Tendering Best Practices: What to Do and Avoid

Tendering Best Practices: What to Do and Avoid

Tendering is a crucial process for businesses looking to secure contracts and grow their operations. It involves submitting a formal bid to provide goods or services in response to a request from a government body, public sector organization, or private company. Winning a tender can significantly boost a company's revenue and market reputation. However, the process can be highly competitive and complex, requiring careful planning and execution. Here are some essential do's and don'ts to guide you through the tendering process.

1. Do Thorough Research

Before you begin preparing your tender, it's essential to conduct thorough research. Understand the client's needs, the project's scope, and the specific requirements outlined in the tender documents. Investigate the client's previous projects and their selection criteria to tailor your bid accordingly.

  • Understand the Market:Know who your competitors are and what they offer. This can help you show off what makes you different and better than others.
  • Know the Client:Familiarize yourself with the client's mission, values, and objectives. Aligning your proposal with their goals can make your bid more appealing.

2. Do Follow Instructions Carefully

One of the most common reasons for tender disqualification is the failure to follow instructions. Ensure that you:

  • Read the Tender Documents Thoroughly:Pay attention to every detail, including submission deadlines, required documentation, and specific formatting guidelines.
  • Provide All Required Information:Make sure all requested documents and information are included in your submission. This might include financial statements, technical specifications, certifications, and references.

3. Do Highlight Your Strengths

Use your tender response to showcase your company's strengths and how they align with the client's needs. Emphasize:

  • Relevant Experience:Highlight past projects that are similar to the one you're bidding for. Provide case studies or testimonials if possible.
  • Technical Expertise:Demonstrate your technical capabilities and how they meet or exceed the requirements of the tender.
  • Value for Money:Explain how your proposal offers the best value for the client's investment, considering both cost and quality.

4. Do Ensure Compliance

Compliance with all requirements is non-negotiable. This includes:

  • Legal Compliance:Ensure your business adheres to all relevant laws and regulations to avoid the numerous disadvantages of non-compliance. Provide evidence of required licenses and certifications.
  • Financial Compliance:Demonstrate financial stability and the ability to deliver the project within budget. Include financial statements and relevant financial information.

5. Do Proofread Your Submission

Errors in your submission can undermine your professionalism and credibility. Before submitting your tender, ensure that:

  • The Content is Clear and Concise:Avoid jargon and ensure that your proposal is easy to read and understand.
  • There Are No Errors:Check for spelling, grammar, and punctuation errors. Ensure that all figures and calculations are accurate.
  • The Format is Correct:Follow the specified format and structure as outlined in the tender documents.

6. Do Meet the Deadline

Late submissions are typically not considered, regardless of the quality of the proposal. Plan your schedule to ensure you can:

  • Submit on Time:Allow for unforeseen delays by setting internal deadlines well ahead of the official submission date.
  • Confirm Receipt:If possible, get confirmation that your submission has been received by the client.

The Don’ts of Tendering

1. Don’t Ignore the Evaluation Criteria

Each tender is evaluated based on specific criteria outlined in the tender documents. Ignoring these criteria can lead to a poor evaluation score. Make sure to:

  • Address All Criteria:Ensure that your proposal covers each point in the evaluation criteria thoroughly.
  • Align Your Proposal:Tailor your response to align closely with the client's stated priorities and evaluation factors.

2. Don’t Underestimate the Importance of Presentation

A poorly presented tender can create a negative impression, even if the content is strong. Avoid:

  • Disorganized Structure:Ensure your tender is well-structured with clear headings and subheadings. Use bullet points and numbering for easy reading.
  • Unprofessional Appearance:Use a professional template and make sure the document is clean and free from unnecessary embellishments. A cluttered or overly designed document can be off-putting.

3. Don’t Overpromise

It's tempting to promise too much to win a tender, but overpromising can cause big problems later. Avoid:

  • Exaggerated Claims:Be realistic about what your company can deliver. Making promises you can't keep can lead to project failures and damage your reputation.
  • Underestimating Costs:Provide a realistic budget that covers all aspects of the project. Underbidding might help you win the tender but can result in financial loss if the project costs more than anticipated.

4. Don’t Overlook Risk Management

Risk management is a crucial part of any project proposal. Avoid:

  • Ignoring Potential Risks:Identify potential risks associated with the project and propose mitigation strategies. This shows foresight and preparedness.
  • Lack of Contingency Plans:Have contingency plans in place for unforeseen issues. This reassures the client that you can handle unexpected challenges.

5. Don’t Submit Generic Proposals

Each tender is unique, and a one-size-fits-all approach rarely works. Avoid:

  • Using Boilerplate Text:Tailor your proposal specifically to the tender at hand. Generic responses suggest a lack of effort and understanding.
  • Ignoring Client Specifics:Address the client's unique needs and preferences. Personalize your approach to demonstrate genuine interest and engagement.

6. Don’t Neglect Post-Submission Follow-Up

Your work isn't necessarily done once you've submitted your tender. Avoid:

  • Being Unresponsive:Be prepared to answer any follow-up questions or provide additional information promptly.
  • Forgetting to Seek Feedback:If your tender is unsuccessful, seek feedback to understand why. This can provide valuable insights for future bids.


Tendering can be a highly competitive and intricate process, but following these do's and don'ts can significantly improve your chances of success. Thorough research, careful adherence to instructions, and highlighting your strengths are crucial steps. Ensuring compliance, proofreading meticulously, and meeting deadlines are equally important.

On the flip side, ignoring evaluation criteria, presenting your tender poorly, overpromising, overlooking risk management, submitting generic proposals, and neglecting post-submission follow-up can severely undermine your efforts.

Remember, winning a tender is not just about offering the lowest price; it's about presenting a well-rounded, professional, and compelling proposal that aligns with the client's needs and demonstrates your ability to deliver quality results. By adhering to these guidelines, you can navigate the tendering process more effectively and increase your chances of securing valuable contracts.

Classic Tenders provides tender bidding support in which they help companies avoid mistakes like promising too much by giving them expert help during bidding. They make sure bids are realistic, competitive, and follow all the rules. Classic Tenders knows a lot about what clients want, so they help businesses create bids that show what they can really do. They also give advice and updates about new bidding opportunities. With Classic Tenders, companies can bid for contracts without making big promises they can't keep, which makes it easier to win good contracts.

Connect Us