If you’ve never tendered to the public sector before, you might be wondering whether it’s worth it. Sure, tenders can require a lot of time and effort, and you’ll feel like you’re having to jump through a lot of hoops. Yet, even though it can be frustrating and at times all-consuming, here’s five reasons why tendering could be great for your business:
They’re a great route to market. If you’re looking to grow and increase revenue, tendering could be the answer. There’s over £200 billion procured annually in the public sector, with around 25% of this value awarded to SMEs. Contracts are often extended, provided you perform well, and thanks to legislation, you’ll be paid within 30 days (or sooner).
You’ll get noticed by your potential customers. Buyers read all tender submissions, and this is your opportunity to shine; your proposal might include a new way of doing things, or propose efficiencies that no-one else can offer. Even if you don’t win that tender, they could approach you separately for something else – believe me, it happens!
It will improve your business. Win or lose, feedback is invaluable in refining your service offering, ensuring your pricing is competitive, and can even help improve your business processes. For example, you might find that to be competitive you need to implement management systems; this will not only improve your future bids but will make your business more efficient.
Free competitor research. From meet the buyer days and site visits, to the feedback after you submit a tender, you’ll find out information on your competitors. Feedback will often show other bidders’ scores alongside yours and detail your proposal’s strengths and weaknesses in comparison.
It’s not as hard as it seems. You’ll need to meet basic requirements and have the time to complete the bid, but apart from that all you need is the enthusiasm to get started. Be selective with the tenders you go for to increase your chances of winning, and remember to give it 100% – it’s a competition!
If you think tendering would be a good option to explore and want to know more, get in touch for a chat; we can help you decide if you’re ready to tender, help you find tender opportunities, and crucially help you with your bid responses.
Email firstname.lastname@example.org, or call 07591 206202.
The best method statements are based on a simple checklist that ensures you don’t miss anything vital. Plan out the structure of your statement, starting with a high level version, adding in the detail at the next stage. That way, it will be obvious to you what’s known and what’s unknown, as well as which parts of your content are strong and which are not.
1) What are you going to do? Give a summary only of your approach at this stage, showing that you understand the overall requirement and can meet it in full at this stage – the rest of your statement is about the detail. You should find yourself reflecting back the tendering organisation’s own vision in this section. You’re painting a picture of the future, in which you’re delivering a solution that meets or exceeds their needs.
2) Why and how are you going to do it? Start providing the real detail, showing the outcomes the client will enjoy as a result of your way of working. Always aim to represent the benefits first, as buyers are more interested in outcomes than processes. Instead of saying: We will use new software to speed up delivery. Say: You will enjoy faster delivery times (the ‘why’), through the use of our new software (the ‘how’). And if you can quantify that benefit (10% faster) – even better! Think about your processes end-to-end, and make sure you describe all key steps. If you have an innovative way of doing something, make sure you point this out!
3) Who’s responsible for making it happen? Don’t fall into the trap of saying ‘we’ when describing actions. (“We will produce weekly reports.”) Tell the evaluator the name of the person/ team responsible, and the role they carry out. If there’s space, include detail about their experience, to reassure of their capability. It might also help to show the reporting line for the person/team, to evidence an escalation route.
4) What happens if things don’t go as expected? Bids often end up describing the perfect process, but we all know the real world isn’t like that. Consider describing how you monitor your processes or performance – and what you do if things look like they might be going off-track. You can always include reassurance that you never have to use this process!
5) Have you done it before? This is crucial, and transforms your bid from an aspiration to a proven solution. Include a brief example from another client for whom you’ve successfully delivered a similar solution. And make sure it contains quantified benefits and outcomes.
Following this checklist will help you to structure a great method statement that will tell the buyer everything they need to know.