istock_000010541941_smallCreating a tender for a construction project can be time consuming and complicated, particularly the first time around. It’s an immediate road block for a small builder with little spare time.

Here’s a guide to construction tender writing and how to win big on tenders listed on any of the major bid sites like Austender, Australian Tenders and Tenderlink, Tender Search, ICN Gateway.

A Builders Guide to Construction Tenders

Understanding the expectations of the client is as important as your compliance details when it comes to tendering. For a home renovation, this purchase is probably biggest single transaction of a client’s life. It is a big deal to giving you their hard earned and saved dollars.

Let’s first look at a different purchasing scenario, to help you get into the client’s state of mind:

You are about to book a holiday. You decide to purchase a flight from Qantas online. What are your expectations?

Nothing less than a professional, well-polished electronic ticket or brochure with your itinerary emailed to you right?Why? because this is the brand and industry benchmark.

Now think about your client – the one paying significantly more than your holiday budget. What are their expectations? What is the benchmark you need use to meet those expectations?

Exceed expectations

Tendering is a valuable opportunity to communicate your experience, professionalism and overall understanding of the client’s needs. You only have one shot so when reading your tender, a client should be able to easily identify:

  • Who you are and what your company is about including your contact details.
  • Your services in reference to the project and the trade work you are providing e.g. plumbing work or building services.
  • A sequence of work communicating your plan of action to complete the job.
  • The construction period required to complete the works.

Your final pricing and cost breakdown with, where possible, trade pricing coverage from external sources, such as subcontractors and suppliers.

  • A summary of your inclusions and exclusions.
  • Any terms and conditions.

Also vital is to:

  • Get started straight away. Don’t wait around as you have a finite amount of time to tender the job. There may be critical items that will take lengthy periods to price, rate or gain external pricing on.
  • Review the tender documents issued by your future client fully and if you have questions, ask. These are the guidelines that you need understand and price too.
  • Identify any areas critically different to what you would regard as normal for a project of this type. This is something that will protect you in the long run.
  • Keep up to date with market trends and pricing rates to ensure you won’t get caught out when tendering. Ensure your rates within your quoting program are constantly audited.
  • Calculate your own take-offs to verify your subcontractors pricing. Ask for a bill of quantities (BOQ) from your client if possible. And read this article on charge out rates, it might help.  7 Charge Out Rate Actions for Home Building Contracts
  • Attach any required submission documents, like your Certificate of Currency, for example.

Your demonstration of excellent paperwork right from the beginning is a sure-fire way to win over a potential client and achieve success in building tenders.

Small Builders Business Software 

We’ve designed a portal to help you win big jobs and in business. Why? Because we’re all about helping small builders run sustainable businesses.

Created by a building and construction lawyer, Small Builders is a secure, automated platform that helps you win in business. When pitching for bigger jobs it allows users to create professional tenders that meet Australian Standards contracts, work health safety obligations, and the unique requirements of all major projects listed on:

Austender – Australian Tenders – Tenderlink  – Tender Search – ICN Gateway Gateway

Check out Small Builders Business Software for free