How I Complete Public Sector Tenders
I’m sure the Enterprise Boards run courses in this kind of thing, but in my experience of winning a few, here are my tips on how to complete public sector tenders:
- Read the tender document, but save time by avoiding the 15 pages of Terms & Conditions at the back.
- You should have an idea of what is being requested, who the requesting body is, and other important details such as how and when the tender needs to be submitted. Feel free to highlight these in yellow marker if you are that way inclined.
- Run a few searches on the body doing the tender. If it’s clear that they have strong links with one of your competitors, you might want to think twice about investing the time in completing and submitting.
- If you decide to proceed, read the tender again, highlighting the bits that you think are key to the response.
- I usually start writing at this stage. I put a lot of time and effort into thinking about how best to respond to the requirements, drawing on my experience in the areas of social media and internet marketing. If you find yourself responding to a tender where you don’t have the experience, stop and do something that’s revenue generating instead.
- By the time I’ve completed that first draft, I normally have something that flows, that answers their needs and includes plenty of background information on my company and clients.
Now you have to break that thing…
- Go back and read the tender document from the start and insert bits into your response to answer the random lines that will have been inserted into the tender. Here you will start noticing discrepancies, such as at the start you may be asked for 3 client case studies, at the end you will be asked for 5… the correct answer is to put in 5. The key here is to let go of your beautifully crafted response and do the literal equivalent of hacking it with a blunt carving knife…
- By this stage, you will have a tender that you know used to set out what you would do, and now you’re not really sure… that’s good, you’re doing well.
- Move on to the costings now. Open a spreadsheet and list every item you have said you will do. Cost it up, total it, and I find they like it when you paste the calcs into the tender response. I call it transparency, I believe it’s quite refreshing for some recipients to get a breakdown of what, who, and how.
This entire process should take you about a day – which is a cost to you of how much?
You are best to leave your tender overnight, before re-reading again, and submitting. Submitting can take time if you have an image rich tender to get through… breaking the doc up into file sizes that the etenders site will accept takes more time.
If you are engaging with the new Government E-Tenders site, I wish you well, for it is not the most user friendly site I’ve ever had the joy to engage with.