Issue Date: 
Tuesday, October 25, 2016

3 Basic Tips to Remember When Responding to a Tender

When responding to tenders, whether it is Public or Private Sector, it is vital that your business makes a good impression by following these tips:

Do Your Research

Basically, a tender is an invitation to bidders to submit their proposal for a specified business need. The contract will be awarded to the bidder who can meet this need most closely and provide the best value for money. However, it's important to remember that price is only one factor. Remember:

  • Read all the documents relating to the tender.
  • Attend any briefing/information sessions that are offered and make sure you understand the scope of work.
  • If there are any uncertainties, have them clarified as early as possible.
  • If you have the chance, also research the Public or Private Sector Entity's history, background, operations and any details about previous tenders.
  • Another way to get a head start over the competition is to network and build relationships with the key decision makers prior to the bidding process.

Address all the Scope of Work

Every bidder will be evaluated against the tender criteria or functionality, so it's important that you address them clearly and concisely. Make sure you also provide supporting evidence if available, such as profit figures and other key performance indicators from similar projects you have worked on.

Be careful about going too far, though. Providing too much information could overwhelm your potential client and turn them off altogether.

This is your chance to show that you are experienced, reliable, and confident that you can deliver on what's required. It's also your opportunity to differentiate yourself from the competition.

Review, review, review

Before you hand in your tender:

  • Review it to make sure it's complete and doesn't contain errors.
  • Make sure someone other than the original responder proof reads the entire document at least once, since it's harder to spot mistakes when you're too close to a project.
  • Check that it meets the required format and style.

Many organisations, such as government agencies, can be very stringent with their deadlines, so it's also important that you hand your tender response to the right person, at the right location, before the specified closing time and date.

Putting together a great tender can take a lot of effort, but the payoff can be enormous if you win. It's always good strategy to put as much care and attention into your tenders as you would any other area of the business.

If your tenders are as good as they can be, odds are you'll win the business. Learn how to make sure you're prepared to handle the increased workload.

To learn more about this and many other tender conditions please attend one of our How-to-Tender workshops. Tender Workshop dates are published on our website at For more information on the tender courses please email Werner at

This article was written by Werner van Rooyen, Director of HowToTender (Pty) Ltd. which specializes in tender consulting and tender training.

Title Closing Date Tender No.
Appointment of a contractor for the construction of 22km 9 strand boundary fence, 32km 6 strand internal fencing, construction of a cattle handling facility and siting, drilling and equipping of two boreholes in Zaaihoek Farm situated in Thembisile Hani Local Municipality at Nkangala District Municipality. 2018-10-10 11:00 CONMP0002 (2018/2019)
Appointment of a contractor for the construction of 44km 9 strand barbed wire fencing, supply and delivery of 56km 9 strand barbed wire fencing, construction of two cattle handling facilities with a spray race and siting; drilling and equipping of 12 boreholes in various villages in Dr J S Moroka Local Municipality in Mpumalanga Province. 2018-10-10 11:00 CONMP 0003 (2018/2019)
Supply & delivery of high back & visitors chairs 2018-09-27 10:00 DCG0011620 & DCG0011621
Panel of professional civil and structural engineers. 2018-10-10 12:00 37/2018
Supply & delivery of all weather mens jackets & extreme slip safety boot 2018-09-27 10:00 DSC0019753
Panel of professionals (electrical engineers on turnkey basis). 2018-10-10 12:00 38/2018
The University of South Africa invites tenders from suitably qualified service providers to provide the University with professional electrical engineering services for the Sunnyside development design and project management 2018-10-03 12:00 PT2018/I8
Invitation for proposals to provide catering and decor services for the Department's Head of Mission Conference which will take place from 19 to 25 October 2018 at Department of International Relations and Cooperation, Pretoria, Gauteng. 2018-10-12 11:00 DIRCO 04/2018/19
Supply and deliver male torso mannequin with black jersey cover, metal base and metal neckpiece. 2018-09-25 11:00 GQ09181944
As and when supply and delivery of various CSR Casting items for 1064 project, to RSE Business Transnet engineering, Koedoespoort. 2018-10-16 10:00 TE18-KDS-8GS-06060
Surfacing of Lusikisiki Internal Streets Phase 2. 2018-10-16 12:00 IHLM/19/08/2018-19/TS
Painting of palisade fencing at Ezamokuhle 1, Ezamokuhle 2, Grootdraai and Kendal ambient air quality sites using Cowrie Gold Colour Powder Coating Paint. 2018-11-01 10:00 ERIC1107
Supply and delivery of laboratory chemicals, reagents, glassware and consumables as and when required for a period of five (5) years. 2018-10-31 10:00 ERIC0588
Detail design, procurement, transport to site and installation and commissioning of Induced Draught Fan at Tutuka Power Station. 2018-10-06 10:00 pscesd0095R
Provision of Facility Management Services to Eskom Real Estate in the Free State Operating Unit for 3 years (NONE TECHNICAL) Cleaning & Gardening. 2018-11-15 10:00 MdB18/24
Supply, Installation and Maintenance of an Integrated Telecommunications Solution for Sol Plaatje Municipality on a 36 Month Rental Contract. 2018-10-22 11:00 FIN/IT02/2018
Provision of learner ship programme to Eskom employees for the period of 12 months on "as and when required" basis. 2018-10-18 10:00 CORP 4518
Provision of Facility Management Services to Eskom Real Estate. 2018-10-08 10:00 MdB18/23
Supply & install security manhole covers at Blackheath Water Treatment Plant. 2018-10-03 12:00 SK11900089
The University of South Africa invites tenders from suitably qualified service providers to provide the University with professional mechanical engineering services for the Sunnyside development design and project management 2018-10-03 12:00 PT2018/19


Advantages and disadvantages of Consortiums

Consortiums are often considered as entities to use when responding to tenders in South Africa. The question that arises is whether to use a Consortium or a Joint Venture when responding to a tender. To help you with this we have compiled a list of advantages and disadvantages for both Consortiums as well as Joint Ventures. In this article we list the advantages and disadvantages of Consortiums. Look out for the same article on Joint Ventures.

Consortiums Advantages:

  • Easy to establish as there are no formal procedures... Read More
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