The Federal Government committed to funnelling billions of dollars into defence, health and infrastructure during 2021.
Last year it was anticipated that in 2022 the government would re-commit to its $110 billion land transport infrastructure program over the ten years from 2020 to 2021. Since then, this figure has increased to a record breaking $120 billion.
Defence and labour-intensive social programs – such as those relating to health – were also anticipated to continue to be factored into the budget.
The goal of all of this: to create more jobs, keep commuters and freight safe and moving and boost the economy after a difficult couple of months. It also means we’re once again approaching hundreds of new tender opportunities.
I’m not winning new tenders, what do I do?
If you’ve missed out on tenders over the last few months, it’s easy to feel less and less hopeful that you’ll secure new work in the year ahead.
But the good news is with persistence, focus and patience and in some cases an expert to help it is possible to turn things around and start reaching your goals.
In 2020-21 there were 84,054 contracts published on AusTender with a combined value of $69.8 billion.
The opportunity is there and it’s surprisingly simple to improve your chances of winning one or more of the tenders that businesses will compete for during 2022, it’s often just a case of you don’t know what you don’t know.
In the following article we’re taking a closer look at how to put your business in the best possible position for securing new tenders, key points include:
- Stay organised
- Spend time researching
- Get ISO certified
- Know your selling points
- Follow the criteria
- Answer every question
- Get your final touches right
- Be prepared
- Get expert advice
- Outsource the process
How to win more tenders
1. Stay organised
Throwing together a tender application last minute is far from ideal and could easily prevent you from putting your best foot forward. Getting your application ready ahead of time and submitting it early gives you a much better chance to make a great first impression.
An early submission shows you’re switched on, aware of what’s happening in your industry and organised.
It also means if you run into any issues when submitting for the tender – such as technology playing up – then you have plenty of time to overcome hurdles so you don’t miss out completely.
But it’s also important that submitting for the tender early doesn’t come at the cost of a quality application. While submitting your application in a timely manner is the goal, so too is putting forward a detailed and professional document that accurately represents what your business would bring to the tender.
2. Spend time researching
Before submitting an application time spent understanding the client, business and industry is time well spent.
Building a strong comprehension of these areas can help you craft an application that stands out from the crowd, especially when compared to less detail-orientated competitors.
It shows you’ve done the groundwork, you’re interested in them and their business goals and that you have a solid foundation for managing whatever they throw your way.
Generic applications may save time, but if you want to win more tenders they are not a good option. It’s better to stick to creating a comprehensive content library so all the documentation you need is readily available and can be collated and adjusted fast.
Insurance certificates, biographies for key personnel, charts, case studies and company background documents are all examples of what the content library could include. While this takes a little more time, it makes a world of difference.
3. Get ISO certified
ISO certification is often a prerequisite for applying for tenders. At times some providers won’t even look at you if you’re not at least working towards getting certified. This is becoming particularly prevalent for government contracts.
ISO standards that are commonly a requirement include ISO 9001 for quality management, ISO 14001 for environmental management and ISO 45001 for health and safety. Increasingly ISO 27001 (information security) and ISO 55001 (asset management) are being asked for as well depending on the industry and especially for more expensive contracts.
By getting certified companies can demonstrate they are committed to complying with the systems of the client. Compliance with ISO standards provides reputable, credible evidence that they are satisfying legislative requirements as well.
See our article on taking the first steps towards achieving ISO certification to find out how to get started.
4. Know your selling points
What sets you apart from your competitors? Knowing what is unique about your business and being able to clearly and convincingly communicate this in your application is crucial.
For instance this could involve highlighting relevant achievements such as project experience, certifications, qualifications and similar.
Another selling point could be the types of business software you’ve invested in and how this will translate into a better outcome for the client. An example could be Digital IMS+, which is cloud-based software we offer at Integrated Compliance Solutions. Digital IMS+ is a high-value service created by our talented software team. It increases profitability, eliminates inefficiencies and helps you build lean systems that are fully customised and easier to maintain.
See our article on six ways to differentiate yourself from competitors when applying for tenders to find out more.
5. Have you followed the criteria?
Failing to follow the criteria is a sure way to quickly lower your chances of winning a tender.
It is a good idea to get into the habit of reviewing all of the selection criteria before submitting any applications. After all, it gives you the ability to make sure you’ve ticked off every requirement and answered every question directly, even if they seem to be quite similar or have some overlap.
Check and then double check. A simple mistake or oversight could be the difference between landing that tender and losing out to a competitor.
6. Answer every question
While answering every question may seem like an obvious point, many companies unwittingly lose points on their tender submission by going wrong here. Instead of answering similar questions with full paragraphs, they simply reference previous answers. This is something you want to avoid doing, as you will be marked down.
When writing your submission make sure to answer every question in full, even if it means repeating or rewording some of the information already provided.
7. Get your final touches right
Before submitting your application it’s also a good idea to make sure it is succinct and easy to read and understand.
The final submission should be easy to follow and free from grammatical errors and spelling mistakes, while also having a consistent tone. Cost schedules also need to be accurate because if you get them wrong, your prices may not be accepted.
Another consideration you don’t want to overlook is presentation. Formatting for your application needs to be professional and in line with your branding, as well as following any stipulated requirements for the specific tender.
8. Be prepared
Would you be ready if you won a tender tomorrow?
Before applying for a tender, make sure you are in the position to actually take it on and complete it in the specified timeframe.
An area where this is particularly important is ISO certification. Often, tenders have compliance requirements that you’ll need to satisfy. When companies leave ISO certification to the last minute, they risk missing out on contracts altogether. They’re left scrambling to show intent to get ISO certification, which does not carry nearly as much weight. Start the process early and then if a suitable tender comes along you’ll be in with a real chance of securing it.
In summary, don’t leave your preparation until the last minute. It’ll leave you rushing to get things together and there could be penalties.
9. Get expert advice
If you’re losing out time and time again – or even if you just want to give yourself a better chance of securing that tender – many businesses benefit greatly from speaking with an experienced tender professional.
An outside perspective can help you identify issues or opportunities those closer to your business may have otherwise overlooked. A professional can also develop a suitable tender strategy for your business so you have clear direction and a well-thought-out process to follow every step of the way.
10. Outsource the process
Applying for tenders is time-consuming, which is why businesses often opt to have an expert take on this process for them instead.
For instance each time they make a typical local council submission, employees will generally need to put 80 to 120 hours work extra work towards this. If they don’t have a rough idea of what they’re doing, it may take even longer.
Completing the same tender application would take a professional 20 to 40 hours on average.
This not only speeds up the submission process so you can get your application in earlier, but also frees up more time for employees because they don’t take on this huge time commitment on top of their usual workload. This gives them more time to focus on other business matters instead, such as making sure the business is ready to take on the tender if you win.
Moreover you can enjoy the peace of mind and confidence that comes with knowing an expert – who has experience helping businesses win new tenders – has carefully crafted your submission.
Start winning more tenders
Has your business been falling short when applying for tenders?
As the saying goes: if you always do what you always did, you’ll always get what you always got. It could be time to reconsider your current approach to submitting applications; a few adjustments and some guidance could make all the difference.
If you’re interested in winning more tenders, consider whether a shortcut could be to outsource part or all of the process.
With professional assistance, you can quickly become tender ready – saving your business time, money and resources on future tenders and dramatically increase your success rate in the future. For more information, get in touch with our team.