Top tips for putting together a tender

When it comes to winning new business, many customers (both large privately owned companies and governmental departments) require businesses proposing to offer services or products to put together a tender document, outlining the details of an ongoing contract for however long the tender lasts for.  Putting together a tender, for a small business, can be pretty nerve wracking, but small and medium sized businesses have a lot to offer when it comes to tendering for business if you know how to go about it. Here, we’ve put together some easy to follow tips for putting together a tender.

  1. Read and understand the tender requirements

This sounds SO simple, but going through the tender document with a highlighter and flagging up any areas of concern or issues that need clarification is a must for anyone putting together a tender. Ask questions early and you’ll have a better chance of having good answers by the time your tender is due. Any missing information or areas where instructions aren’t followed to the letter could lose you marks, and could be the difference between gaining the business and losing out.

  1. Prepare your tender with care

If you prepare your response over time, and don’t leave it until the last minute, chances are you’ll provide a much better offer than one that is rushed. Don’t just leave it to one person, ask someone without bias to look over the tender and offer revision ideas before you produce the final draft.

  1. Put yourself in your potential customers’ shoes

What does your buyer really want? Think about this very carefully before putting together your tender document and you’ll appeal more to them than a company that tells the buyer just what they can do and nothing more. Do you have similar synergies? Do you work in the same way? Can you offer them any value added services that your competitor cannot? This is the time to look at accreditations such as ISO 9001:2008. If you have an accreditation in place, then this may be enough to sway the balance in your favour, as you’re showing you’re constantly committed to improvements, and have a robust strategy in place to achieve this.

  1. Think about structure

The best way to answer a tender invitation is by ordering your response in the same way as their request for tender document. This means that the potential customer won’t have to flip back and forth through the document to find what they need. If necessary, colour code your document (a great idea if it’s a long one!) to ensure your proposal is easy to understand.

  1. Don’t over promise

This is vital when writing a tender. Many companies fail to realise the importance of being very honest about what you can do. A tender document should show your company’s strengths, but should never promise something you’re not sure you can deliver.

  1. Back up your information

If you’ve won awards, then attach certificates or details, and if you’ve accreditation such as ISO, then provide proof. Avoiding waffle and providing facts will make your tender document impressive but not boastful.

  1. Check your grammar/spelling

Sounds simple, but there are many businesses out there that don’t bother with this, and it shows. If you care about your tender, have a proofreader look over it, or alternatively, a few different members of staff. There are also online spelling and grammar checkers you can use to make your document read extremely well.
PickUpThePhoneIf you’re interested in knowing more about how ISO can win your company more business, then why not speak to Synergos on 01484 817444, email or visit We can help you put in place an ISO accreditation that makes your chances of winning a tender even better!

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Jenny Kilburn
Jenny Kilburn
Completed my Masters in Business Administration (MBA) in 2012 I was looking to start my own business. With over 10 years improving and streamlining business systems, I grasped an opportunity to assist a local business to improve their quality and communication processes by researching the requirements of a quality management system based upon ISO 9001 and conducted my first internal audit that resulted in 97 improvement recommendations. After a successful outcome, I was recommended again and again with glowing reviews and in February 2014, Synergos Consultancy was born. I now have the role of regularly reviewing and planning the strategic direction of the business to ensure that Synergos continues to develop, whilst at the same time, still actively working closely with some of our clients. In my spare time I love to attend the theatre to watch musicals, dance productions and plays. In 2019, I attended the theatre a whopping 24 times. I follow a plant-based diet which I absolutely love. A keen tick-tock follower, I have picked up a lot of interesting recipes. A firm favourite is Brussel sprouts and sriracha sauce baked in the oven. Delicious!
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