14 Jan Maximising opportunities through tendering
Time. It’s the subject pondered by many wise men and women through the ages. Some teach us to harness it, shape it and conquer it. We measure it – how many apps on our digital devices help us to track it? Most of us are agreed on one thing though – let’s not waste it.
We are often approached by clients who have a high level of experience in the private sector of their industry but are looking to branch out into new markets and don’t know where to start.
Finding your opportunities
There is no question that tenders can be a very worthwhile investment of resources in your business, but only if you know where to look and what you are looking for. We have seen first-hand how many companies enthusiastically embark on the tender process, only to fizzle out because of the bewildering array of opportunities. Enter the ‘Tender Search’. This an activity whereby you scan and search the market for relevant opportunities which your business could submit a bid to.
Make initial enquiries to establish if your ideal clients buy through tendering. If they don’t, you will need a different approach, but don’t waste time positioning yourselves for tenders that may never arrive.
Research which portals and resources are most appropriate for your business. Look for industry specific resources for vertical market industries and disciplines, as well as private and public-sector markets of high value/low tender values. Bookmark and check these appropriate resources regularly.
Set out clear criteria for what an ideal opportunity looks like for you. Clarify what type of work, contract size, location, and type of client would be ideal. Use these to help you scan and select opportunities to review in more detail. This is important, because failure to do so will result in you being pulled in different directions chasing tender opportunities that you will not win
Register for and access the full documents once you have found an opportunity you think might be worth pursuing. This is where a diligent review and understanding of the needs of the client comes in, where you determine how well it fits what you offer and what the client requires.
Understanding the process
When entering into the process it is a good idea to try and understand the terminology, we love an abbreviation in tendering. From PQQ to DPS, if you don’t understand what they are referring to, your likely to fall at the first hurdle.
We have put together a glossary of those most commonly seen in our work: https://www.bidandtendersupport.co.uk/abbreviations/
Be clear on what sort of opportunities you want to go for, set clear criteria for the selection of those opportunities to avoid chasing after Contracts which you will never win. It may be that your business has the time to go after the long shot opportunities but think what it will do to Team Morale when you repeatedly lose out to others.
Setting up a library of key tender documents with accreditations, certificates, previous submissions, previous high scoring answers and case studies can deliver significant savings in time.
Once you have decided on an opportunity take the time to do your research, do you know the Client, is there an existing relationship, if not – go on their website, look them up on social media and work out what makes them tick. What are their priorities? Sit down in a Group – even if it is just two of you. This will help get ideas flowing for what you can offer, what sets you apart and which key messages do you really want to get across in the Bid Response.
With this approach, by the time you come to sit down to start writing you will already have so much content and value to get across rather than staring at a blank screen working out how to fill 1000 words!