By Jeff Bowman
Of all the ways to generate new business , I find the tender process for government work the most tedious and time consuming. This is not for the faint of heart. The rewards can be lucrative if you win, however more often you will experience rejection , that is if you hear back at all.
I have encountered all sorts of tenders, RFPs, RFQs and RFIs over the years. The process, used by all levels of government, is set up to ensure fair and equal access for all qualified businesses to bid on work. This where it gets a little sticky for the small to medium-size business owner. These tenders are often 20 pages or more and contain more legal jargon than a law text book. They can be very straight forward and easy to follow, or they can be convoluted and restrictive.
It can take days or sometimes weeks to prepare documents, print, bind and submit in envelopes marked with numbers and titles, including signed addendums, and irrevocable this and that’s, and arrange in a specific order with 5 to 10 additional copies. It’s like entering the Reader’s Digest Sweepstakes with all the dots and flashes and colour coded envelopes.
And be aware, if you don’t follow the guidelines, your bid is disqualified!
It is an interesting way to develop business if you are so inclined and have the time.
Check your local municipality’s websites for tender offerings, join groups like MERX and set yourself up to receive RFP offerings as a qualified vendor. Don’t be discouraged if you lose more than you win. There is an upside to working with the government so, if this is a major target for your business, be vigilant.
What is your view, “Love me Tender” or “Don’t Be Cruel”?