Step By Step Guide: How to get up to speed with Tendering
  • by Claris Zimbiti



tendertube | Step By Step Guide: How to get up to speed with Tendering

If you want to grow your business fast, then tendering has to be an essential part of your sales strategy.

But for whatever reason, it seems tendering can be so confusing especially if you are a newbie. Even if you are experienced, I bet you have probably gotten stuck a time or two. Right?

If you want to start tendering but do not know your next move, check out these 12 easy steps.

This step by step guide will help you get up to speed with tendering without any hassle. You will get to know the basics of tendering and what to do before you can start bidding.

To make it easy for you to remember the steps, we have divided them into four phases: Prepare, Action, Review and Monitor.

Let’s start with the first phase: Prepare.

As Abraham Lincoln said “Give me six hours to chop down a tree and I will spend the first four sharpening the axe.” Let’s sharpen our axes first.


tendertube | key tendertung strategies for beginners





Step 1: Research

The first thing is to research the different kinds of tender opportunities available in your space.

It is important to study the different types of tenders that are available in your market. You need to understand what each one entails before submitting a tender.

And the internet has made so many things way much easier. Tender documents can now be easily downloaded online on different tender portals.

Perhaps the easiest way is to go to company websites and download the available tender documents. Alternatively, you can register on tender portals such as Tendertube , which make it easier to find tender documents.

You don't need to go through the effort of manually searching for them. Each time a new tender opportunity comes out, you get notified through your email.

The next thing is to take time to study tender documents in detail so that you are familiar with them.

Pay special attention to the following:

tendertube | Research

The best way is to prepare a checklist to assess your level of readiness. Take note of what you don’t have or what you need to do. Identify any issues or gaps that you need to address before you can start bidding for work.


Step 2: Decide what you want

Not everyone is your customer. And not every opportunity is right for your business. So you need to make some critical decisions here.Take a look at some of the questions below. They are not conclusive but they are to kickstart your mind.

tendertube | Make a Decision

The recommended way is to develop a checklist of how you are going to decide to bid for a project.


Step 3: Gather up commonly requested information

Most tenders have tight deadlines , so you don’t want to waste time preparing documents that you could have prepared before. You only want to concentrate on writing your bid. Start gathering all the required documentation into a central repository that is easily accessible.

If you want some more advanced ways to prepare yourself, check out this post with seven ways to get organised and write your bid faster.

Now that we've looked at how to prepare for the opportunities, let's move on. We are now getting into the action mode. Because you will be racing against time.

tendertube | Take Action




Step 4: Identify right opportunities

It is essential to be able to find contracts relevant to you. Searching for suitable tenders takes time and commitment. Therefore you need an easy and faster way to do that. Most businesses do not have enough resources to do that. So how are you going to find tenders that are suitable for your business in a more productive way?

The good news is there are different tender portals that are available online that can help you streamline that process. These tender search platforms allow you to search for tenders and other opportunities relevant to your business.


Step 5: Read carefully and analyse the tender document

Many bidders fail to win not because they don’t know how to do the work. But because they fail to read, understand and analyse tender documents.

It is necessary to read the tender documents thoroughly point by point. This will help you understand all the requirements and instructions of the tender. You will be able to identify aspects which are important in order to meet customer specifications.

Guard against making hasty assumptions on the basis of an initial scanning of the document. Check, check, and check again. If something is missing, unclear, incorrect, or ambiguous then raise a clarification.


Step 6: Decide whether to bid or not to bid

It is not very wise to bid on every tender that comes your way. There are many issues that can arise from bidding on too many tenders. One of these issues is not having enough time to dedicate each project, which can result in lower quality work or even missed deadlines.


You need to make sure the tender is your best bet before you put in any effort. So, here is what you do. Once you find a promising opportunity, review against the checklist you developed on Step 2, to see whether it's worth the effort. If it's a yes, go to the next step.


Step 7: Assign roles and responsibilities

If you have a team in place, you need to assign who is doing what. Assigning tasks and responsibilities to each person will ensure that the workload is divided evenly and everyone knows what they need to do. It will also help reduce conflicts, since each person knows their role on the team.

As John Maxwell said “Good things happen to a team when a player takes the place where he adds the most value. Great things happen when all the players on the team take the role that maximises their strengths—their talent, skill, and experience.”

tendertube | Assign Roles and Responsibilities

Step 8: Write your first draft

There are five important points that need to be considered when writing a bid. They are:


Always be specific. Use data, facts and figures.

Avoid technical jargon and vague claims which you have no proof.


Have you followed all the stipulated instructions?

Have you addressed all the conditions?

Have you provided all the required documentation?


Check to make sure that there are no missing sections or missing documents.

There are some key areas that need to be signed in your bid. Make sure you sign these.


It’s not enough to only be compliant. You have to address the customer’s underlying needs. How many times have you bought a product because you felt that this seller understood exactly what you need? Take time to understand what the customer is trying to achieve.

People don’t just buy products or services for fun. They buy to alleviate some pain. Avoid talking about yourself. Instead, make your customer the hero.


It is important that your customer is able to quickly understand the key messages you are telling them. So it is not good to dump all the information that you have. Instead,only include information that is relevant to the opportunity.

Also, break your bid into logically separate parts and provide a clear table of contents.

One more thing…. Don’t forget to add some graphics.

Now let's talk about the next phase, Review, where we discuss editing and critiquing your bid.

tendertube | Time for Review




Step 9: Edit your proposal

It's natural for us to immediately go back and edit our work. But editing your proposal right after writing could stop you from taking a closer look at the finer details.

Rather, leave your bid alone for a day . Give yourself time to sleep on it, if you can. When you take time away from your bid, you will be able to see the errors and gaps more clearly.

This allows you to make more informed changes and come up with a more polished document. Also, do not edit the whole document at once. Do it in blocks of time.


Step 10: Proofread

People often judge a book by its cover. So if you make silly mistakes, your customers may assume that you cannot deliver as promised.

Proofreading helps you to avoid misspellings, incorrect punctuation, errors on pricing calculations etc.

You have worked hard so far. You do not want careless errors to distract your reader from what you have to say. The best way is to have a second pair of eyes.

You can ask your friends/team or other people to do it for you. Alternatively, you can go the professional way and ask a professional or a tender consultant.


Step 11: Submit

Hooray!! You have done a good job. Now it’s time to pat yourself on the back. Be careful not to go into relaxation mode yet. It is not over until it is over.

Remember late proposals are not even looked at. For example if the submission deadline is 1000 hours, if you submit by 1002 hours then you are late. Your bid is thrown out.

Ouch! It’s painful, isn’t it? So leave enough time so that you meet the submission deadline.

The next thing is you have to decide whether you are submitting in person, through email, using courier services or uploading on a portal. This depends on what the customer wants. Whatever you decide, the general rule is follow the instructions given by your customer.

Last but not least, we will look at the last phase of Monitoring.

tendertube | Monitor



Step 12: Listen attentively for any questions

The customer starts to evaluate your bids. It’s no time to forget everything or go on holiday. They might need additional information at times or some clarification on something that isn't sufficient enough.

Be accessible. Stay alert. Check your email frequently. You have to deliver this information quickly.

If you are given a chance to give a presentation, take this opportunity to reassure the customer that you can actually deliver what you promised.

In other cases, you might be asked to negotiate the contract. It all depends on the type of work and complexity.


Contract Signing

Wow! Now it’s the time to celebrate. It’s party time. You are now being rewarded for the hard work. Don’t forget to appreciate your team.


Let’s Wrap up!

And there you have it! A step by step process to help you get started with tendering.

If you were confused or stuck with tendering, I hope we have cleared the mystery for you.

And you can start to do your thing with confidence.

Remember, with tendering alone you cannot accomplish much. It has to be part of the broader sales strategy of your business.

Now it’s over to you to take action. What one action are you going to take today?