To subscribe or not to subscribe? That is the question...

And the answer is: it depends on your business, situation, and goals. It can be hard to decide, so we've put together a list of the pros and cons of manually monitoring different tender sources vs. paying for a tender notification subscription.

Before reading the list, here are some questions to think about in relation to your own business – they should help give you an idea of how important each pro and con is to you:

  1. What’s your budget like? Are you a small or new business with tight margins? Or are you a more established organisation with flexibility?
  2. How reliant are you on tendering for business? Do you need a steady stream of opportunities? Or do you only need 1 or 2 high-value tenders?
  3. How much time to you have? Is your business busy and/or understaffed? Or do you have available time and capacity?
  4. What’s your market like? Are you in a niche industry where it’s hard to find the right tenders? Or are you in a broad sector where relevant tenders are abundant?
  5. How much competition is there? Is having a competitive edge important for you to win more business? Or are you the main player and unworried about market share?

Monitoring Sources Yourself


  • You can register to a lot of Buyer websites and e-tendering portals for free, and receive email updates when new tenders are released.


  • You’ll be paying staff to search for tenders when you could be paying them to write tender responses, provide your goods/services to customers, or deliver another important business function.
  • You’ll have to spend time finding tender sources in your industry.
  • If you’ve registered to receive emails about new tenders from multiple sources, it will take you time to manage all of these emails and sift through each one to find any relevant opportunities.
  • You’ll have to manually check any sources that don’t offer free email alerts (e.g. newspapers, some online publications, some Buyer websites) for new tenders periodically.
Market Coverage
  • You won’t be able to manually monitor all sources across your entire industry, which means you’ll likely miss out on relevant tenders.
  • You’ll have to keep track of all the different tender sources, including login details, when certain sources need to be manually checked for new tenders etc.
  • You’ll have to manage emails from a lot of different sources, which can quickly clog up your inbox.
  • You’ll have to sift through a lot of irrelevant tenders to find ones you’re interested in because most free options don’t allow you to narrow down your search further than a broad industry category (e.g. ‘cleaning’).

Subscribing to a Notification Service


  • You’ll save on staff costs related to time spent searching for tender sources, and most providers offer a range of different plans to suit different businesses and budgets.
  • You can get a monthly subscription so that there’s no long-term financial commitment, and you can just pay for a subscription when you need it/can afford it.
  • You won’t have to spend time searching for relevant tender sources, sifting through lots of emails to find the right opportunities, or manually checking sources that don’t offer email alerts for new tenders (e.g. newspapers, some online publications, some Buyer websites).
Market Coverage
  • You’ll get coverage of the whole market, meaning you won’t risk missing that perfect tender, and you'll be able to gain insight about industry and any seasonal tender trends.
  • You’ll get sent tenders from all sources in one single email, with one single login.
  • You can use targeted industry categories to control exactly what types of tenders you get sent, so you only see opportunities relevant to your business.
Competitive Advantage
  • You’ll get new tenders sent to you shortly after they’re loaded into the system, giving you the most time possible to prepare a high-quality response.
  • If your subscription has access to tender outcome information (also called award data) then you’ll be able to gain insight into your market and see what your competitors are winning, and in a lot of cases how much the contract was worth.
  • You’ll also be able to use awarded tender data to identify any recurring contracts, predict when they’re coming up for renewal, and prepare a high-quality response in advance to get ahead of your competitors.
  • You’ll be able to search awarded tender info to find subcontract opportunities (e.g. if you supply bitumen you could look at who’s winning contracts for public roads, and approach them to be a supplier) and build relationships with key Buyers in your industry.
Added Value

(depending on provider)

  • You’ll get a dedicated account manager to help if you’ve got any issues submitting tenders etc, saving time and making sure you don’t miss out.
  • You could get other add-ons or benefits, like discounted tender response training workshops.


  • You may not be able to afford a tender notification service, especially if you’re a small or new business with a very tight budget.

These are all things to consider in relation to your own business, and identify how important they are when deciding whether you should subscribe to a tender notification service.

For example, if you’re a small or new business with a very tight budget, and cost is the most important factor, then you might want to start out by manually monitoring a few key sources like Buyer portals or tender aggregator websites like ours.

In this situation it would also be useful to keep track of how long you spend searching, sorting and sourcing tenders, so that you can monitor your return on investment - it might turn out that a tender notification subscription provides a better return on investment than paying for staff to manage this process. Feedback from most of our customers is that if they win even one tender, it would cover a whole year’s worth of their subscription!

In most cases the pros of subscribing to a tender notification service outweigh the cons, and the additional value that it can provide make it the most cost-effective option for the majority of businesses.

Got questions or want to know more about our tender notification service?
Chat to one of our friendly team or check out our plans!