• Steve O'Hare

BLOG: How to tender for Government contracts - Part 1

Updated: Feb 13

SCLO MD Steve O'Hare offers some helpful tips and ideas to make companies stop and think before they decide to bid for a tender that could be a complete waste of their time.


When you or your company are considering tendering for government contracts or indeed any sort of contracts, there are a number of questions to ask yourself before you go ahead.



If you ignore them and just plough straight in, the costs may not just be high in the short term, they could damage your business for many years to come.


So, here are three main areas to focus on before deciding whether the contract in question is right for your business.


Horror Stories


I have heard some horror stories about businesses tendering for work they are really not ready to deliver and, even worse, ones where an organisation has won a contract and then messed it up in spectacular fashion.


That is where the real damage to your business can occur.


So please bear the following factors in mind...


Make sure the contract is for you


Can you really deliver the contract they are asking for? The worst thing that a buyer can see is someone who has tried to get a square peg in a round hole. If they had wanted to buy a square peg, they would have got a square hole too.


If you are trying to make something fit that ultimately, is not what they are after, you will spend a lot of time, energy and money for no return.


Why should you or your business win this contract?


So why you? How do you add value to what is on offer? What do you bring to that party? What makes you different? What separates you from the others? Why are you unique? What is your selling point that will put you ahead of the competition?


If we look at the education market, for example, and you are considering looking at tendering for apprenticeships, you could be battling with anywhere up to 2,000 competitors so you have got to consider what makes you stand out.


Are you the right company for this bid?


The worst thing you can do is win a tender…and then not deliver on it


If this happens, it can seriously damage your credibility and long-term strategy. Win something based on false promises and you will end up with massive problems further down the line.


Ultimately you want to win a contract and then win it again and win it again and so on. You don’t want to win, lose it and then come back five years later to try again. You will find that people have long memories.


So ask yourself, do you have the right things in place and do you really understand what is needed to deliver it? Have you got the ability to deliver your solution?


Part of SCLO’s remit is to help organisations and companies decide whether they should attempt to win a specific contract based on what they can offer, so please feel free to get in touch and we can use 15 years of experience to advise you about how to proceed.


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