Starting a tender isn’t a ‘to hell with it’ sort of moment. You must ask yourself the right questions and you must believe you can (and should) be awarded the contract.
It is only after you can look yourself in the mirror and say you have given a satisfactory response to all these elements that you can really be serious about trying to win a big tender.
Do you have a good enough chance to win the tender?
Taking a shot in the dark and applying for a tender that you don’t have a realistic chance of winning is more destructive than you may think.
Putting pen to paper when the odds are stacked so heavily against you will only end up as a waste of valuable time – and money.
The only way to know how good of a chance you have of winning a particular tender is through research and analysis. Was this the tender you have been waiting for all along? Did it jump out at you when you first heard about it?
Once a tender strikes your interest, it’s crucial to analyse every aspect of the application to ensure that you can fulfill every requirement and answer every question with total confidence.
Although the time taken in preparation may initially seem frustrating, it will actually save you time and the hassle of getting halfway through the process only to run into an impassable roadblock.
Most companies in the EU are operating with a tender win rate that is below 26% so the first steps are crucial. You simply cannot afford to dive into tenders where your chances of success are minimal.
Can you commit? Do you have the time and resources available to complete the tender?
While the right resources (and people) are hugely important, so is time. Before you get stuck into any tender, you must not only know that you have the time it takes to both complete the bid, but also the potential project – should it be awarded.
You must also look at the budget and ask yourself whether you can you actually afford the contract? Have you taken into account the unforeseen costs? Over time, bringing in advisers or external experts can shoot the costs way up. Is this something you are ready for?
Remember, just because a tender looks interesting or appealing, it doesn’t mean it is right for you.
Do you understand the need of the client and can you address it effectively?
“Give the customer what they want, not want you want to provide…”
That is the mantra you must repeat again and again. Do you fully understand what the client is looking for? Do you have a firm grasp of the task at hand?
Seek clarity if the answer to any of these is anything less than a resounding ‘yes’. Then, if you know exactly what you are being asked, ask yourself whether you have the answers – every single one.
If you are not certain you are the person for the job, then that will be clear as crystal in your tender and your chances of winning will fall somewhere between slim and none.
Seek clarification for anything you need. It is better to be over eager than to remain lost in ignorance.
Do you have a differentiator? Can you stand out from the crowd?
You will not be the only person seeking this tender. In fact, you will not even be the only worthy applicant. Therefore, you must stand out from the crowd and prove yourself as a shining star that rises above the competition.
What is your unique selling point here? What can you offer that nobody else can?
This is something you must know from the outset – there is no point completing two-thirds of the process and then scratching your head and wondering what your differentiator is – it must be an integral part of the bid.
Do you need help? If so, do you know who to reach out to?
Like it or not, you will have to handle the nuts and bolts of the tendering process in-house. However, in tendering, especially when you are getting started, it is often crucial that you reach out for external expertise to ensure your bid stands out.
Look at the process in its entirety and examine the strengths of your own team – ask yourself who can help where and then identify your weak points.
Once you know where you will likely fall down, identify the expertise that is required to take the next step and reach out to the right people to get you what’s needed within the required timeframe.
The importance of being completely ready to begin the process is crucial. In the long run, it will not only save you time, it will save you a significant amount of money.
The rule of thumb for being successful in the tender process really is to ask yourself the right questions before commencing and know when it’s time to get experts to handle the questions you don’t know how to answer.
With TenderScout, you can not only get expert advice from those in the know, you can get matched with the procurement offers that best suit your business.
You can also gain access to an unparalleled knowledge centre and machine learning tools that will simplify the over complicated tendering process and truly ‘change the way you win’.