Bidding for contracts can be a daunting task, especially for businesses new to the process. The pressure to submit a winning bid can be overwhelming, and mistakes can be costly. In this blog post, we will explore common mistakes businesses make when bidding for contracts and how to avoid them.

  1. Complacency: One of the most common mistakes businesses make when bidding for contracts is becoming company-centric instead of customer-centric. Focusing too much on your company’s experience and not enough on the impact and outcomes can be a turn-off for potential customers. To avoid this mistake, research the customer, understand their pain points and strategic priorities, and provide evidence and impact that sell your experience.
  2. Not answering the question: Another mistake businesses make is not answering the question and telling the customer what they want them to know. Listening to the customer’s requirements, connecting with the reader, and making them feel confident that you understand their needs are critical to winning the bid.
  3. Not knowing competitors: Not knowing your direct and indirect competitors and potential competitors is another common mistake. It’s essential to research past contracts, understand any contentious issues, and learn from media reports that could inform your service offering or pricing strategies.
  4. Going into crisis mode: Focusing on administrative tasks and deadlines instead of the customer’s solution is another mistake that can cost you the bid. Preparing your baseline information in a Content Library ahead of time, articulating your business model, and providing evidence of your track record can help you avoid this mistake.
  5. Not having backup plans and contingencies: Another mistake businesses make is not having backup plans and contingencies in place for emergencies or unexpected changes. Demonstrating that you have planned for the unexpected, budgeted for potential risks, and can pivot quickly to respond to sudden changes is critical.
  6. Having an underprepared or low-quality bid: Investing in a proofreader, having a fresh pair of eyes review the bid, and utilising helpful software to help create compliant bids are essential steps to avoid this mistake. Taking into account specific requirements such as the number of pages, font size, visuals, etc., is also critical.
  7. Writing too much: Applying for tenders is like answering an exam question with a short answer – usually less than 500 words. Being concise and not writing too much by describing every product feature and service capability is critical. Instead, focus on what you can do for the customer and how that will benefit them.
  8. Not checking that all documents are included: It’s crucial to check that all the required documents are included in the tender response. Missing a critical document could disqualify your bid.

Bidding for contracts requires a broader understanding of business strategy, including competitor strategy, customer stakeholder behaviour, service at the coalface, and industry movements and trends. By avoiding these common mistakes and implementing strategies to improve your bid process, you can increase your chances of success and stand out from the competition. Using technology to track your bid data, staying customer-centric, answering the question, knowing your competitors, and being prepared for contingencies are all essential steps in creating a winning bid.

Remember, bidding for contracts is not just about price. It’s about providing value, understanding the customer’s needs, and showcasing your expertise and track record. By focusing on these key elements and continuously improving your bidding process, you can increase your win rate and secure profitable contracts for your business. Take the time to analyse your past bids, identify areas for improvement, and implement strategies to enhance your bid economics and outcomes. With careful planning, attention to detail, and a customer-focused approach, you can position your business for success in the competitive bidding process. Good luck!