When competing for government tenders it becomes quite hard to secure them especially if you are operating a small business. This is because big business invasion in the field becomes a great obstacle as most government sectors are more comfortable dealing with big corporations which they are sure will deliver rather than an unknown start-up. However, with the emerging rise of the small business promotion campaign, your odds can become better with precise positioning.
When starting out on bidding you might be attracted to try and catch all fish. This might not work out best since you will end up getting a lot of disappointment. To successfully secure a tender, you might want to check and see if really you are a great fit for it. You can think of the awarding committee and really try to see if you are legible.
Apart from legibility, you should also ensure you can service the tender if you are awarded. This means you should check the quotation and calculate the amount of capital you will need to invest before getting profit. Check whether you can finance the order, how frequent it is required, their method and interval or duration of payment.
2. Get prepared
Getting prepared involves processes like researching the background of the institution, its past financial statements, how long and how they pay for tenders among other tendering information. You should also consider checking the information they ask for in case you are to be awarded the tender. Most tenders are not bided without a fee. You should also inquire about the fee required for the tender.
This fee is always non-refundable and application without it may result in an automatic cancellation. Preparing your company documents such as your portfolio, with your financial statements and past tenders if any can give you a head start. Getting prepared also entails making sure you know the exact date and time when all bids will be opened. This is a very crucial part of the process as can assist you to know what really made either get or lose the tender.
3. Ask questions
One of the most advantageous actions that could help you win a tender is to ensure you understand each part of it and asking questions will help you do just that. This cab did real fast with the use of the easy and quick form of messaging like email or phone. A phone call, however, can be of better help as you can get an immediate and comprehensive answer to what you do not understand. Other essential information includes the current suppliers of the tender if any, whether they are willing to bid for the tender again (renewal) or why they are opting out if the contact time is not yet over. You should also be well conversant with the pricing structure.
4. Do not over-price or under-price your bid
The competitive nature of tenders may sometimes make you think or bidding with the least price to win the tender. Although this might make you get it, it might also punish you; more severe than missing the tender in the first place. Before submitting your price, ensure that it caters for all the expense that you will incur while servicing the tender and enough profit for your business.
Overpricing your bid, on the other hand, may also reduce your chances of getting the tender as the best bid will be chosen for the lowest amount of pricing that matches the best quality of products. For the best price, you can check with the existing supplier or the institution’s previous financial statements to have a rough figure and select your price from roughly that figure.
Although many small businesses are reluctant to collaborate, this might be a choice that may help you secure tenders that you could not serve on your own especially as a small business. Getting out a part of the tender is better than losing the whole tender all the same. Moreover stating that you will use subcontractors as part of the delivery will not lessen your chances of getting the tender but will show you are more prepared to service it once you get it.
6. Supplier database
As part of the tendering process, the prequalification stage is where the procuring officers will list all the potential suppliers of the goods or the services required. Then they will invite some firms to express interest and request them to tender. This calls for you to advertise yourself to the procuring officers. Also, you need to register yourself with the suppliers’ database to get notifications when there are tenders and the requirements made by the public entity.
7. Do not relent to spend some cash
This might sound ridiculous but the tender process is quite expensive. Spending on tender documents, advertising your company or preparing to present your bid is just part of the process. Remember this is a governmental institution and bureaucracy is something that you will meet more frequent than you are probably thinking. This also calls for patience, many governmental institutions will pre-qualify annually or bi-annually thus you might take time before realizing the profits from tendering. This, however, should not stop you from biding and following up on the whole process.
8. Capital finance
Talking about spending, you should be careful not to get to court for breaching the tender because you did not manage to supply the goods or services when you were allowed the tender. Banks may not give you loans especially if you are a small or medium-sized business (SME). Getting cash may be quite difficult as the government entity might get you waiting up to even 90 days to honour your invoice.
9. Special tenders
Some tenders are specifically designed to suit specific groups of suppliers. This might be either the youth, women or persons with disability. Incorporating these groups of citizens might also help you secure the tenders which are less competitive and easier to get access to.
10. Keep bidding
Never give up, this might sound like a cliché but all the same is very true. Do not lose hope, keep bidding. This is a process that might take a lot of time as more government offices have a lot of bureaucracy and protocol that you cannot hurry through. However, with persistence you will, sure enough, secure one. You should also prepare yourself to meet challenges such as corruption.