Tendering can be rough. You need to decipher request documents, get your head around the project, come up with a plan of work, cost said plan of work, and pull everything together into a thoughtful response.
And all this before you even get the gig.
Sometimes, in fact, you don’t get it.
There’s an art to responding to tenders that has nothing to do with how you craft the final response and everything to do with your approach.
Here are three key considerations for next time you respond to a tender:
As they say, time is money. And responding to a tender takes time. Often much more than you expect. You want to spend the time to do a good job, because sometimes this is the first impression an organisation has of you, and it could be the difference between getting the job and not. But on the other hand, this is time that you don’t directly get paid for. Learning to balance these competing factors itself takes time (and the experience that comes with it).
Tenders are, by nature, a competitive process and your price should be equally competitive. But what does this mean in practice? What exactly is a competitive price? And how do you arrive at it without undervaluing your skills and experience? Again, this is something you learn to balance with experience and by knowing the market.
What type of projects do you tender for? Do you have a guiding strategy that determines this, or do you take a more flexible approach? There are no wrong answers, but it’s a good idea to ask these questions before you set out on your tendering journey. The last thing you want is to waste your time and resources tendering for projects that you don’t have a realistic chance of succeeding with.
No doubt about it, tendering is rough. But it’s necessary and putting some thought into these areas can help to ease the pain.