There are many ways an organization can grow and one major route is in submitting bids, tenders and proposals and while they all have unique requirements, they demand almost similar standards in how they are responded to. Primarily a response to a bid, tender, or proposal will look at your understanding, capacity, technical capabilities, financial ability and project budget and all these factors will be weighed differently based on the job at hand.

To the myopic, responding to a request based on the prescribed items is enough, but to deliver a successful bid, your response needs more information for it to stand out and be considered for the job. When responding to a request, you must see yourself as a competitor; seek out your competitive advantage, size up and know your client, their demands and expectations; other things they value, and package your response to address all these and more.

A good response not only meets minimum requirements, but it also screams pick me; it qualifies you technically, and financially and exudes added value based on how you package your narrative and response. Getting all this right is not to be left to chance, each response must be researched, the right questions and assumptions need to be looked at, value points identified, best pricing models developed and all this is packaged using clear and understandable language.

After research, the bidder needs to create a checklist; highlighting timelines, resource requirements, documents needed, team member capabilities, role allocation, relevant experiences and any certifications. Next is to formulate your detailed solution and evidence on how you will deliver it; here is where you show what other value you bring to the table. This is the point you introduce your differentiating factors and where most bids are won or lost.

As you do this you must also know who your competitors are (not always possible) and strategize against their strengths or weaknesses and your thinking here must be formulated to give you a competitive advantage.
Your research must also inform you what the client is looking for in terms of value and cost; try to be within range and do not drastically under-quote or over-quote. It is important to have a strategy to come up with your pricing and in doing so avoid undercutting yourself or absorbing some costs as you will end up servicing the project at a loss. Thus an itemized list of all cost areas is important for you to keep track of the cost areas and ensure they are captured and are justifiable in your revert.

Given that servicing tenders, bids and proposals are expensive, it is important to also understand the client’s payment terms. Many winners have suffered great losses occasioned by payment delays and thus you have to have a clear sight of this and how to package your response.

Besides payments, the bidding process has many challenges key among them confidentiality agreements, intellectual property rights of concepts developed, unfair evaluation, number of bidders, corruption and cost of bidding. Solutions to some of this are to attend briefing sessions, seek clarity and be present in tender opening sessions. Further, where possible vet what the competitors have done, learn from them and build your know-how and understanding on how to respond. If you lose a bid, inquire why and make amends for the next bid.

Where possible it is also prudent to focus on a niche/industry, don’t spread yourself too thin as a jack of all trades. By focusing on a niche space you can get industry experts on board to consult on and guide your response based on their knowledge and expertise giving you a competitive advantage over your peers. If budgets allow, you can have a dedicated tender response department whose sole focus is getting tender responses right.

Another common mistake is mismanaging timelines, in an ideal case prepare early so that you have time to proofread and submit correctly. Spelling mistakes speak volumes about the quality of your work and may result in your losing the bid.

By following the above steps and avoiding the highlighted pitfalls, you have a better chance of submitting a winning revert. To show your seriousness you can also engage the services of a designer to lay out your bid, first impressions matter; using images, helps the client visualize images and outcomes where possible; after all a picture is worth a thousand words.

Should you wish to apply for or service your tender, talk to us regarding the products we have to help you deliver. At Springboard Capital we understand that  tenders play a pivotal role in business growth and expansion therefore ,we are committed to being your partner in achieving success. We also offer various loan products such as Business Loan, Emergency Loan, Asset Financing, Salaried Loan, Loan against Logbook, Import Duty Financing or Title Deed Loan, to help grow and manage all operations. Contact us today at 0700 944 444 or WhatsApp us through the button below, or email us at

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Article based on Loice Ominde’s BizSmart Webinar Presentation – Loice is a Marketing and Communications expert at TenderSoko Limited. She has vast experience in PR and Marketing. With over two years experience in marketing she develops comprehensive communication, marketing and media outreach strategies. These strategies include developing and implementing workable marketing strategies that have resulted in increased customer loyalty and product uptake.

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