In October, the Federal Government released their new budget for 2020 – 2021, revealing billions of dollars will be funneled into the defence, health, and infrastructure industries over the next 12 months.
The goal of the new budget is to create new jobs and boost the economy amid COVID-19, but it also means hundreds of new tender opportunities will soon be available to businesses like yours.
Countless businesses will be competing for these brand new tenders. At BusinessBasics, we want to ensure your tender application is as strong as possible so you can win more tenders and more business. Read on – in this article, we share eight tips to help your business win more tenders in 2021.
#1. Submit your tender early
There are multiple benefits to submitting a tender “bid” or application early.
For one, submitting a tender as soon as possible shows you are switched on and aware of what is happening in your industry. Second, it sets you firmly towards the front of the line to have your tender application reviewed.
Submitting your tender application early has strategic benefits for your business, too. For example, there could be unexpected server issues when submitting your application online, or there could be delays on the client’s end. Getting in sooner rather than later could prevent you from missing out on a tender bid – completely by accident.
While you should always be on-your-toes for new tender opportunities, it’s also important not to jump the gun, rush the application, and end up with a poorly compiled tender application. You must also be thorough, detailed, and professional to set yourself apart from competitors.
#2. Do your research
Before submitting a tender application, make sure to do some thorough research on the client, their business, and their specific industry. This will show you have a deep understanding of their business, setting you apart from less detail-oriented competitors.
It could even help after you win the tender. You will be knowledgeable about the business and its practices, ensuring you are prepared for whatever they have to throw at you.
Do your research and learn more about the company, their team, their market, their work-in-progress, and completed projects. This information will show the client you’re interested in and committed to their business goals. Evaluating their competitors will also help you gain an understanding of where the business sits in the market.
#3. Achieve a competitive edge with efficient safety, quality, and environmental management systems
ISO certification is quite often a prerequisite for applying for tenders. These internationally recognised certifications show you are committed to and compliant with safety, quality, and environmental standards, giving you a serious competitive edge over uncertified competitors.
Some beneficial systems to have in place include:
- A quality management system. This shows you are committed to a consistent, high-quality result for your customers and/or clients – every time. An effective system can be achieved through ISO 9001 certification.
- A workplace/occupational health and safety system. This shows you and your team have safety at the forefront of your minds on every project, whether it’s on-site or off-site. This can be achieved through ISO 45001:2018 certification and ongoing safety audits.
- An environmental management system. This shows you are committed to reducing the negative impact your business has on the environment. This can be achieved through ISO 14001 certification.
If you have not explored ISO compliance and certification, we recommend talking to a compliance expert to ensure your business is ready for certification. At BusinessBasics, we have an experienced team of professionals who can talk you through the certification process and complete an in-depth assessment of your business to ensure you are compliant – or highlight areas needing improvement.
If you are already ISO certified, it could be beneficial to have your quality, safety, and environmental management systems reviewed to ensure you are still compliant with ISO’s ever-changing standards. Contact us for more information about our compliance services – let’s make your tender stand out from the rest.
#4. Highlight your unique selling points (including your certifications & competitive price)
When preparing your application, consider how your business differentiates from competitors. What makes your services so special? What do you offer that your competitors don’t?
As we mentioned above, ISO certification can sometimes make-or-break your tender application, depending on whether the client requires proof of compliance. So, make sure to highlight current certifications, compliance certificates, and qualifications – you’ve done the work, now it’s time to shout your achievements from the rooftops.
You might also mention pricing and special offers. According to SuperOffice’s business and customer experience forecast for 2021, 86% of customers and/or businesses are willing to invest more in an excellent product or service.
Balance your pricing between what you deserve (being certified) and what will catch the eye of the client. Consider what your competitors are charging and aim for a better deal, if possible.
#5. Consider your time and business management software
Another potential selling point to highlight in your tender application is your business management software. We live in a digital world now – managing a business on paper is no longer viable.
Using a cloud-based management system like Mango can instill trust in your clients. Your processes, workflows, and compliance documentation are all stored in the cloud, so there’s no chance of documents and assets being lost. Plus, team members can access these documents on-the-go via their smartphones and tablets, so all parties have visibility over progress for the duration of the project.
For you, the business owner, you will also have visibility over what is and is not working on-and-off-site. Through forms and workflows, you can achieve a better understanding of your team’s day-to-day activities, and improve your business based on this information.
With this in your tender application, the client will be confident knowing you’re committed to ongoing improvement, client visibility, and communication.
#6. Ensure you have addressed all selection criteria
As you are nearing the end of your tender application, it is important to review the selection criteria and make sure you have met the client’s requirements. While you think you’ve answered all the application questions, go back and read them all again. You might need to read between the lines – think about how the question is worded and consider whether you’ve provided enough information, or too much.
It’s also important to make sure you haven’t been rambling. Long, confusing, and convoluted answers can be irritating to read. Ensure your answers are succinct and to-the-point, answering the question in a direct, easy-to-read format.
#7. Consider design elements, aesthetics, and complete a thorough grammar and spelling check
Nothing looks worse on a formal application than poor grammar, spelling, and zero attention to detail.
A simple spell check can go a long way before submitting a tender application. It will save embarrassment and damage to your business’ reputation. However, one thing a spell check can sometimes miss is grammar and wording – rather than trusting your laptop with a quick, five-second spell check, have a trusted coworker or proof reader run through the document.
This can help highlight issues with wording and the general readability of your tender application.
You should also consider the overall design of the application. While it may be your business information, experience, and qualifications the client is interested in, a well-presented and designed application can go a long way in helping you stand out from competitors.
Ensure your application is printed and/or submitted on a well-designed letterhead featuring a recognisable logo and initial communication touchpoints like your phone number, email, and fax number. Visible on each page, this information will make it simple to contact you, while also displaying the professionalism of your business or brand.
#8. Reassess your current strategies if your bids aren’t working
Finally, don’t be disheartened if your tender application is unsuccessful. You can’t win them all, but the important thing is to learn from your mistakes and improve the application process moving forward.
Don’t be afraid to ask for feedback from an unsuccessful tender. The client might be able to provide some insight into what didn’t work for them, and you can use this feedback to improve the process.
It’s also essential to take a step back and review your existing in-house processes, whether it’s quality, safety, or environmental management. It might be time for an overhaul or a fresh audit with an ISO compliance professional.
Talk to the team at BusinessBasics about ISO compliance and the in-depth analyses we can complete to prep your business for ISO certification. We can help strengthen your tender applications tenfold!