contract, detail when and how goods and services are to be delivered and provide a time scale.  Show your teams skills and experience of similar work. Add in your employees’ successes with similar projects as well as qualifications and experience.


Spend time on your presentation, small bullet point makes easier reading than a mass of text. Adding in a contents page makes it easy to navigate. Proof reading is essential for grammar and spelling mistakes. Above all make sure your tender is delivered on time, if you don’t make the deadline it is unlikely that you would be even considered as a candidate.


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