Did you Know #DYK: 3 Fundamentals you need to Know about Business Opportunities

Business Opportunities in 3 Steps

 

Sometimes you have to start at the end to get to the beginning.

I have always found that worked better for me. Like anything worth it, there is a price to pay. So I wanted you to know from the start what most people would tell you at the end. You can have the Open Quotes subscription for R60 per month (which is the equivalent of two double cappuccinos a month).

Stick around and let me tell you three fundamental steps to finding and getting more construction work.  Yes, I am talking Tenders, RFQ’s, Bill extracts and finding Awards. All that good stuff. So here we go….

Open Quotes

Step 1

Respond to RFQ’s Online

 

If you are in our Construction directory, you may well receive RFQ’s from Buyers when they are Tendering. You can price back via email, fax (does that even still exist??) or do it online and gain a host of other benefits.

Aside from the benefits in the abovementioned picture, you can access Drawings, Specifications, and Bill extracts. You also have our handy calculator to add your rates when pricing online with the ability to stipulate whether labour is included in pricing. You can add comments to the Buyer as well as attach additional documents if you wish.

When you are in your account, your pricing is only visible to you, so what you price is confidential but still available 24/7 online via your secure password. Pretty neat hey? This means you can pretty much price anywhere quickly and efficiently and beat the deadlines, leaving you with extra time to get life done.

Think of all the trees you are saving too! No need to piles of paper that are easily blown away by the aircon in Summer.

A screenshot from behind the scenes gives you a bit of insight into your future pricing platform.

Got it? Step one – Check!

Step 2

Be in the Know

You heard it here first!

The power is in your hands. Now you can be like the Batman, Spiderman or Hulk of finding new business opportunities.  You have an area on your Dashboard reflecting the most recent Bills that are being priced by Buyers that match your trades. From here you can price online, download the Bill and Drawings/Specifications too.  Or if you are not keen, delete the opportunity from your Bills being priced Dashboard. You can use this to your advantage by proactively pricing to these Buyers to gain new work that you may not even have known about previously. You can also contact them and network. Let them know who you are and what your Company provides. It’s no longer passive marketing, but an active approach. All laid on a silver platter before you. Go get em, Tiger!

Got it? Step two – Check!

Step 3

Knowledge is Power

The Awards section. Yes indeed. Knowing who you can approach is all important. Now not only do you know that, but you can send your prices directly to them! Exactly. The Power is once again in your very eager and proactive hands. To price, all you have to do is identify which award matches what you can provide and click on it. You will recognise the distinctive pricing pages along with the options to insert your T&C’s, notes and documents you may need to send.

Got it? Step three – Check!


Funnily, as knowledge goes, it really isn’t all that difficult or complicated. It basically comes down to converting opportunities. Who better than to do it than you? The one who has the experience, passion and drive to succeed.  So take the opportunities and run with them. Run Forest Run! Go get those business opportunities and lock them in.

Like I said at the start, sometimes it is easier to start at the end. You can have this all for R60 per month fee.

 

 

If you are keen to find out more, you can fill in the form below and we will contact you. Easy Peasy 🙂

Mail Me More Info on Open Quotes

 

About Carmen Barends

Social Media adventurer exploring new frontiers and learning how to survive. Tongue in cheek and mischief are the order of any good day topped with a sprinkling of laughter.

Closing Date

Closing Date

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When I started working at Leads 2 Business, I had no idea what was in store for me, I had little to none experience in the Building and Construction industry, let alone Tenders.  It was all completely Greek to me, however, as the days progressed all the information started to come together like a puzzle, piece by piece. After tons of training and the feeling of my mind going to explode, I could finally look at the complete picture instead of looking at the puzzle pieces one by one.

Learning the nitty gritty of the tender process has been quite interesting, I mean, I always thought that if you want to build something, you go ahead and build something. Not so fast buddy, clearly this was not the case. I soon came to realize that it’s quite a process. From a light bulb moment, to a design, to obtaining the correct professionals and, and, and,…. Phew!  The stages include advertising of tenders, sale of tender documents and attendance of compulsory briefing sessions by prospective bidders.

I work in the Leads 2 Quotes Department and deal with the Daily Tender Bill Requests  and closing dates became pretty important to me because once a closing date has arrived I cannot obtain a BoQ for a Tender and if a closing date can be so important to me, just imagine the importance of a closing date for someone who is tendering on a Tender.

By the said closing date, the tenderer should have gotten all his ducks in a row. Where required, attend the compulsory site meeting and get the feel of the project ahead. Start getting prices from Vendors to submit with his bid documents and making sure all his returnable documents are in order.

Take note that a closing date is your deadline. That date is the last date you can submit the relevant documents required to place your bid. Your bid has to be in by the specific date and the specific time stated on the Tender notice. Not a second later. If you submit your bid a second later, your bid will not be accepted. This is to avoid any irregularities and corruption.

Unfortunately, if it was compulsory to attend the site meeting, and you did not attend your bid would not be considered as well. The rules for Site Meetings and Closing Dates unfortunately go hand in hand unless otherwise stated.

But don’t let life get the better of you, stock up on the energy drinks and caffeine. Take note of the dates, take note of the meetings. And just like a wedding, save the dates.

If you are interested in becoming one of our subscribers, please visit our website.
To view notes with screenshots on how to use our website, please visit our Wiki site.
To view more articles, please visit our blog.

About Nadine Vermeulen

I started working at Leads 2 Business in October 2014 in the Leads 2 Quotes Department. I managed all the Daily Tender Bill Requests and followed up on BoQ's for our Daily Tender Subscribers. In 2017, I was promoted to L2Q Assistant and now work with Bill of Quantities for Contractors. 🙂

Keep on track with Tender opportunities

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Tracking Tender Opportunities that will derail your competitors

 

Like most things in life, knowing is half the battle. If you don’t know about a potential tender or opportunity, your option to take advantage and pursue it has been removed. To ensure that you’re always in the know, at least with Leads 2 Business, your Advisory Settings need to be set up to meet your needs. Leads 2 Business hinges on two parts; the daily Advisory email and the website (www.L2B.co.za).

 

The Advisory email is sent out each afternoon and delivers that days’ information straight to you. The email is based on the your Advisory Settings, so it stands to reason if the Advisory Setting isn’t set up satisfactorily then the Advisory email isn’t going to meet the your needs. Our subscribers have two complaints concerning the information we provide; there’s too much and there’s too little. Understandably this is a very precarious line to walk. Too little runs the risk of missing pertinent information; and too much means an information overload. I tend to favour ‘too much”. Better I decide what’s best for me rather than have someone or something else do it for me. But that’s just me. To reach a happy medium, is a combination of training (given by L2B staff), communication on the part of our subscribers (telling us what you want/ need & expect) and working through what you receive each day. You have full access to alter and update your Advisory Settings at any time, so if your company has expanded or diversified in some way; it follows that your Advisory Settings need to be updated to meet the new changes. The Advisory is sent out each day. This is extremely important because time is money. The earlier you are aware of a potential tender notice or new project; the more time you have to prepare for it.

 

The Leads 2 Business website is where you work through the information you’ve received. The most important aspect would be the ability to Search. The Search is now a global search, meaning one search field searches through our entire database (Private Projects, Daily Tenders, Directory and News). From this you can filter down further and get more specific. Why search when you receive the Advisory email? It’s a good safety net. It allows for the Advisory email to be super specific (so you aren’t scrolling for days), and the searches to be very general. Reaching that happy medium spoken of above. You even have the ability to “Dismiss” a tender from your search result should it not be what you are looking for, and never have to see it again. My advice when searching? Always ensure you’ve got “Newest” selected. L2B has been around for awhile, and information is our business, and we have a lot of it. “Newest” ensure the most recent results appear first.

 

Once you’ve found a tender you are interested in, whether tendering directly or subcontracting, you have the ability to Monitor the tender notice. Once you’ve Monitored a tender notice, you will receive updates on that particular tender notice, should there be any. Examples of these updates are addendums: changes to site inspections and closing dates. When documents are attached (for example: Site Inspection and Bidders Lists), you will be notified. These are helpful for pricing and subbies. Then you’ll be notified in the change of Status of the tender notice. Has it been cancelled or has it been retendered prompting you to go to the new tender notice. Has it been awarded, and you now have the awarded companies details. You can Monitor a tender yourself, or assign one of your Monitors (a colleague perhaps) to monitor a tender. The Monitors you add to your Profile will have access to those tender notices you assign to them. This allows you to assign potential opportunities to your colleagues and reps, and they will have all the necessary information at their disposal.

 

The various features available on the individual tender notices, are as follows:

Email the Researcher that created the tender notice for assistance.

Set reminders on Site Inspection dates and Closing Date

Request Site Attendance Registers & Bidders Lists – If there are Documents already attached, they are available to the right of the tender notice.

Request BoQ (Bill of Quantity) – If there is a BoQ already attached, it is available to the right of the tender notice.

Make your Own Notes

Download the Tender Notice

What’s the point of all of these features? To work the information. There are a variety of companies out there can benefit at a variety of stages in the procurement process. Consultants are required very early on, and sometimes through out the process. Contractors are interested in the tender stage and subcontractors and vendors can benefit from putting forward their company details even after completion.

 

What you put in, is what you get out. To be competitive is to be in the know. That involves being pro-active in all things. Leads 2 Business is a tool that can be hugely beneficial when used correctly. Talk to us. Training is free and there are various avenues to contact us. Email directly off of the tender notices and projects; LiveHelp allows you to chat to a L2B researcher directly; call us or submit Feedback. Suggestions are always welcome. The more we learn about the companies that subscribe to us, the more we understand how the information we provide is used. We work and learn together to keep on the right track.

About Claire Donaldson

I started working at Leads 2 Business in February 2005, and have served as Head of Department of Daily Tenders from 2007 until the present. I oversee both the Daily Tenders South Africa and Africa Departments.

Pricing Online – RfQs

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Have you ever received one of these and wondered why?

RFQ

The reason you have received an RfQ email is because you are listed on our Directory as a Vendor. We have Buyers (main contractors) who subscribe to our Leads 2 Quotes platform who use our Directory to select Vendors to send RfQ’s to.

Basically these Buyers send us BoQ’s for each relevant contract. We (L2Q Bills staff) process these BoQ’s by formatting them and splitting each item into the relevant trades (which may sound simple but can often take many hours to decipher). The Buyers, using our Directory, select a trade and region and a list of the relevant Vendors under that Trade and Serviceable Region appear, they select who they want to send to and click ‘Send RfQ’. You (the Vendor) will then receive an RfQ email (as above).

You have received this email, now what?

Firstly you need to check if the RfQ you have received is relevant to what your company does. If not, you will need to click on the “Update my Trade Profile”.

If the items are of relevance and you would like to price you can click on “Intend to Price”. If the items are of relevance but you are unable to quote for that time period (see respond by date/start date) you can click on “Decline to Price”. This will indicate to us (L2B) and the Buyer (who’s details are listed on the top right hand corner of the email) whether you will or won’t be pricing.

You’ve decided to Price the RfQ, where to next?

You will need to go ahead and work out the relevant rates required. Remember to take note of the Buyers T’s & C’s as some of these may specify whether VAT should be exclusive or inclusive and whether delivery or labour should be included. If you require Drawings in order to price you can click on the “Drawings” link in order to view or download the drawings. If there are no drawings on that link you will need to contact the Buyer. It is vital to note that we only have the information that the Buyers have provided. Any additional information required that is not available online, will have to be requested directly from the Buyer by the Vendor.

In order to use any of the L2B online features you will need your Vendor login details (Registration is Free). If you cannot remember these or have never registered as a Vendor you are welcome to contact us, via email, telephonically or via our Live Help option in order to request assistance.

Once you have all your relevant rates you can then go ahead and choose how you would like to respond to the RfQ. You could choose Fax, Email or Online Pricing, please note that Online Pricing is the quickest and easiest.

You’ve (wisely) chosen to use Online Pricing, where do you start?

You can use Online Pricing by clicking on the “Price Online Now” link which will take you to the L2B website where you will log in using your Vendor login details.

Once logged in you select the Vendor Home page on the Home drop-down. Your Active RfQ’s will now be displayed where you can click on “Submit Price” next to the relevant contract number and you will be redirected to enter your T’s & C’s, after submitting, the “Pricing” page will be displayed where you can simply enter your rates for each item which are automatically multiplied by the quantity to give a total and a grand total in red at the bottom. You are also able to interact with the other tabs as their relevance requires. Once you are happy with everything you can click on “Submit Prices”, ticking the “Send a copy to my email” box if you would like to keep a copy of the pricing you have submitted.

What do you do once you’ve submitted your prices?

Once the contract is awarded you will receive a notification via email. If the Buyer who sent you the original RfQ is awarded the contract you can now follow up with them regarding the prices you previously submitted to see if they will require your services and how competitive your prices were. If the contract is awarded to a different contractor you can still contact them and offer to send them your prices (you should have a copy if you selected to send a copy to your email) or by logging into your L2Q Vendor Profile and clicking on the relevant “Download Sent Bill” icon.

Receiving and responding to RfQ’s has never been easier with Leads 2 Business Online Pricing.

Want to know more about being a Vendor/Buyer, our Platinum Directory Listing (PDL), Leads 2 Quotes (L2Q) or any of the other Services we offer? Contact me on SashaA@L2B.co.za

About Sasha Anderson

I enjoy making new professional acquaintances and corresponding with existing clients. Reach out if you want to talk, L2B, social media, construction, technology, shoes, dachshunds, popular culture or travel.

Understanding the Tender Process in Africa

 

Leads 2 Business : Understanding the Tender Process in Africa

 

Understanding the African Tender Process is not much different from the South African Tender process (see link to previous blogs referencing SA Tender Process).

 

In general, tendering follows the following (simplified) process:

  1. A need for a service is identified.
  2. Approval is obtained from the necessary entities.
  3. Documentation (including Bid Documents, BoQ, Drawings, Specifications, etc.) is prepared and approved.
  4. Advertising of Tenders.
  5. Receipt and opening of tenders.
  6. Evaluation of Bids.
  7. Awarding of Bids

Procurement can be achieved via the following methods:

Single Source (also referred to as Direct Contracting), Requests for Quotations (RfQ’s), Two-Stage Tendering, Request for Proposals (RfP’s), Restricted Tendering, Open Tendering, Prequalified Tenders. (For an explanation of the methods, please see http://procurementclassroom.com/procurement-methods/).

Of course, each country will have its own Public Procurement Regulations, rules and laws that govern the procurement process. Furthermore, each institution may have its own policy that is applied over and above the country’s regulations. Each advertisement will identify the forms and documents that will be required for that specific bid.

Some things to bear in mind specific to understanding the African Tender Process are the following:

There might be language barriers: depending on which country is advertising the bid, it might be advertised in another language (not English). Some bids will include a copy of the bid documentation which has been translated to English, but in the cases where they do not provide translated documents, it might be necessary for a translator.

When needing to contact the specific institution, ensure that you have the right dialing code for the country you are trying to contact.

It might be easier to communicate via email and this will ensure that there is also a paper trail of any queries raised and answered, in which case, the correct email address is a necessity.

 

 

 

For some tips on tendering, please have a look at the following articles:

http://www.miningreview.com/tender-process/

http://www.esi-africa.com/tender-process-17196/

About Cecile Van Deventer

I joined the L2Q Team in 2006, as a L2Q Support Assistant and have been the HOD since 2010. I supervise L2Q Bills, Daily Tender Bills, Control Lists and Directory.