15 October 2020

It’s a great feeling to win your first UK government contract, especially after a long and involved tendering process. Consider some of our advice below on how to approach tender applications with the right frame of mind in order to win your any public sector contract.

Learn from each application

Construct a database of your tender proposals; the answers you gave, the certifications or case studies you sent as supporting evidence. This database becomes the source of content for each subsequent local government contract you apply for. When it comes to this database of documents and information, don’t stint on the detail. Add as much into it as possible so that when it comes to putting together the answers for your next public sector tender, you have to hand as much detail as you could want. Then, you can edit down that data to give a succinct answer.

It’s easy to ignore requirements that seem irrelevant. But if the tendering organisation asked for it, then they must think it’s important. You may think they are asking the ‘wrong’ questions but that is their prerogative. Just answer the questions they have set as well as you can.

We also advise that you don’t copy old applications’ answers. By writing out a new answer each time, and not cutting and pasting from a previous tender, you will automatically answer each question better, with more relevance to the requirements of the tendering organisation.

Once you have received a final response to your tender –whether it is a yes or no – make sure to review your application with your team. Find out where you could have improved things. If possible, make those improvements straight away. Don’t wait for the next tender to come in. At this point the pressure is on to just get this where the pressure is on to deliver before a deadline.

Get serious about your application

Don’t ignore questions, send incomplete proposals or apply after the deadline. Being professional about the tender process will help you win your first tender.

So, assemble the right team and apportion tender-related duties to them: who is responsible for scheduling the delivery? who will draft and redraft the main documents? who will supply copies of legal documents? what documentation is needed and how is it to be supplied? Assigning the right people to the right roles within the tendering process is crucial.

Aim for an ‘easy win’

If you have yet to win your first tender, consider applying for tenders whose criteria your company would have no problem in fulfilling.

These could be government tenders located directly within your geographic area of service or in your business sector. Or it can be a tender that is of a size that you could comfortably handle with your current facilities and staff.