The tendering process is something you’re almost always given only a single shot at. If you fail to make a good impression the first time around, you’ll usually have a hard time getting the government to give you another chance. As such, it is very important to do what you can to improve your position before tendering.
Getting into a Tender-Ready Position
Here are a number of factors to take into account to determine your company’s readiness and what you can do to better position yourself for public tendering.
- Business strengths and weaknesses – How can you minimize, if not eradicate, your weaknesses and how can you transform strengths into competitive advantages?
- Policies and strategies – Do you need to change any of them so that tendering will help you achieve your short and long-term goals?
- Paperwork – Are you missing anything that could hinder you from successfully bidding on a particular project?
Needless to say, it’s critical that you are absolutely honest with yourself this early on. You won’t do yourself any favors when you are too optimistic about your business’ condition and potential.
Don’t expect the government to spoon-feed you with what you need to make a successful bid. Why should they when so many other companies are after the same opportunities? If there’s something you need to know about the latest and best projects up for bidding, then it’s up to you to research about them.
As such, data gathering should be made a priority in your company’s public tender process. You need to assign at least one person to consistently research about it. Key areas that you need to focus on include but are not limited to the following:
- Who are you going to deal with during a procurement process? Think in terms of specific government offices, positions, and names if possible. Consider third parties or middlemen who may help you out.
- Find out about the policies affecting public tendering and possible changes to such laws.
- Obtain as much key data – financial and non-financial – about your competition and the industry you are in.
- Search for credible sources like websites and news reports that will let you be one of the first to know about upcoming public projects you may bid on.
- Look for examples of previous proposals – both successful and unsuccessful – and learn from them.
- Work on establishing contacts that can help get your foot in the door or at least help in making your business tender-ready.
It’s very important to be realistic about your company’s abilities. It could be that you are tender-ready for some projects and not for others. As such, never make any assumption about your company’s prospects and the projects you are building on.
- Always take the time to find out what the specific requirements are for the project.
- Don’t hesitate to ask about the parameters or restraints that you have to work with. It could be anything from a deadline you’d have to meet, another company you’d have to partner with, or a program you’d have to incorporate in your work if your proposal is chosen.
- Consider joint ventures. It could put you in a better position for making a winning bid. Even if it means sharing the profit, it can still help build your reputation as a reliable and trustworthy company that the government won’t have any problems working with.
For many people, this is the most problematic part of the tendering process. Having a clear idea of what you can and want to do is different from putting your plans into actual words. Unfortunately, it’s a step that you can’t really skip. Your written proposal is what the government will be basing its decision on so you need to spend as much time as you can in crafting and polishing your bid plan.
- Read the instructions and requirements for proposal writing carefully and thoroughly.
- Be as specific as you can to avoid any unintentional loopholes. Clearly state what your roles and responsibilities would be as well as what you expect the other party to offer in return.
- Always include a timeline as well as contingency measures in case some things go your way.
- Remember to ask about the deadline for submitting your proposal or bid and make sure yours is ready at least one week before the last day of submission.
- Review your bid plan or proposal and make sure to check for errors in content or context, grammar, format, and double-check to ensure that it adheres to all the requirements.
What are your experiences related to tendering? Care to share them below?