Not many people seem to be aware of just how lucrative the tender industry can be. Perhaps it’s because in this country it carries an air of controversy around it. Yes the scourge of corruption is economically debilitating. Yes a number of high profile individuals are under investigation for their involvement in corruption. But should we all walk away from the chance to do it right? Absolutely not.

Looking away at the prospect of riches for a second, the tendering system exists in theory and proper practice, to improve the overall state of a country, the quality of life for its people and ultimately its reputation in the international community as a place worth investing in. Think about it for a second – how much better off this land we call home would be if the roads were completed, health issues reduced with the hospitals that were constructed, the improvement in the quality of education if schools were built and supplied competently. We might never have needed to endure a prolonged lockdown to this degree if the PPE scandals had never happened and everybody had delivered as they had promised to.

Housing for the homeless, employment for the jobless, opportunities for the township entrepreneurs to participate more in economic reform. Hell – I wouldn’t have to be typing this in the dark (shout out to Eskom). The tender process done right is essential for not just the survival of a country, but also its potential to thrive.

“The bulk of Tender contracts are for periods of 2 to 3 years, which means companies delivering as per their bid proposal have sustainable contracts upon which to grow their businesses,” – a great source of consistent revenue according to Wynand Cronje in an interview with Company Partners

The government possesses roughly R1.5 Trillion to spend on the procurement of goods – making them the largest customer, and potentially a very lucrative partner for businesses at a small and large scale.

Cronje further adds that there is a misconception surrounding tenders themselves, however the majority of tenders that are awarded are done so fairly, according to the preferential procurement act” which complies with BBBEE.

First let’s look at the advantages of tendering, and why you should be getting in on it as soon as you can.

Consistent revenue/Guaranteed pay

In the event that you win the bid, the public sector (Government) tender  guarantees payment upon completion of the job as they are contractually obligated to do so. Furthermore this is done within a period of around 60 days at most, which you can use to give your supplier peace of mind.


Carrying on from the previous paragraph on consistent revenue, the length of the tender period guarantees the returns over a longer period. This will allow you to sustain your business operations for however long the project is set to last for. Good news for any business owner.

Experience points

One of the biggest benefits is arguably the experience you get from completing a tender competently. Not only does It equip you for future tenders that you take on, but it also allows you to build relationships that boost your reputation as a competent and reliable servant. This allows you to bid for and increase your chances of, winning larger contracts in both scale and potential returns.

Making connections and contacts

As mentioned earlier, the relationships built over the tendering process will allow your business to grow overall without infringing on the preferential procurement act. You’ll be able to work with more buyers and gain even more experience.

Being able to demonstrate previous work done is one thing, it’s even more emphatic if you have a satisfied client talking you up and praising your efforts among their cohorts in industry.

Following the advantages, we hope that you are enticed enough to consider tendering for your business needs. Below are a number of steps that will allow you to get started on your first bid on the right note.

1. Choose tenders that relate to your core business

There are a myriad of places in which you find tenders, from online articles, newspapers, company websites and the government tender bulletin. Look hard enough and there will certainly be one that fits the parameters of your business and your skillset.

If you ever want to get quick updates on tenders that are relevant to you and in your area, then try either of these. Try a Tender Subscription Service with a reliable database.

2. Prepare your company documents

To be eligible to win a tender bid, you need to have your documents in order as a company, otherwise the rest of your efforts will be in vain. You’ll be disqualified before you even have a chance to compete for the tender.

Make sure you read the Tender Document thoughtfully and make sure you get all the required Company documentation in order.

3. Get Central Supplier Database (CSD) registration

Your business has to be registered on the Central Supplier Database (CSD) in order to apply for Government Tenders. The CSD is the comprehensive list of approved suppliers for the government. To register your business on the CSD, click here, fill in the online forms, submit the relevant documents and then wait for the corresponding confirmation – that’s if you’ve done everything properly.

THIS IS FREE. You shouldn’t be made to pay a premium for something that’s readily made accessible to the general public.the process might present itself as tricky at first but a little focus and attention will get you to where you need to be.

4. Be able to do the job

By winning a tender, you effectively position yourself as a potentially reliable supplier, one who knows how to service a client competently and professionally. The job has only just started but you’re well on your way to getting it done!

By the time you bid, it would be best that you already have a staff team, a relevant skill set and the equipment needed to fulfil the service for your client the Government needs at the proposed rate and within the proposed time frame – just like with any other client.

It will do you a lot of good to look to the future when you apply, so have a business plan (You can find one for cheap being advertised by a freelancer on Facebook or download a template) ready to strengthen your bid, and depending on your bid, take into consideration a number of suppliers and have a plan to pay them.

Thankfully The People’s Fund exists for this specific reason. Well fund your purchase order and help get you through the tender completion process swiftly.

5. Stay ahead of the deadline

Nothing kills your momentum and your prospects more than a last minute hash up of an application. You’re much better off submitting earlier than the deadline requires. That way you have ample time to organise the documents accordingly, do the necessary research to boost your chances of winning the bid, line up payment plans and delivery processes to the exact T, so that whenever life happens you’ll be prepared to make whatever plan is necessary.

6. Assess the profitability of the Tender

It can be easy to get overly excited by the prospect of qualifying for a tender that you ultimately rush into without considering the ramifications of getting involved in the first place. Before you even apply, you need to do the necessary research on the tender including how much you stand to make from it. While the budget may be appealing at first, remember that the money you get will only happen once you’ve delivered on the tender competently. Factor in the costs of the delivery, the material and services required, as well as the expense to your business itself – to ensure that you know what you are getting yourself into, and avoid wasting your own time and energy on a project that leaves you worse off than when you started.

Final thoughts

Despite what social media might have you believe, winning tenders tends to be a numbers game. It’s important that you don’t let minor setbacks keep you down. Keep at it, improving on every attempt and eventually you’ll win. The relationships that you form after you’ve done a good enough job can come in handy in the future, but always remember to keep doing the work, in the right way. That will guarantee your success.

Once you manage to secure that tender and you get to that procurement stage where you’re handed a purchase order, don’t hesitate to give us a call. Whenever and wherever we can help, we will.

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