Lesson 5: Responding to a Tender

When creating a competitive tender response you need a strategy that underpins your offering.  

Always take the time to carefully evaluate every tender opportunity. A well-researched tender, followed by a strategic response, increases your chances of success while also streamlining the time and resource costs to your business. 

Establish a Team 

When you’ve decided to respond to an RFT, establish a team that is jointly responsible for delivering the tender submission. Have one person responsible for leading and coordinating the project (the Project Manager). 

Establish the roles and responsibilities of each team member and calculate the budget you need to prepare the tender. Next, work out how the budget will be allocated to the team members.  

Identify the personnel who will assist you with the tender. This may include: 

  • Management – marketing and/or management team  
  • Technical – operations staff, product specialists or engineers 
  • Pricing – accountants or finance managers. 

Bidding with Partners 

Preparing a tender submission with other businesses as a joint venture or a consortium can be a key tactic for tendering, particularly for small and medium-sized businesses. 

Collaborating has the benefit of combining resources, knowledge and skills. It can also increase your chances of winning. But it comes with risks. You need to carefully weigh the pros and cons of collaboration to see if it’s right for your business. 

The most common approaches to working with other businesses are subcontracting and working in a consortium or joint venture. 

Tender Tip

Download the Consortium Approach document. 

This download provides you with the information you need to make know and what sort of decisions you will need to make when entering into a consortium for a tender contract. 

It is always important to ensure you have appropriate contractual documents in place and you may need to consult a legal representative.  
(Download available from the Module 2 downloads lesson.)

Working as a subcontractor 

Subcontracting is a popular collaboration option available to most businesses. It’s a good way to enter government supply chains. 

Government clients seek value for money from their procurement activities. They often tender to larger businesses and expect smaller businesses to play a part in delivering these contracts – usually as a subcontractor. The main contractor may be looking for specialist skills or experience that you can provide. 

Tender Tip


Subcontracting can have implications for your business. You need to carefully evaluate the pros and cons before making the decision to subcontract.