How big should a tender be?

Many companies underestimate or don’t understand what goes into a winning tender. It is much more than your company profile and a keen price. In the vast majority of tenders you need to describe your methodology, capacity, past experience and your project team so you will probably end up with a tender in excess of 40 pages.

How important is presentation techniques such as photos and graphic design to winning government tenders?

When I have chaired Tender Evaluation Panels I have seen large and elaborate tenders containing lots of graphs, photos and fancy design features put aside while other more modest tenders were selected. The difference – the modest tenders provided relevant information that made the evaluation panel’s job easy. Good content always prevails over flashy presentation alone.

How much does it cost to get a consultant to write a tender?

This is a very common question we get at Corfocus. There are two main factors that determine the cost of writing a tender; the complexity of the RFT and how much information you already have that is directly relevant to the tender. The last factor is most important as it determines how much work a consultant needs to do. As a result, the cost could range from $3000 up to $10,000 so the project needs to be valued at $200,000 + to warrant your investment in a good tender writer. Tenders worth multi millions $ usually take longer and may require a larger investment.

In the end it depends on what you want as tender writing is a highly specialised field. Do you want a cheap job or do you want to give yourself the best chance of winning the project? You can probably hire a good technical writer for around $100 per hour but they are unlikely to really understand the government tendering system or have the experience inside the tender evaluation room that can make the winning difference.

I see the government market as a real growth path for my business. How do I crack it?

If you think you will do 5, 10 or more tenders each year the best thing you can do is set up a tendering system that has all the resources you need to win business consistently. This will require some investment on your part however, if you really want to be successful; just like buying a new piece of equipment or setting up any new business system. If you just do the occasional tender, say 1 or 2 each year then the best approach is to give yourself as much time as possible to really analyse the RFT and develop your tender; or you could hire a consultant to write the tender for you.

How long does it take to write a winning government tender?

The standard tender response period is around 25 days so unless you are really well prepared with all your information in place you need to get started early. You will not be writing for all this time but our experience suggests the earlier you get started the better your results. If you work with us the cut off is usually 14 days before the tender closing date if you want a tender that maximises your chance of winning.

How would we work together on my tender?

You know your business and Corfocus knows how the tendering system works so we would work as a team. Assuming a standard 25 day tender response period, we will read the Request for Tender and meet with you within 4 days, either in person or by phone or skype. During this meeting we will analyse the RFT and work out what relevant information you already have that we can use. As we start to develop the draft tender will ask you lots of questions to fill any gaps. Filling in the pricing schedules will be your job.

We should have the first draft to you by about day 16. You review the draft and return it us by day 18, noting any changes to be made. We then develop the 2nd draft and send it to you by Day 21. By this stage there should be minimal changes so the tender will be ready to lodge by day 24. We try to stay away from the absolute closing time as we have heard horror stories of companies missing out because they missed the deadline.