Businesses of any size in any industry have no doubt encountered the tender process. It’s convoluted, boring, and time consuming, but it’s a necessary part of securing new business. Like a brochure or website or any other marketing activity, tenders are a way to showcase your business. Whilst tenders are notoriously inflexible, there are many small things any business can implement and when combined, really make an impact.

A great starting point is to create a tender cover and page template, which is professionally designed and a further extension of your corporate styling. The trick here is to adopt subtle design techniques that support your content, not detract from or overpower what you are trying to say. But, there is a nothing wrong with injecting a little colour, life and energy which could be a welcome reprieve in a procurement officer’s day. A simple black in white word document is all that is expected, so why not be a little different and get some attention?

Another tip is to make sure you have a contents page or index, and that all pages are clearly numbered. Tender submissions can be anywhere from 20 to 100 pages long, so it’s important to take the time to make life a little easier for the people who have to read them.

Also, if a tender calls for the CV’s or experience of key personnel, make sure you include personnel photos. They can be of your entire team, your management team, or individual shots, and are very important in communicating strength, experience and accessibility. It also creates a level of familiarity and a human link.

Some tenders call for examples of work, either in a written case study format or by visual evidence. Again, if photos, video, audio or any combination of these is required, get help from a professional. Quality photos of your work are so important, not only for tenders, but for other promotional tools such as your website and brochures. Quality photographs can be used over and over again and can make or break a piece of marketing.

Finally, invest in a professional presentation folder or at the very least a quality binding machine to collate your documents. A stapled chunk of paper just won’t cut it, and in fact most tenders specify that only binded copies will be accepted.

You may be thinking that all of this is a waste of time and resources, but would you consider a quotation a waste of your time and resources? If you spend time addressing the little things and showcase how brilliant you can be, all you do is raise the expectations of the people making the decisions and place more emphasis on value for money, not the bottom dollar. Furthermore, if a tender decision is made purely on the lowest price and this goes against the weighting criteria, it is likely you will have grounds for appeal.

We have helped many clients submit and win tenders, including producing DVD presentations, tender covers, printed personnel profiles, photography slide shows and much more. If you want to invest to impress, contact me and I’ll show you how.