Tendering is a dog-eat-dog world, with only two types of outcome. Either you win, or you lose.

So, you’ve got to be fit to survive and you’ve got to make every shot count, and our Tendering Survival Guide will show you how to do that. 

It's jungle out there, but it’s easier to navigate if you remember the PCPC Principle, which our Survival Guide is based on:

Let’s get started by looking at the importance of positioning. 

Tip #1: Positioning

Positioning involves gaining a clear understanding of the client, the dynamics of the market they operate in, the competition you’ll be up against and the opportunity itself. It also involves you understanding if, how and where you fit into this picture, so that you can best chase those opportunities that match your organisation’s unique DNA. Some-positioning related questions you need to ask are:

  1. Understand your target client: What opportunities would you like to win? And what are the characteristics of the organisations offering those opportunities?
  2. Understand the competitors: What competitors will also be chasing those opportunities? What’s their approach likely to be? How do they differ from you? 
  3. Understand your competitive advantages: How can your company tweak its offering to best meet the needs of your target clients? What sets you apart? How can you differentiate yourselves from the competition? 

For ease of understanding, let’s apply this to a situation. You're tasked with surviving in a river-filled forest. In order to survive, one of your opportunities is to catch fish. So let’s walk through the questions:

  1. Understand your target client: What fish are going to satisfy your hunger? How many do you need to catch? What lures do they prefer? Which parts of the river are likely to deliver the best catch rate?
  2. Understand the competitors: Is anyone else likely to be fishing this part of the river? What fishing techniques will they be using? Are they any good? How can you beat them to the best spots? 
  3. Understand your competitive advantages: Can you cast further? Do you have custom-made lures? Are you more patient? Are you an earlier riser? 

It’s this knowledge of your ideal clients, your competitors and yourself that provides the foundation for any good bid strategy. Armed with this, you can disregard the opportunities that aren’t a great fit and instead focus your resources and energy on bids that have a higher probability of success. 

Tendering survival challenge:

  • Create a checklist of five things that would make an ideal opportunity for your organisation, then order them in terms of importance
  • Use this checklist to filter the good opportunities from the average ones, in order to arrive at a clear bid/no-bid decision for each one
  • Remember, if it’s not “hell yes!”, then it’s “hell no!”   

Want to become a bid master?

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Want more tips like this?

Our Tendering Survival Guide provides a clear strategy to help you out-perform your competition.