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Submitting a tender is essential when applying for many construction jobs and it’s key to the role of most building contractor’s jobs as well as small construction company owners. Knowing how to apply for a tender is important when starting the process and making sure you get every stage right is essential.
Should I bid?
Preparing a tender is a great way of giving yourself a better chance of winning a big contract but it can be time-consuming and expensive task so you need to know it’s worth your time. Here are some key points to keep in mind before preparing your bid:
- How much will it cost you to prepare? You can work this out by getting the bid documents, analysing them and ensuring you have the expertise and manpower to complete the project.
- Will the work fit in with your business’ long-term strategy?
- Will the cost of fulfilling the contract be worth it? Will you make any money?
- How will the project effect your ability to carry out or take on other work
You need to weigh up all these factors as well as the reputation of the potential customer before putting ant time and effort into writing your bid. It could be that not tendering could be damaging to your company’s reputation in some instances.
Give them what they want
To ensure you can provide the client with exactly what they require you should try and arrange a meeting or at least have a telephone conversation with them before you start working on the tender. Ask any necessary questions by phone or email if there are discrepancies in the tender document. You need to also ensure the client is serious about their project and that you’re considered a viable bidder. Some companies do choose to bulk out their bidders by accepting people who they have no real faith in so you want to be sure you’re being considered seriously.
Your tender for any construction projects should be designed to match all the specification of the bid document and ask all questions it states. You should begin by summarising your bid and explaining concisely why it answers the client’s needs. This should be the last thing you write once you’ve finished your bid but should be placed at the front to show you mean business.
Your tender should:
- Focus on the client – talk about their needs and how your business is able to solve their problems. You should only talk about yourself in relation to how you can help them.
- Help the client creatively – find alternative solutions to their problems. Show your creativity and you’ll stand out.
- Represent value for money – it’s not about being the cheapest it’s about being worth your fee. Show something you can do that the client couldn’t do themselves – that shows your value.
- Analyse all cost factors included in the contract. This means accounting for fixed costs including wages.
- Demonstrate contract management – show you are resourceful and are able to work in a cost-effective and efficient way.
Bidding for tenders is a key part of any construction companies business and the majority cannot hope to get much work without putting time and effort into tendering for bids and winning valuable contracts.