So, you’ve decided that bidding for tenders is for you and your business. You’ve researched the implications and the expectations and you think you’re ready to write the winning bid.
First and foremost you will need to ensure that your business has an enviable reputation and be comfortable that you have the capacity to take on extra work and fulfil tender requirements. Identify that there’s a need for your goods and services and register with the right sources to advise you of relevant opportunities.
A notification in your inbox is finally glowing and you’ve had to lean forward in your chair because…that’s right…there’s finally an opportunity that’s right up your street. But don’t go shouting from the rafters too soon, there are a few hurdles you’ll need to negotiate first. Two critical hurdles to establish are who will be part of your ‘bid team’ and what you’ll need to consider.
This will take some strategic thinking as the necessary skills of experience or technical understanding could be the difference in a successful or failed attempt at bid writing.
Allocate sufficient time as the writing will be in addition to the ‘day job’ so to speak. Circulate the bid to other team members to discuss individual interpretations. Each person involved may perceive it differently so differences in opinion will need to be addressed.
Is the bid right for your company or not? Here’s a handy check list of twenty seven key elements you will absolutely need to consider when forming the perfect bid team to make sure you check all the relevant boxes, dot the I’s and cross the T’s.
‘Bid or No Bid’ template:
- Do we have a solution that will directly address the needs of the buyer?
- Do we have relevant references or testimonials?
- Have we done something similar in the past?
- Do we know what impact our proposed solution will have on the buyer’s organisation?
- Is our solution deliverable within the timeframes specified by the buyer?
- Do we know the exact timescales?
- Are the timescales and the buying process understood and documented?
- Are the key milestones easily identifiable and can we achieve them?
- Do we know who else is likely to bid?
- Can the buyer opt to do nothing?
Needs & Decision Making Process
- Is the buyer’s business case clearly understood?
- Is it documented and agreed?
- Why do they need this now?
- Do we understand the decision making process, and who is involved?
- Can we find information regarding the buying decision that is helpful to the tender?
- Do we know how the decision makers feel about us?
- Do we have a clear understanding of our unique selling proposition?
Finance & Return On Investment (ROI)
- Is the contract a good one for the business financially? Do we think the financials stack up?
- Is there a known budget for the solution and if so, can we deliver within that budget?
- Do we know how it is being funded? (What is the buyer’s funding source and does this put any additional administrative requirements on us?)
- Does winning this project/customer give us a strategic benefit (e.g. credibility/references, new market?)
- Is there a good chance of incremental business from the customer?
- Do we have the resources available to respond in the timescales stated in the bid document?
- Do we know that our currently forecast business will not be put at risk by bidding this?
- Is it worth reprioritising efforts on current activity to accommodate responding?
- Are all supplier contracts in place already?
- Is this buyer organisation on our prospecting radar?
It is important to remain objective and once everyone has agreed that the company can meet the requirements of the bid, a project management plan should be formulated to decided who does what and when with an achievable yet stringent timeline to stay on track. Always allow for set backs and sufficient time to write the final response, accumulate and upload the relevant documents.
If you feel you are ready to step up to the table with tender bidding but need a little help along the way, then please contact me for a non-obligation chat.