Lesson 1: Understanding Your Business

Differentiate Yourself in Ways that Matter 

First and foremost, you need to define your focus. It’s critical that you identify what makes you and your business different. You need to: 

  • Identify the key differentiators for your business. In traditional terms – what is your unique selling proposition (USP)?  
  • In a world where uniqueness has become rare, yet is spoken about regularly, think of your USPs as the finer aspects, or emotional selling points (ESP) that separate you from the competition.  

You’ll face a lot of strong competition, especially in sectors such as cleaning and security. Identifying what sets you apart from everyone else is key and is often overlooked by businesses when submitting a tender. You need your tender to stand out from your competitors to win. 

Your Tender Strategy

  • What are the key points that separate you from the competition?  
  • What are your unique selling proposition (don’t hold back!)?   
  • What are your win themes 
  • Ask yourself, why should your business be selected? 

After all the time, effort and resources spent on a submission, you want to stand out amongst the endless pages of submission documents. 

Understanding Your Market 

The first part of developing your tender strategy, is to understand the marketplace in which you operate. Now by that I mean, understand your competitors, what they offer compared to what you offer. 


An essential part of your undertaking is to understand your key competitors (who else will be submitting a tender response?) and what they will offer. Examine your competition and consider this task as part of your response. 

  • Which competitors pose a threat to your success? 
  • What is their pricing strategy, and how does that compare to your prices? 
  • Are you competitive in the marketplace? 
  • What value added services will they bring to the contract? 
  • Can you stand against your competitors in a competitive tender? 
  • Are they experts in the field? 
  • Can they meet all the client’s needs? 
  • What would they stand to lose if they do not win this contract? 
  • What would you stand to lose if the competitor wins the contract? 
  • Are they a respected and professional industry player? 

SWOT Analysis 

A well thought out SWOT Analysis is an excellent way of gaining insight into your competitors, and to answer the questions above. SWOT Analyses assess Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities and Threats. Strengths and weaknesses are internal to the business, whilst opportunities and threats are external (environmental). 


Create the SWOT Analysis for your business. 

Use the Company Analysis Worksheet to gain insights into your business.  (Download available from the Module 2 downloads lesson)