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7 Top Tips – To Winning A Contract

7 Top Tips – To Winning A Contract

  1. Research and preparation – Do Your Homework

Plan well ahead and put together a timetable/schedule for completing your tender.

Be aware, it will take much longer than you think, and submission deadlines are rarely extended. 

2. Be aware of the impact

Study the tender so that you have a good understanding of the issues your client faces – you must focus on the solutions.

Remember current legislation and local social impacts too. 

As a result of winning the contract, will you need to employ more staff?  If so, consider if you can employ an apprentice, will it create training opportunities and is it worth singing about. 

3. Writing the tender

Focus your writing on the client and their needs rather than talking about me, me, me.  Place yourself in the buyer’s shoes and consider what the buyer is really looking for and what extras you can bring to the table.  Features, benefits and value are all important so get them in too.  Be innovative and offer ideas that might help with future problems such as maintenance, repairs, environmental, staffing requirements etc…

4. Don’t be generic, be personal

There’s nothing worse than copy and pasting from previous tenders, even if they are similar.  Experienced buyers have a good nose for sniffing out simple copy and paste mistakes and will realise you haven’t personalised this for them.  Tailor all your answers to their needs and be specific.  Remember to use pictures, drawings and photos where it helps as you won’t know the buyers preferred style of reading or their communication style. 

5. Pricing the job

Pricing could be the reason you lose a contract, so ensure the value is clearly demonstrated.  Don’t assume that the cheapest bid wins.  It stands out to a buyer if you have under-priced, they will assume low quality or that you don’t know what you are doing. 

Value for money, quality and life cycle costs are very important.  Justification of how you arrived at the price is of high importance. Understanding the weight of the scoring process will be the price indicator for the project.  

6. Proof reading to ensure its perfect

Plain English is the answer here.  Make sure sentences and paragraphs are short and easy to read and it’s OK to use bullet points and headings to keep it to the point.  Make the buyers job easy by keeping to the point when explaining your solution to their problem. 

The big obvious one to remember is check spellings, grammar and for repetitive words.  If several people are working on the bid, check that the tone and flow reads the same, so it looks as though one person wrote the document. 

7. Get your submission in on time

Most submissions are made online so be sure to check your formatting doesn’t change whilst copying and saving your documents.  File sizes can be an issue on some platforms so please don’t leave it until the last few hours to submit just in case you experience problems. 

8. Ask for feedback

Having won and lost just as many bids in my lifetime, I learned that asking for feedback when I didn’t win helped me improve my next tender.  Never give up as there is a knack to getting it right. 

If it’s an important bid or new to the tendering process, consider buying in help from a bid writer or procurement specialist.  There’s not much more I can say other than do your research, do your best and good luck!


Authors Bio: Robert Bowles

Robert Bowles is the Senior Operations Manager and a Business Growth Manager (BGM) for the Building Legacies programme. Robert specialises in – Business Planning, Mentoring and Business Growth.