I often get asked – I am new to tendering, what tender documents do I need to have to compete for work?When we assess businesses to see if they are tender ready, we look at:
- The value of any work, services and/or goods your business already delivers to other companies.
- Who your tendering marketplace is – where will you find your tenders, and which tenders you would like to win?
- Have you done quotes and/or tenders before?
- Do you have an existing capability statement?
- What systems, processes, and documentation your business already has in place?
So, what typical documents do you need to be tender ready?
We divide it into the following four areas:
1. Mandatory Requirements
2. Compliance requirements
This includes items such as insurance and meeting financial obligations. It can include items such as police clearances and working with children checks (WWCC). If a tender has no mandatory requirements, it often includes licences, qualifications, and certifications as part of the compliance requirements.
Many tenders will allow you to get the required compliance items – for example, where you need a higher insurance coverage than you currently have in place, you can commit to getting this when you win a tender.
Many tenders do not require the supply of financials but have the requirement for a financial check (often by a specialist third party) on your business’ financial capability to manage the contract when successful. Therefore, up to date financials are essential to have in place.
The tendering compliance requirements will generally indicate whether you need to already have the required compliance items in place or if you can get it in place when successful with your tender.
- Safety, health and environmental policy and management plan(s)
- Quality policy
- Details available of how your business supports local business
- Information on any buying from Aboriginal businesses.
Worksafe generally provides useful starting templates for small businesses. This is an area where I would recommend investing in getting someone who specialises in this area. It will ensure that you have systems in place that work for your business, allowing your business to grow responsibly and keep your people and yourself safe.
4. Client Specific Requirements
- A construction methodology
- Detailed price breakdowns but a lump sum price– therefore, you need to understand your price estimates
- A project schedule (or Gantt chart)
Simple Tips to get Tender Ready
- Look at current tenders and previously awarded tenders in your area of service delivery.
- This will give you a good understanding of what is available in the marketplace and who your competitors are. It will also show you what documentation you would typically need.
- Do a gap analysis to work out where the gaps are in your business.
- We do this for many new starters, and most often, the most significant gap is in having the proper tendering documents and systems and processes in place.
- Make sure you invest where the biggest return on business growth investment will be. A gap analysis will also indicate where you should start – where to focus your competitive bidding and where to start.
- Invest in the right resources to complete professional, well-presented value for money bids. This can be in-house or externally.
- And lastly, but very importantly – make sure that you keep up to date with when the quotes and tenders are advertised. Australian Tenders provide a value for money service in this area, ensuring that you will not miss out on opportunities.
If you are new to tenders and tendering, download Australian Tenders' free Introduction to Tendering eBook.