Applying for government tenders is a cumbersome job and more so because none of the ways to do it are very user friendly. However, for any budding small or medium enterprise, it is a sure-fire way of getting good work with an assured payday and gather some good experience along the way.
With the introduction of Goods and Services Tax, the first step to take before getting into the business of applying for tenders is to get hold of your GST and verify it with the GST number verification. There are also a number of helpful websites that give you a step by step instructions on how to pay GST online.
Once that’s all done, there are three all-encompassing steps to be followed in order to apply and get government tenders to help establish your business –
- Find the tenders that are the best fit for the services your business provides.
- Create an account on the government’s e-procurement portal in order to apply online.
- Keep track of the tender you applied for till the award date.
Below, these steps are further broken down to make up five easy to follow steps that will help you apply, and preferably win, various government tenders.
- Finding The Right Fit
There are thousands of tenders released by several government entities every day. However, not all of them will be work that is your area of expertise. It is important to find the right opportunities to apply for so that if you do land the job, you can do a good enough job to find more work in your field of expertise.
The first step towards finding work is to keep track of all tenders published by the government each day. There are some 7000+ government authorities publishing tenders every day. It is quite an impossible task to keep track of all of them.
Instead, it is better to follow aggregators who put such tenders together in a more arranged manner. There are many such aggregators online, and it is a better solution than following new tenders uploaded on websites of PWD, railways, MES, etc. as not all of them will publish tenders that your business may apply for.
Subscribing to such aggregators also ensures that you can subscribe with more relevant search filters. An example can be if you work in electrical, you can subscribe to receiving SMSes or emails only about tenders that contain keywords such as “electric”, “electrical”, “electronics”, “power”, “electricity”, etc. This makes the job of being informed about all possible tenders you can apply for far easier than looking them up on so many different platforms.
- Gather As Much Information As You Can And As Soon As Possible
The next step after having subscribed to receiving information about relevant tenders is to be well-informed about each of them. Doing so beforehand and in detail, ensures you have all possible data in hand when you sit and apply for the tender.
Not all tenders can be answered. Some may require a level of expertise your company just does not have. While others might need a business capital, you are still not fit to acquire.
Many tenders also have very specific requirements. For example, in case a tender mentions that the company that will finally work on the project must have a clear audit trail for the last five years, it is important that you have the mentioned paperwork in place.
Applying for tenders, whose size is 25% or more than your business’s annual turnover is futile. No authority will choose a business for their project without the assurance that they are capable of handling it. Thus, mapping your business capital with the size of the tender is important.
- Have A Profile On The Authorities Site and Fill In The Application Form Flawlessly
In order to apply for a tender, you must have a profile on the government’s e-procurement website. Have all your information duly filled in your profile. Create a tender library with all relevant information and paperwork regarding your company, such as PAN details, GSTIN, client testimonials, references, tax returns, etc.
Not providing all relevant information can lead to an application being cancelled. So dot the I’s and cross the t’s diligently. Ensure that all questions asked are duly answered, all documentation requested is attached properly, along with including information that helps your business stand out amidst the crowd.
Always read all terms and conditions printed on the tender, carefully. Consult a legal expert if need be. You do not want to lose out on an opportunity due to a minute technicality. In order to avoid rejection, always maintain a checklist of required tasks and items and ensure that by the end of the process, you have marked them all.
Always be punctual and preferably, submit your application with time to spare. In case of a mishap, you should have enough time to fix and resubmit before the time is up. Keep in mind whether a particular tender needs e-submission alone or are there parts that need to be physically mailed over – any mix up will result in rejection.
- Be “Value For Money”
It is not just about the lowest bidder. The government grants tender based on whether they will get the right value for the money they have spent. The cost of the tender is just one aspect of it. Factors like industrial experience, the quality of products and services to be provided, the capacity of the supplier to handle the job, warranty and maintenance and support to be provided, risks involved, etc. matter as well.
In order to win a tender, ensure that while your bid must be on the lower side, it must also provide quality service. In order to do so, market survey and research into how past tenders were granted is essential.
Follow current market trends, know your competitors in the field, and most importantly, keep applying for tenders. It only takes one to begin your portfolio.
- Follow Up
Last but not the least, keep tracking the tender till its awarded. On the award date, the winning bid is disclosed along with their tender details. If you do win, its time to get to work.
However, even if you didn’t, a clever business will study what made the winning bid stand out from theirs and learn from it so that the next time there is a similar tender out, your business may grab it before all others.