Have you ever been caught out, scrambling to find your next contract at the last minute? Is your business crazy busy one month, then dead quiet the next?

That’s why tendering to build your work pipeline in advance is crucial - often by the time your work runs out, you’ve missed the opportunity to bid. Tendering is a lucrative business, but one that takes time.

So while you can’t predict the future, you can plan for it. Here’s our 5 top tips for tendering to build your work pipeline:

1: Be proactive

  • Bid for tenders while you already have work lined up. It can be tempting to just focus on completing what’s in front of you, but if you wait until you’ve finished before looking for your next contract then it will likely be too late!
  • Create a strong online presence for procurers to find and learn more about you, using social media and your website for example.
  • Use tender outcome data to see who won what tender and when, and in some cases, how much for. You can even filter the awarded data by contract end date to predict when tenders you could compete for will come up for renewal, helping you to stay ahead of your competitors!

2: Be prepared

  • Create a library of bid documents and details you’ll be using regularly (e.g. client case studies, key personnel CVs, policy documents) and make sure it’s kept up to date. This speeds up the process and also helps ensure you’re not disqualified due to compliance issues.
  • Attend a bid response workshop or research tendering tips online to ensure your bid-writing skills are the best they can be to give yourself a greater chance of winning.

3: Know your market

  • Do a SWOT exercise (identifying Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities and Threats) for both yourself and your key competitors, to understand your capabilities, limitations and point of difference.
  • Investigate your competitors pricing to understand how you compare. Also, invest some time researching any potential buying and/or budget constraints purchasers may have. Most importantly, make sure that your pricing aligns with the value you can bring to the table.

4: Find the right buyers

  • Take the time to research ideal buyers – try searching our database of buyers, visiting council websites, going to networking events etc. Keep an eye on the types of opportunities they’re advertising to see if they need your goods/services.
  • Build strong relationships. Like anyone, buyers are more likely to go with someone they know, but make sure you have a good reason for contacting them initially – buyers don’t often appreciate unsolicited contact!

5: Find the right tenders

  • Check newspapers, search online, and sign up to e-procurement portals. Or, for a less time-consuming option with wider coverage of tenders in your industry, subscribe to a tender notification service like ours, which delivers the newest tenders from a range of sources straight to your inbox.
  • If you already have a tender notification subscription, ensure your profile is set up properly to match your location, specific industry category and subcategory. This will save you the time and frustration of sorting through irrelevant tenders.
  • Spend time qualifying for an informed bid/no bid decision. Ensure that before you bid, you qualify that you can actually deliver on everything required in the tender, so that you don’t waste time and money bidding when you don’t have a good chance of winning.

A little bit of preparation to get future work lined up now, will relieve the pressure later on - no more time, money, and resources wasted bidding on anything and everything out of desperation!

Finding opportunities well in advance will give you more time to thoroughly understand the tender requirements and prepare your bid response carefully, meaning you can submit a much higher quality submission with a better chance of winning!

Ready to start building your work pipeline now?

With an illion TenderLink subscription you’ll get the latest open tenders from your industry delivered straight to your inbox! If you want to check out the types of opportunities a subscription can provide, search our database for current contracts or request a free sample of tenders hand-picked to suit your business.