You now have a business large enough to go out and look for more business. You’ve found some great RFP (Request For Tender) and you want to go ahead and bid for some more work. So what should you have done in your business before hand?
An old adage that I try and remember is that preparation, preparation and preparation make a great job seem easy. It is a sad fact that many companies jump into bidding or tendering for more work and they are simply not ready. So what should you do before you write that all important tender?
Most importantly you have to ensure that your business can actually undertake the project and complete the work whilst making a profit. Seems simple doesn’t it – but even very large companies have bid on and won projects that have lost them millions of dollars/pounds. Look up the Post Office Pathway project in the UK and see how that nearly bankrupted both the Post Office and the companies undertaking the work.
Secondly you need to understand where your company stands with respect to your competitors. Are they more likely to win the project? Can you work with one of them in order to have more chance of winning the project? Is there a competitor that you need to look out for? Are you the leader in your field for some particular product or service? This is important because you should emphasise this in your proposal.
Now look at the risks and rewards appertaining to the project? List your strengths and weaknesses and see if the RFP plays to your strengths. You need to be 100% certain that you are going to be able to make a profit, and hopefully advance your company, should you win the bid.
Next you need to prepare your bidding environment. Most proposals require some standard documentation such as company and product information and staff CV’s/Resumes. You should have these to hand.
Lastly prepare your company. You need to know what bidding strategy you will be using. Are you going to bid low and provide a minimal solution or do you want to provide a great solution with all the “bells and whistles” and bid correspondingly high? Not all bids are won by the lowest bidder – many look at the quality of the bid itself.
Now read through the RFP in detail and ensure that you understand it and have enough staff and resources to not only prepare the proposal but also complete the winning project. Good luck.
© Copyright 2009 Biz Guru Ltd
Lee Lister writes as The Biz Guru, for a number of web sites where she provides advice and assistance for the business entrepreneur. She is known as the Bid Manager and is a recognized bid management expert.
If you would like more help and assistance in tendering for work then visit: http://www.TenderWriting.com or read <i>Proposal Writing For Smaller Businesses </i> which can be found on Amazon and other major book sites.
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