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  • Writer's pictureSteve O'Hare

BLOG: How to tender for Government contracts - Part 2

In his second blog on the subject, Steve O'Hare highlights the pitfalls that could scupper your bid for a Government contract (Part 2).

I wanted to write a second blog on how to tender for government contracts because there is plenty to consider when you actually start putting your bid together.

In Part 1, I focused on making sure that the contract was right for you before you invested time and money putting a bid together.

In Part 2, I want to make you wary of some pitfalls to watch out for when you begin sitting down to plan your bid.

Like my previous blog, I would like to focus on three specific areas.

Understand the requirement

Firstly, take the time to really make sure you understand the requirement. You are selling a round peg for a round hole. The buyer wants to buy something specific - so sell to the buyer.

Don’t try and sell them something that they don’t want to buy. Make sure what you are doing is what they want you to do.

Make sure you answer the question you have been set

This is probably the biggest point. Whenever you are tendering, whatever you do, please answer the question.

I know that sounds really obvious. But when a question is asked, you need to answer that question, not what you want to say.

At all of the training sessions I deliver up and down the country, that is my main point and it has stuck with me since I started writing tenders. If you answer the question, you are already half of the way there.

If the question asks how you do something, say how you do it.

If they ask you who does something, say who does it.

If a question asks when you are going to do it, say when you will do it.

Please don’t go off on a tangent, tenders are scored on a fixed mark scheme and you get scored on your answers to the questions asked, markers are not interested in what you think you want to say.

Remember, it is a human being marking your questions…so treat them like one

Finally, any tender is marked by a human being, not a machine, so we need to think about the person who is marking your tender and make it easy to read.

As usual, language is important, so make it easy for everyone to understand.

Are you using acronyms that nobody has heard of? Are you using obscure English words only used in Scrabble and on Countdown?

If you are, you already have a big problem. It turns people off.

You have to remember that the person marking your bid may not be an expert in that sector. They may be from the procurement team and have a crib sheet around what they need to see and look for.

If you make their job hard for them, you are not going to win. The person who makes it easiest for them and simply answers the questions, is always going to be the winner.

Watch: Are you a business that needs to start tendering for work? If so, SCLO can help you hit the ground running...

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