Our 5 principles for bidding, explained

Principle 1

It’s all about the buyer.

When putting together a bid, big or small, on your own or as part of a large bid team, there is one very important and over-arching principle which you mustn’t ignore, but that most do. That is:

“It’s all about the buyer”

More often than not it seems a bid manager or bid team will embark on an all-important tender for their organisation and start by thinking ‘what is there about our great company that I can tell the buyer all about?’ this is fundamentally the wrong approach as it relies on you being able to guess what things about your company might be relevant to them.

Instead, it’s vital construct your responses around the buyer and the things that you know are important to them. This means when your responses are being evaluated, they ring true for the buyer and hopefully speak their language.

Principle 2

do your research.

Accepting principle 1, it follows that it might be a good idea to understand who that buyer is. What’s important to them? What makes them tick? The only way to do this is to get to know the buyer, and do your research.

This may sound like a tricky thing to do, but it isn’t, as long as you’ve got your head around the importance of doing it, and have learnt some tricks of the trade.

It means putting the time in that’s needed to ensure the responses in your proposal reflect the core values, personality and vision of the buyer.

It also means considering the issues that will surround that particular contract, be they social, legislative or economic.

Principle 3

Have a strong foundation.

Bidding for work from either public or private sectors isn’t a walk in the park. Gone are the days where you can get by on reputation – or price – alone.

Instead these bids require your business to have a strong foundation of trading history, experience and documented policies and procedures to call upon. As far as the public sector is concerned, its no use being excellent at what you do if you cant demonstrate that your systems are strong, you’ve been here before and your excellence is underpinned by structure and process.

The time to get your business policies in shape is before that must-win tender lands on your desk.

Principle 4

Be competitive.

Compliance comes first, but after ensuring that there is nothing that could make you ineligible to bid, comes being competitive.

Supplying the public sector can be both rewarding and profitable (really!) But you have to know your competition, know your market and price keenly to stay ahead.

We know the austerity measures the public sector faces, but that opens up opportunities for talented and efficient providers to help them in that process. It’s about knowing what they need, and what they need above all is Value for Money.

Be creative about how you demonstrate Value for Money, even relatively small savings show you have a business culture that priorities value for your customers.

Principle 5

Build your story.

Buyers are people, too… they want to know where your business has come form and where its going. They want to hear about some of the successes you’ve had that might be relevant to them. They want to know that actually you are passionate about what you do and will look after them as a valued client.

Building your story is about the small things. Its keeping a record of some of the positive things you’ve done, or clients you’ve helped. They want to know key lessons you’ve learnt and how that has shaped your business, and created a cycle of continuous improvement.
In the work we’ve done, some of the most personally rewarding has been working with small, family run businesses and helping them to prosper, safeguard jobs and grow.

If you felt a warm, fuzzy feeling reading that last paragraph, think how your evaluator might feel, seeing a small spark of human-interest in a sea of dry and methodical responses.

If you call this number 01572 868 500 you will be put through one of our Bid Team. That means no sales people over-promising to get you through the door, the person you speak to about your tender today will be accountable throughout any engagement.