Writing a tender proposal
You will learn
- Tips for what to include when writing a tender proposal
- What to include in your tender specification
- Ideas for where to advertise your tender
When looking for materials or contractors for your business, it’s always a good idea for you to go through a tender process to make sure you’re always getting the best deal for your money. It’s easy to get sucked into a sales pitch when you’re talking to other businesses and you might not end up getting the best value for your money.
This is where writing a tender proposal can help – it removes an emotive pitch from the equation and ensures that you can assess all your options before making a decision. This article is going to share with you some top tips for writing a tender proposal to make sure you’re always getting the best deal when contracting work or buying materials.
What to include in your tender proposal
There are lots of different pieces of information you should include when writing a tender proposal. The most important thing to remember throughout the document is to be specific, you’re more likely to receive the right kind of responses if you do. Take the time to consider exactly what you want to receive at the end of your contract and convey that in your documents so providers know exactly what it is you’re looking for.
When writing a tender proposal, you should include elements such as:
A cover sheet
This gives a potential provider basic information about your offer: the contract title, projected date, your business name and logo, and the contact details of the project manager.
An overview of the proposal
What are the basics your contract requires, why do you need it, and how will it be used in your business? Include deadlines both for responses to the tender and a proposed start and end date for your contract. Stating your timescales and expectations will allow applicants to consider whether they’d be able to manage your need alongside their current work.
You might also want to include an overview of the approximate value of your product or project so providers know what budget you’re working to and whether they’re a correct fit for your needs. It’s important that you research your market before including a value in your tender document to ensure you’re not under- or overestimating the supply cost.
Here, you need to include a detailed specification of what you need from a provider. State exactly what you’re looking for in a product or service from your successful tender applicant and let them know what they can expect when working with you.
Consider things like:
1. Volumes required
2. Installation, warrantees and maintenance requirements
3. What the contract will not include (if applicable)
4. What benefits they are eligible for during the contract date
5. Who their main point of contact will be
6. Invoice information and payment expectations
7. What standards they must conform to
8. How you will manage the performance of the product or service
Each tender proposal will be unique to the project or product it is concerned with. This is just an overview of how you can structure your tender process and it is by no means an exhaustive guide. You can include as much information in your proposal as you like.
Where to advertise your opportunity
Once you’re happy with your tender proposal, you’ll need to advertise your opportunity to businesses. Where you place your proposal will in part depend on your industry and what you’re tendering for. A good place to start with your advertising is to engage with industry associations, local councils, or by contacting available suppliers directly, although not all will reply to your tender so it could be worth checking with them before sending your documents over.
What to look for in an application
Once you’ve written and advertised your tender proposal, you’ll need to evaluate the tender applications you’ve received. You’ll be able to critically analyse the offers that have been put forward to you, rather than being sucked into a face-to-face sales pitch and agreeing to something before you’ve done your research. Compare each application, research the businesses who have come forward and make an informed decision about who you want to work with.
A great tender response will include detailed information about how that business can meet your specifications. They’ll explain clearly how their experience and expertise makes them the most suitable candidate for your contract and put forward a projected price for their work or products. The best responses will also make it clear how they’ll manage your contract and meet your suggested timescales, providing a specification of what they’ll provide and when they’ll provide it.
Writing a tender proposal for big contracts within your business allows you to make informed decisions about providers. It lets you research and understand the options that are available to you and clearly sets out the expectations between your business and the providers who will hold a contract with you. Your proposal needs to be as clear and as detailed as possible to allow applicants to appropriately respond with their offer.