FCS Associates

How do I decide whether my business should bid for a tender or not?

January 19, 2016

This is one of the questions that often crops us – business owners see a tender opportunity but are unsure as to whether or not they should spend the time and resources writing the bid.  Preconceptions we’ve heard in the past include:

  • They’ve already made a decision, we don’t stand a chance
  • We don’t have full quality accreditation and therefore won’t win
  • The competition will be too great and a bigger, more well-known company will win


Whilst there are no guarantees, we have put together a checklist to work through to help you work out whether or not you should go for it.

  1. Look at the deadline – do you honestly think you can pull together all the information required for the deadline? If not then there is no point wasting time.  If your business is already tender ready then you will be in a better position and won’t have to spend as much time pulling everything together.  We would recommend getting tender ready before you see the next ideal contract.


  1. If you win – Could you really deliver? – Do you have the capacity to deliver? The resources in place (or could they be put in place). There would be nothing worse than winning a contract and being unable to fulfil – a complete waste of everyone’s time and a likely black mark against your company name. Equally how does it fit with the other projects and clients, will it mean a drop in service levels for them – in which case you may wish to think twice.  Normally though we find that a business seriously considering a project can deliver and is just a little nervous about pulling a successful bid together.


  1. Does it fit with your overall business strategy?  There’s no point getting carried away with £ signs. At the end of the day if the potential contract does not fit with your overall business strategy it may not be right for you.  If it’s a particularly large contract it’s also a good idea to consider how the payment structures are likely to affect cash flow.

We believe there are many businesses missing out on work simply because they are unsure of how to navigate the world of procurement. If this is you please contact us for a free no obligation chat to find out if we can help.

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