JGP Consultancy

How to decide what tenders to bid for

In the world of tendering it sometimes feels like you need to bid for everything somewhat relevant to your business, especially if you are an SME looking to grow and meet new targets. In the world of business we often get into a mindset that if you don’t bid then you’re not working hard enough or you aren’t making enough decisions to improve your business operations. While it is important to be frequently looking at the opportunities available it is also important to make sure that you are not bidding for anything and everything available. This is because bidding for tenders is time consuming and unsuccessful bids can be incredibly disheartening and reduce morale. An unsuccessful bid can also potentially hinder your chances of winning future contracts with the business you are bidding to work with as they may see you as an unfavourable option or an inefficient provider of the goods and services you have on offer. So making a considered decision about what tenders you bid for and not is important for ensuring you are more likely to be successful and can fairly compete against other bids. Continue reading to look at what you need to consider when deciding to bid.


The first thing to consider is if your business realistically has the capacity to meet the requirements of a tender. If you are an SME don’t take this advice as our way of saying you should not bid for larger contracts with large businesses, you absolutely should and can. It is important to make sure though that your business has the capacity to fulfil a tender with ease, so look at what a business is asking for and see if realistically you can provide the needed goods and services at the capacity they require. Maybe a particularly lucrative tender inspires you to internally expand and employ more staff or increase output internally which would give you the capacity to fulfil a bid. If your business simply can’t meet the capacity of a tender, or is otherwise committed to other tenders, then it’s okay to decide to not bid for a contract. There are opportunities that will fit you out there that you can bid for and be a frontrunning competitor for.

Bottom Line

A truth of the world of business is that ultimately the bottom line is important. If a tender is not going to provide enough gross income for your business then it is most likely that it isn’t worth a bid. Some tenders may end up being quite costly for a business and the profit margins are not wide enough that it justifies the output it would take for you and your business to fulfil. If this is the case then that is not the bid you should make. Making a considered decision about profit and the fiscal benefits of a tender will make your decision to bid or not far easier and reduce the guess work in whether a tender is appropriate for your business. This allows you to focus more on more lucrative tenders to bid for.

Competitive Advantage

When deciding when to bid or not it is important to consider whether or not you have a competitive advantage against other bidders. Think and reflect on what the business you would tender for is asking of you. Can you offer something that will set you apart from other competitors? Maybe you have worked on similar projects before with great results or perhaps you can do the same thing as another business but faster or cheaper? If you can offer a business something unique that sets you apart from the competition then maybe this makes the tender this applies to one you need to bid for as a priority. Understanding how your business stands out and what you can offer will help you single out what you should and shouldn’t bid for.

Risk Factors

The world of business can be risky, and it is important to consider risk when bidding for tenders. Some business relationships may include a degree of risk that could threaten the stability of your business as a whole. Make sure you are fully aware of the potential risks involved in a tender before bidding for it, this will help you decide whether or not a tender is right for you and if you should or should not bid on it. It may be wise to have a dedicated time in your schedule to carry out a risk assessment on the potential tenders you may want to bid on.


When looking at a tender an important question to ask is if you can evidence something your business has done in the past or is currency doing that shows a business that you can meet the requirements they have. Look at what a business is asking for and look at what you can do to show you’re a safe, reliable, and tested option to go with when they select who they would like to award a tender to. Having clear evidence of what you and your business can do will make a bid look more promising and ultimately a safer bet for a business. If you can provide this evidence your bid will be far more likely to be successful and then will bring more income and growth to your business.

These are just a few of the things to consider when deciding whether or not to bid for a tender. By making more carefully considered and strategic moves to bid for tenders you are more likely to increase your success rate and win tenders that will compliment your business and your capabilities.

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