Preparing your bid

Before you start writing


Government agencies are looking for an innovative, customer-oriented supplier who stands out from the competition. This is about being a business that is focused directly on providing solutions to their customers and meeting their needs.

Step 1 – Before your start writing

Have a copy of the applicable conditions of tendering and the evaluation criteria with you before you start writing.

Step 2 – Confirm the tender plan

Set tasks and timelines. This is essential in the tendering process, as you will need to place other work on hold to find the time to prepare your bid. It is easy to underestimate the amount of time it will take to prepare a fully conforming, quality bid. Make sure you allocate sufficient time to give yourself the best chance of winning the work.


If you have more than one person working on a tender response, it is critical everyone knows what they are accountable for delivering and the associated deadline.

Step 3 – Data collection

It is important you collect all the data that is requested in the tender and have it easily accessible. During the tender analysis phase, you should have a list of all the data requirements in the tender including the additional information the Government agency has requested you to provide with your response.


These additional attachments could include:

  • Certificates, Licences, Accreditations or evidence of qualifications
  • Table of contents or evidence of a management system (Quality, Work Health and Safety etc)
  • Audited Financial Statements or Profit and Loss Statements.

If this is your first-time tendering, be sure to set up appropriately titled folders in your company’s shared drive so your tendering information is always easily accessible. This way, you will always have the necessary documentation and right information at the ready for any future tenders you participate in – being organised will save you a lot of time.

Creating a compelling story, the three P’s: Position, Persuasion and Price


To produce a compelling and conforming tender, it is vital to meet the three P’s of positioning your business to stand out, to persuade the tender evaluation committee and to be competitive on price.


To achieve this, the following steps will guide you in producing a highly competitive tender response that makes your business stand out.

Step 1 – Addressing the criteria

Address each criteria point as a heading in your response – or use a template if it is supplied by the agency. This is usually called a Returnable Schedule.

Step 2 – Use simple English

Use simple English to ensure your tender is easily and clearly understood. It is best to avoid using too many technical and industry jargon terms. However, if the main tender document uses certain keywords, ensure to use these in your response. For example, if the words “value for money” or “quality assurance” are repeatedly used, be sure you use them wherever it is relevant.


If you are discussing your management systems, part of the value could be the fact your systems enable value for money and your business is continuously improving its processes through your quality management approach.

Step 3 – Provide relevant examples

Provide examples of how you have previously met the same criteria in similar jobs you have successfully completed. This is your opportunity to sell yourself. A written reference from a client will add additional weight to this. Make sure you identify areas within your response where you have specific and highly competitive expertise.

Step 4 – Communicate and ask for help if you are stuck

You may come across certain response requirements, which you don’t understand or are unclear. It is acceptable, within reason, to ask a clarification question of the Government agency.


In the tender notification you received, there will be details of a tender contact. All questions will need to be addressed to the tender contact or as specified in the main tender document. The tender document will also advise when questions will no longer be accepted, which is usually a few days before tender closing time. This is because answering questions goes out in the form of an Amendment or Addendum . These responses can take some time to formulate and are communicated to the whole group of tenderers.

Step 5 – Tracking amendments to the tender

Keeping track of amendments is particularly important because this could change the way you respond to the tender. Government purchasers often amend the tender documentation during a tender period and call them Addenda or Amendments. These are usually issued because of clarification questions being asked by respondents.


In the returnable schedule document, there would normally be a section an “Addenda Acknowledgement” table. In this table you will list all the “Addenda” or “Amendments” issued throughout the tender period. This table is important because it satisfies the evaluation panel or committee that you have received, understood and acknowledged any material changes to the tender scope.

Step 6 – Pricing

You will need to ensure your price is in the ballpark to be competitive. A way to ensure your pricing is likely to be competitive, is by conducting a Competitor Analysis on Bidio’s platform . Here is where you can see how your competitors have been pricing previous contracts.


You also need to take into account any additional requirements and costs that may apply in some circumstances when supplying to Government, such as ongoing reporting requirements, and ensure that you have included these costs in your quote.

Step 7 – Putting it all together

At this point, you would have produced all the content required for your tender response. Now it is time to put it all together as a final draft, ready for a critical internal and/or external review. The following tips are important to ensure that you have produced a conforming tender response:

  • This is a good time to make sure you have understood how the Government agency wants the tender response to be submitted. Tender responses often have multiple returnable schedules, and generally these are broken up into a pricing schedule and a non-price schedule. The reason for this is that price (or the way the purchaser is evaluating value for money) is treated separately to the other evaluation criteria.
  • If the tender response has asked you to include additional attachments with the response, check to see if they have asked you to label these in a certain way. Re-save your documents accordingly.
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