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 Service Provider to Provide Security and Cashier Services at the Pretoria National Botanical Garden for a period of five (5) years 2018-12-14 11:00 SANBI: G315/ 2018
Appointment of two external service providers to provide travel management services to QCTO for the period of thirty six (36) months 2018-12-07 11:00 PUR 3003/ 21
Supply and Delivery of Sedan, Light and Heavy Commercial Vehicles, Busses, Motor Cycles, Agricultural Tractors, Construction Plant and Equipment to the state for the period 1 April 2019 – 31 March 2022 2019-02-12 11:00 RT57- 2019
DNA sequencing reaction (including post - PCR Clean up) x 400. 2018-11-23 11:00 RFQ000294
Odendaalsrus Magistrate Office: Rendering Of Cleaning Services for a period of 24 months 2018-12-11 11:00 BL18/ 075
Bloemfontein Regional Justice: Rendering of Cleaning Services for a period of 24 months 2018-12-11 11:00 BL18/ 074
Request for Proposals for appointment of a service provider to revamp the Council for Medical Schemes website. 2018-12-10 11:00 CMS042018/ 19
Appointment of service providers for the supply and delivery of photocopy paper to the Department of Social Development for a period of three years 2018-12-14 11:00 SD 06 / 2018 - 2019
Request for Proposals for appointment of a service provider for provision of off-site storage facilities for a period of five (5) years for Council for Medical Schemes. 2018-12-10 11:00 CMS052018/ 19
Request For Service Provider for Development, Hosting, Maintanance and Support of Lepelle Northern Water’s Website 2019-01-18 11:00 LNW 07/ 18/ 19
Request for Proposals to for appointment of panel of investigators to assist or conduct inspections and investigations for a period of five (5) years for Council for Medical Schemes. 2018-12-10 11:00 CMS062018/ 19
Request for Proposals to for appointment of panel of investigators to assist or conduct inspections and investigations for a period of five (5) years for Council for Medical Schemes. 2018-12-10 11:00 CMS062018/ 19
Additional Panel of Water Treatment Chemicals for LNW Operated Water and Wastewater Plants 2019-01-18 11:00 LNW 01/ 18/ 19
Appointment of service providers to provide temporary residential accommodation during disasters, onto the KZN Department of Human Settlements’ database for a period not exceeding 36 months subject to annual review, utilised as and when the need arises 2018-12-14 11:00 ZNB34/ 2018/ 19HSE
Appointment of a supplier for structural engineering and wet services at the Council for Geoscience. 2019-01-18 11:00 CGS- 2018- 030S
Appointment of a Service Provider to Conduct Technical Security Maintenance Of KZN Legislature’s Security Systems Infrastructure 2018-12-20 11:00 KZNL 18/ 2018
Slit lamp x 01 unit - UMDNS: E133 (Electronics) 2018-11-23 11:00 ZNQ 973 / 18- 19
Lase machine for physiotherapy x 01 unit - H.T.S no: E88 (Electronics) 2018-11-23 11:00 ZNQ 974 / 18- 19
Appointment of Service Provider for the Managed Print Solutions for a period of three (3) years. 2018-11-30 11:00 HSRC/ 21/ 2018/ 19
Provision of layout, design and printing services. 2018-12-14 11:00 CGE16/ 2018/ 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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