The tender process is known to be notoriously lengthy, complex and bureaucratic. For many companies – and small businesses in particular – the lengthy process is somewhat daunting and represents a significant drain on resources. The substantial time and resources directed towards bids is often considered a waste if the bid is unsuccessful. One way to drastically transform the quality of your bids is to address the universal errors made by many businesses. Below we go through some of the more frequent errors and provide solutions for each one
Error #1 – The first and perhaps most grievous error made by many businesses is using old tender trackers that only provide contracts which are 3-4 weeks from their end date. This restricted deadline severely impacts a business’s ability to engage in pre-bid discussions, carry out detailed research, influence the bid specification, ask questions, seek clarifications and generally formulate a well planned, meticulous bid.
Solution – The solution to this serious issue is to invest in an advanced tender notification system that provides contracts that are at least 6 months from end date. These lengthy deadlines provide businesses with a solid base and allow them to create well structured, detailed and relevant bids.
Error #2 –One recurrent error made by countless companies is to assume they understand the requirements without engaging with the buyer. Second guessing certain aspects of the contract – no matter how small or irrelevant they seem – often causes otherwise well structured bids to fail. It is important for businesses to have a complete grasp of all stipulations in the contract and an understanding of how each condition is to be fulfilled.
Solution – Tender forms come with contact details, – make sure they are utilised. Engage with the buyer, discuss the contract and offer value and insight where required to stand out from the competition.
Error #3 – Some of the most common tender errors are usually seen within the PQQ form.The lengthy PQQ documents are designed to assess your capability as a business and simple grammatical and numerical errors will have a negative impact on the perceived aptitude of your business.
Solution – One way to overcome PQQ errors is to have THREE different people re-read the forms once they have been completed. Taking a slow, methodical approach to the PQQ stage will enhance the bid substantially.
Error #4 – Using a generic tender template is a major mistake that many businesses make. Whilst a tender template may work well for one particular submission, it may be totally unsuitable for another. Every submission should be tailored to tie in with the requirements of the buyer.
Solution – Rather than using tender templates, personalise each bid. Buyers don’t want to hear generic information that is irrelevant to their needs. It is important to concentrate on the aspects of your business from which the buyer can derive benefit and profit and ignore the things which are not relevant to that particular contract. Buyers will be reading numerous bids so it is vital that each submission is clear, concise and, most importantly, relevant.
Craig Millhouse is the founding member and managing director of 7House, a specialist business development firm that offers clients an array of services to aid in their growth. As part of the service, 7House also offers an advanced tender notification system called Contracts Advance.
With over a decade of experience within professional and service based industries, Craig uses his expertise to develop new businesses and kick-start existing ones through a consultative role.
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