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Tips for winning contracts

Wed 30th Sep 2015
The public sector can be a fantastic source of work for contractors. Each year Billions of pounds worth of tenders are released. Often smaller contractors can find the whole process a bit overwhelming and choose not to put themselves forward. This can be a great missed opportunity. By following these tips, you can help yourself to be more confident in reaching out to these contract gems.
1) Seek out the opportunities – the first step is to find out where the tenders are being advertised and make sure you regularly check in to see what is available. On most sites, you can register for updates to be sent directly to your email. This can be a great time saver and helps avoid missing opportunities.
2) Be selective on what you bid for. Whilst it can be tempting to go after every opportunity, it makes sense to save your time and resources for the tenders you have best chance of winning. There is no doubt about it, submitting a tender is time-consuming and it is sensible o spend the most amount of time on the projects you have the best chance of obtaining.
3) Get to know the client. If possible, a quick conversation to the buyer can help you to understand their motivations for the project. This conversation can help to steer your bid format and help you to stand out from the crowd.
4) Understand what the buyer wants. And show them you can deliver it without question. A professional tender submission is not a business advert. You need to make sure your proposal is specific to the task at hand.
5) Showcase your strengths – against the critical elements of the project. Read through the tender, understand the critical elements and focus on wowing your buyer with impressive solutions to their needs. Include examples of similar work so they can feel confident you deliver on your promises.
6) Have your prep ready. Understand the type of standard information you need for most tenders, and have that information to hand, ready to slot into place. This can reduce time as you search for various documents and accreditations you need to show to be allowed to bid.
7) Know your value. Understand the value of the project and the cost to yourself. It can be tempting to submit lower costs in order to secure a tender, but this route can lead to difficulties later one. Be realistic with your costing and focus on explaining the value in the project.
8) Reflect. If you do not win a tender, do not be disheartened. Review your bid, learn from it and be ready for the next opportunity with a better, more polished document that will see you through to a positive outcome.
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