It is not uncommon for some businesses, particularly smaller organisations or those new to the tendering process, to express doubts about competing for business in this way. But if you have made a thorough bid / no bid decision and determined that you are competitive in the market, we would strongly recommend you do so. There are a number of advantages to tendering for work, the most obvious being to win new business. But beyond this there are a number of other benefits. The process, for instance, can result in you becoming an approved supplier for the client. This will bring more opportunities than would otherwise be available. Coupled with this, the act of demonstrating interest can often be the start of a relationship with a client, one that can develop into a long and fruitful one to the benefit of both parties.
Organisations issue tenders for a number of reasons, all of which offer opportunities for you to take advantage of. Firstly it can be a way of ensuring the supplier they select fits all of their requirements. They will be explicit about their requirements in the documentation they issue and you should take full advantage of this to make sure you exceed them all. Not only will you become more competitive and desirable to the client but you may also develop your own service and discover even more paths to new revenue. Secondly, they may be interested in benchmarking their current supplier against others in the market. This can be a valuable opportunity to unseat an incumbent supplier. While the relationship between the supplier and the incumbent may appear robust from the outside, it is not uncommon for incumbents to become complacent. If you can offer a better service, improving on what they offer, you stand a very good chance indeed. The process can also give you valuable data as to where you stand in the market. The results may surprise you.
The process of tendering can be seen as a way for organisations to demonstrate competitive fairness, and it is through this process that reputable suppliers are often discovered and selected. You may feel that the client already has good relationships with your competitors, but this may simply be because they are unfamiliar with you. The tendering process is an excellent opportunity to introduce yourself, and show the client what you are capable of. Tendering organisations are often looking for new ideas from the market; it could be you that provides them.
The process of putting together a tender will inform you as to the current level of the information, processes, standards, case study material and best practice certifications and accreditations that you possess versus the competition in the market. You can identify your own gaps and will also build a future bid knowledge file that will inform and make future submissions quicker and easier to respond to.
All this can be summarised briefly, you need to participate in order to be considered and participation is also a valuable process of benchmarking and developing your long term offering. There are many opportunities available to you, but if you chose not to follow this route they will remain out of your reach. An investment now could be the best thing you ever did for your business in the long run.