Are you the kind of person who has been put in charge of seeking out tenders and trying to get new projects onboard? While it should be a relatively straightforward process, you can find yourself wanting to bang your head against the wall at times. Tender Process.
Even with government changes seeing more small businesses get the opportunity to apply for tenders. The Supplier Questionnaire coming in to play, those of us in the construction industry know all too well the hang-ups there are in getting everything for tenders and making sure that any potential sniff of a project can turn in to something tangible for your business.
So what can be done to simplify the tender process and save you time usually wasted trawling through the tender’s nitty-gritty details? Here are some tips to make life easier and hopefully get access to a broader range of projects.
Tip 1: Get someone else to write it
We all know that. And if you don’t know the lingo so well, you can waste time trying to get yours ready. Suppose you’re relatively new or think you could do better. In that case, it’s good to know that businesses out there provide tendering writing servicesand training to help companies with a lack of resource get tenders in order.
Some of the leading companies providing this kind of service include:
• Thornton & Lowe
I recommend looking to see if any local business groups provide tender training or help you get in touch with other local companies who know their way around a tender quickly. For example, companies based in Scotland can get local help from a government body like SDP Scotland to see what the businesses in the area wantto see in their tenders.
Tip 2: Narrow down exactly what you want
A needle in a haystack would be an understated way of trying to describe the tender process for novices.
Tools like Copronet can help you finesse the landscape down to tenders that fit your company’s size and your speciality. So if you’re a retail outfitter in Bristol with a company size of 15 who can only work within a 50 miles radius, or a Belfast based subcontractors who only want to see NI based tenders, use a tool like this to narrow down the noise to pick out those nuggets that a company needs.
Tip 3: Scope out your scope
Scoping out how you envision a tender can be one of the most significant pain points of the process. Don’t go hiding it in the murky depths of your application.
You can keep the breakdown in your scope as detailed as you like. But you still need that “explain like I’m five” element to your proposal.
Tip 4: Ditch the calendar
Did you hear the one about the tender that was awarded on time?
Tenders will tend to promise the moon and the stars by setting key project points against a specific date. This is a bad idea as it can put a fuse against your work. Especially if you start a project way beyond the initial start date.
Flip the switch and set project milestones on a timed basis, rather than date. If the project doesn’t start until June 15th. Your timeline doesn’t look out of sync anymore and relieves some pressure on promises made.
Tip 5: Ask what went wrong
How many of us will submit a tender, hear it wasn’t awarded, and then move on? Instead of wondering why you didn’t get the work, be brave and enquire. If there was anything in you tender that rang alarm bells or didn’t seem right.
Getting independent feedback can help you refine future tenders and save you a lot of time spent on elements.
Final Tip: Ask around
While tendering can feel like a lonely price, you can get some extra help from stablemates. Do a little reconnaissance, see what worked for them.
It could help you form a submission your potential client prefers out of the gate.