Common Tendering Mistakes and How to Avoid Them


Craig Millhouse - Managing Director,  7House

Craig Millhouse – Managing Director, 7House

This is a guest post by Craig Millhouse the MD of 7House, a specialist business development firm. Learn more about 7House here and connect with Craig on Google Plus.

Companies that have a history of tendering for work are fully aware of how complicated and protracted this process can be. Having written hundreds of tenders and helped countless businesses through the tender process, we have noticed a number of common mistakes that when avoided can enhance the proposal immeasurably.

1)      Typos and Errors

Whilst a grammatically correct tender doesn’t mean success, a grammatically incorrect tender can mean failure. Straightforward grammatical errors often cause suppliers to dismiss proposals which are otherwise of decent quality.

A simple way to avoid typos and errors is to have THREE different people go through the whole tender on completion – not the most exhilarating of tasks but vitally important!

2)      Lack of Clarity

Suppliers will be going through many tenders so the last thing they want to read is a long-winded answer that is barely relevant to their requirements. Keep your answers clear and concise and – most importantly – relevant to the conditions stipulated in the tender.

Also remember to give details of your skills, experience and qualifications in a way that the supplier will understand how they benefit from these attributes.

3)      Opting for Quantity over Quality

A frequent blunder made by many companies is to rely on quantity rather than quality. The theory seems to be the more tenders a business submits, the more chance they have of success. This haphazard approach often takes away from the quality of each tender and relies on chance rather than skill.

Businesses that take a disciplined approach to tendering and only pursue contracts where they can offer insight and value are usually the ones that are successful.

4)       Give yourself Sufficient Time with a Useful Tender Tracker

One of the biggest problems many businesses face is obtaining tender information that offers adequate time to research and prepare the bid.

Most tender trackers offer little more than a month often resulting in a rushed and poorly researched bid. In order to engage fully in pre-bid discussions and construct a well-researched and detailed proposal, you may need anything up to six months or more.

To achieve this you should use an advanced tender notification system that can provide you with additional time and ensure you can engage with decision makers and influence the bid specification before it goes out to the market.

Here’s one product that will do this for you  Contracts Advance 

5)      Look Good, Feel Good

A high quality tender should provide useful information that is laid out in an easy-to-read format.

Use headings, diagrams, photos etc. and divide the tender into appropriate sections.  Make your tender visually pleasing and easy-to-navigate.

6)      Not Seeking an Explanation from Suppliers

Don’t assume anything.

If you are unsure of any details with regards to the tender, contact the supplier and ask. Don’t take the risk of misinterpreting the requirements of the supplier. Tender forms come with contact details so use them.

If you would like to learn more about Steve please click here.

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Passionate about making business development a profession not just a job. Built and sold a £40m group in less than 9 years. Doing it all again and loving it!

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Mike Ames

Passionate about making business development a profession not just a job. Built and sold a £40m group in less than 9 years. Doing it all again and loving it!

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