I’m ready to get a good tender but I don’t know how to write it. Help!

Dear Aunty B,

Please help me. I have over 10 years (experience) installing security alarms. I am ready to get a good tender, but I just don’t know how to write it.

Also I want to send out a letter of induction about myself and my company, and I am not sure how to word it?






Dear Rob,

First let’s look at why small businesses lose tenders.

Often they write an application that is too general and not specific enough. You must specifically answer the questions in the tender, not insert standard phrases. Follow word by word the criteria used in the expression of interest.

Don’t add things. If they want exactly 232 alarms you give them exactly 232 alarms. I can’t tell you how annoying it is when people answer job applications or tenders with an application that is tailored to what they want to do or can do. If you can’t answer the brief exactly, then don’t apply.

Another option if you don’t have all the skills in-house is to form an alliance with someone who does. Also if you don’t have local knowledge, again form an alliance with someone who does.

Always give specific examples of how you will tackle a task and give specific examples of some work you have done.

Lastly make sure the tender is written without grammar or spelling mistakes, and is properly presented.

And I think you mean a letter of introduction – not induction. Look Rob, you need to engage a firm to write this for you as I think your expertise lies in alarms not writing.

You should also have a website as many companies and consumers will be searching on the web for security alarms Parramatta or wherever and you will get a lot of business this way – and be losing business if you don’t have it.

If you have a website with simple search terms, you will also be able to use the wording from the letter on the website. You can get all of this done for less than $5000.


Good luck!


Your Aunty B.


Tracy Pendergast writes: Hi Aunty B (and happy new year!!) What’s happened to the ability to add comments to your advice to writers? I really wanted to tell Rob that the key to successful tendering is to answer the explicit and implicit “key decision factors” in the tender doc. I’ve done some great tenders with infrastructure companies – and we start with a workshop in which managers address the stated points – then assess what’s behind those points and make sure they address those background drivers as well. If you get a chance, would you pass that on to Rob?


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