Writing a tender is like writing a job application ― your goal is to convince someone why you are the right person or team to hire. The big difference is that with tender writing, you’re setting your own price for the job. And the amount you quote is going to have a big impact on whether or not you secure the contract.
But the key element to writing a great tender submission is not necessarily offering the lowest price. Instead it’s about building a strong case for why you can provide the best outcome for the project, which justifies your final quote. Here’s our tips on how to achieve this for your next construction project, through smart tender writing.
1. Simple language
Use everyday language and avoid using technical terms that the reader might be unfamiliar with (it may be appropriate to use them in places, but explain what they mean). Avoid writing long, waffling paragraphs — if you can make the same point using less words then do so.
2. Keep it short
It’s likely that the reader will be reviewing several proposals, which is a time consuming process. Make it easier for them by presenting the key information up front and in concise points. Don’t make them sift through the document to find what they’re looking for — stay brief and stay relevant to the questions asked.
3. Answer the criteria
As you write a tender, continually check back to ensure you’re still addressing the questions being asked and not veering off track. While you might be making some valuable points, your tender cannot be assessed if you don’t answer the original criteria.
4. Transparent pricing
Be transparent with how costs have been calculated and your reasoning behind them. For instance, if premium materials have been selected for your project that may be more costly than that offered by competitors, explain why this is important.
There’s nothing wrong with being more expensive than your competitors if you believe you can offer greater quality, experience and value on the project ― but you need to articulate why this is the case and provide some evidence to support the claim.
5. Stick to a template
If you’re unfamiliar with writing a tender for construction projects, consider using a template to guide you. Master Builders offer a standard industry template and are available to answer other questions about how to write a great tender, and there’s plenty of other examples available online.
6. Understand the process
Understanding how the tender process works will make the tender writing process much easier, help eliminate avoidable mistakes in your proposal and clarify your expectations about the tender assessment process.
7. Use examples
Rather than simply stating your abilities, back up your expertise by using examples of your achievements. Also consider including any relevant qualifications, testimonials and referees to support your tender.
8. Outline your approach
When writing a tender for construction projects, be straightforward in the approach you'll take to getting the job done. The more you can demonstrate that you have the resources capacity behind you to be successful, the more likely it is you'll win the tender.
Assessors are specifically looking to see that you've thought through and planned for every stage in the project, so there's no surprises at the last minute which may throw out the budget or construction timelines. This also serves to justify costings.
It might sound simple, but submitting a tender that contains typos or other absent-minded mistakes will create a bad impression of your business, and make an assessor question whether or not you’d pay attention to detail on the job itself. Have someone proofread your tender before it's sent. For the same reason, ensure your proposal is submitted before the deadline.
Staying on top of admin is important for timely tender submissions. Recently we wrote a guide to maximising your tax return in 2017― download it by clicking on the image below.