How to make your bid stand out
Providing all relevant information in the requested format is an important part of writing a successful tender response. But it is equally important to work out your business's unique selling points (USPs). Your USPs will help distinguish your tender response from your competitors' responses.
Unfortunately, there is no magical way to define your USPs. Often it will depend on the goods and services that you are able to supply and the potential market opportunities that are available. It will also help to research your competitors and try to understand how they market themselves. Your uniqueness will be benchmarked against them.
Below is a list of areas to assess to help discover your USP.
The price of the tender is usually only part of the tender assessment criteria. In public procurement, government officials have a duty to select the bid that ensures best 'value for money' because it is taxpayers' money they are spending. Simply submitting your lowest price tender bid will not guarantee that you will secure the contract.
Read the definition of 'value for money' in the glossary for more information.
Product (goods or services)
The tender request outlines the goods or services to be provided and, where appropriate, the expected outcomes to be achieved. You need to ask yourself if there is any way you can differentiate your product offering from your competitors' product offerings.
It might be that you have a better product or an innovative approach to supplying the product. Or you may be able to supply the product with a higher quality of service than your competitors. You may have identified a niche market and may have a flexible approach to delivery into that market.
These are all important points to consider when developing your USP.
Location can be a useful feature to support your USP.
- Does your business location, or the geographical range that you can service, offer any advantages in supplying the goods or services?
- Are your products or services sourced locally and can you deliver at short notice?
Having an experienced, expert team is a key USP.
- Do you have experienced staff that you can cite in the tender response?
- Are any of your staff well known in their fields of expertise?
- What specific qualifications and skills does your team have?
Proven previous track record and business profile
Being able to demonstrate a successful track record of delivery, coupled with independent verification by satisfied customers, helps to alleviate the perception of risk attached to your tender response.
- Have you delivered this type of contract before?
- Have you got a proven track record of successful delivery?
- Can this be backed up with robust references from previous delivery?
Processes and standards
Quality standards and accreditations (e.g. environmental standards, ISO accreditations) are an important aspect of public sector procurement.
- Is your business accredited?
- Do you have appropriate processes and standards in place?
- Does the tender opportunity highlight these processes and standards?
- Do they give you an advantage over the competition?
You may think your business brings a 'certain something' to the contract - through your specialism, expertise or ability to innovate. You can be bold in stating this in the tender response, but you will need to provide verifiable evidence to back it up.