It is. In my line of work tendering is a necessary evil, something that I can’t avoid though I must admit something I try to if I can. You see, it is an art rather than a science, something that you have to work at yet, like all things in life, some have a natural talent for. Unfortunately I don’t and I find it a slog.
I find the whole process stressful, starting with should I bother or not. They are a lot of effort and the chances of being successful are slim. Do I have the time or inclination to rise to the occasion and do it justice?
Then there is the question of who to work with. Can I go it alone or do I need to bring in others to widen my sphere of experience? Who is needed, how do I approach them and will it cause any conflicts of interest? What happens if other colleagues are also bidding and I haven’t included them or vice versa? Will they feel left out and aggrieved? How would I feel if they didn’t ask me?
When it comes to completing the form it is a challenge to understand exactly what is wanted, what lies behind the way the tender is constructed, how much detail is wanted, what to put in and what to miss out. It is always easier to write too much rather than too little so the stated word count hangs heavily over me. The words of my friend Graham ring in my ears ‘answer the question’!
Then, once the tender has been pulled together there is the read-through, where you find all the mistakes you’ve made and have to rewrite the document so that all the numbers and dates are the same.
Finally there is the long and gut wrenching wait. Will you be successful or not? Can you afford not to win it or will you struggle to deliver against the contract? Have you overstated your ability to deliver or committed to more than you can chew?
Tendering is so stressful, or is it just me?