In the new world, where small contracts are consolidated to make it easier for the finance teams to process, it’s fair to assume that you could lose a nice, regular, much needed income stream if you are the smaller business up against larger competitors for what has now been put out to tender.
For a major bid for a systems integrator (SI) to a large city in the England as part of its Smart Cities* programme Winning Tenders was asked to participate and produce a 100-page solution description.
This project was about the Hub – Control Room which would combine four different networks/systems:
• Alarms / separate CCTV
• Traffic Lights / separate CCTV.
These systems all existed previously in separate ‘silos’. Under this project all would be merged into one and relocated to the new Hub.
Most businesses fail with their first attempt at a formal tender. They needn’t, but they do. This prompts some to give up: ‘I tried it once, didn’t get anywhere, it’s a waste of time.’
This is a shame. Formal tenders are the route to larger contracts, repeat business, and the opportunity to earn more revenue while having fewer clients to manage.
One reason that businesses give up is that they fail to grasp the reasons for their failure. They console themselves with the notion that the result was a foregone conclusion, or that the winning bidder came in with a ‘giveaway’ price. This is rarely the reality.
Here are two of the main reasons that first attempt tenders fail:
That’s a question that I’m sure we’ve all been asked in a variety of ways in recent months. On the one hand, of course, we simply don’t know. On the other, it’s hard to imagine a scenario where one day we will suddenly find ourselves having to run or promote our business any differently from today.
One way to grow your business is to take on more and more smaller contracts. The problem with this is that all of these need to be managed. The extra contracts and customers all add to your overheads.
The good news is that any such contracts you may already have will prove invaluable as references and case studies when pitching for larger contracts. The even better news is that by concentrating on larger contracts you have fewer clients to manage; so you can give them your full attention. Larger contracts also tend to be longer term, giving you greater security with revenue and business planning.
Contracts like this are usually subject to formal tender processes. Getting your business development and sales team in shape to tackle these opportunities is a challenge.
This video gives some handy hints and tips on how you can prepare your business to step up to the demands of formal tendering. It describes the main things that clients are looking for and reveals some tactics you can use to build your credibility and track record, ready to launch you towards success.
If all this sounds a bit daunting, remember that specialist help is available from the Winning Tenders team. Moving up to formal tenders is a journey – we help you get there sooner and with less drama along the way.