The Most Common Mistakes to Avoid When Bidding for Security Tenders


Securing contracts helps businesses expand their revenue stream and allows them to grow their opportunities and client base. Competing for defence contracts and security tenders is a great platform for businesses to gain exposure in the industry. However, the process of bidding for security contracts tenders is not straightforward. There are a vast range of complex requirements that the Ministry of Defence will request from businesses looking to bid on these contracts. As such there are a number of frequent errors businesses new to the process make. In order to make the process of competing for security tenders online, it is important to recognise these common pitfalls and understand how to combat them. 


Understanding the Basics of Security Tenders

Security tenders is a competitive process where businesses including small to medium enterprises can bid for contracts to provide services to both public sector and private sector agencies opening themselves up to new opportunities. In the case of security tenders this would involve security services like a tender for manned guarding, to supply security personnel or security equipment. Within the UK there are approximately 1000 security services tenders and around 500 companies bidding for the contract. 

What is a Security Tender?

A security tender is a tender for business to supply security services. These can include a range of services like manned security tenders, cyber security tenders, cctv security system tenders and security guarding tenders among many others. 

Common Mistakes in Bidding for Security Tenders

When businesses choose to compete for security contracts, it can present a challenge. It is common for both businesses that are new to the process as well as businesses that have bid for, and won tenders before, to make a few common errors. 

Neglecting Tender Documents Details

One of the biggest mistakes that many businesses make in the process of bidding for security tenders is not fully reading through and understanding the tender documents. Documents for tenders often include a tender brief which gives you a guide around what the details of the project are, the requirements, and the criteria for bid evaluation. Within the tender process documents you should also find details around selection criteria and a pricing schedule. 

Failure to understand the requirements set out by the tender documents may mean your bid is non-compliant and will ultimately be rejected. 

Carefully reading and analysing these documents is vital in avoiding this. This will prevent costly mistakes. While going through the documents mark crucial points as well as explicit terms to help you identify clearly what is stipulated before you bid. 

Overlooking Eligibility Criteria

Often, the security tenders are based on stringent eligibility conditions which a business is supposed to conform to before it can be considered as eligible. The factors involved in these conditions may include financial stability, relevant experience, risk assessments and certain certifications or licences. If you cannot fulfil the eligibility conditions your offer will almost certainly be declined. 


In order to avoid this mistake make sure you read through the eligibility requirements carefully, before spending time or resources in coming up with a bid. Another key piece of advice is for companies to concentrate on suitable contract or tender opportunities they know they could be eligible for. 

Inadequate Information Submission

In normal cases, security tenders call for businesses to provide crucial information such as a company profile, expertise and references. Leaving out any of the requested information or presenting it poorly may be a cause for rejection. 


To ensure you do not commit this mistake you should ensure you present all the requested information in an easy-to-understand, precise and structured format. If you make certain the information has been captured accurately and there are no mistakes or omissions before you submit your bid, the more likely it is that your bid will be accepted. 

Pricing Pitfalls

Considering the cutthroat environment of security tenders, it is important that the price of your bid is competitive. If your bid turns out to be higher than it should be, you will lose the contract. However bidding too low may result in reduced profits. This can, in turn, impact the company’s ability to provide the service the contract requires.


To avoid this blunder you should properly understand the security tender documentation and be sure to include labour costs, equipment expenses, as well as potential extra service requirements/ it is important to conduct a study of the market to ascertain the price of comparable security services. The focus should be on maintaining competition while striking a balance between competitiveness and profitability. 

Timeliness is Key

In the context of security services tenders, timely submission of your bid is important. Tenders like tenders for security guards, or manned security tenders often have tight time frames. As such any bid received after the deadline will not be accepted irrespective of its quality. 

It is important to take note of the deadline when you prepare to write your bid. Always leave enough time to fill in all the paperwork, read over what you are bidding on and ensuring you have covered the above points. Additionally it is always advisable to submit your bid a few days before the cutoff date to help ensure your chances of winning the tender you are bidding for. 

Enhancing Your Bid for Security Contracts

There are a number of ways you can increase your chances of success when bidding for security tenders. To help you improve your chances we have made a short list of best practices below:

Best Practices for Successful Bids

Conduct an extensive study on your client or the organisation issuing the tenders. Identify their special needs and align your bid toward meeting those needs adequately.

Explain what makes you special and outline your strengths. It should be very clear why your business is the most suitable choice for the contract.


Write a case study or give examples of how you proved your your professionalism with past projects. 

It is important to form close bonds with stakeholder within this field. Building networks, connections and gathering access to information is a very critical issue today.


Leveraging Cyber Security Tenders

Cyber security is imperative in the era of digitization. Thus cyber security tenders provide a unique chance for such specialised businesses. To leverage these tenders effectively consider the following:


Ensure that you are abreast of cyber security trends and technology laws. Illustrate your experience and ability to navigate this changing landscape


Although bidding for security tenders is demanding, there are some mistakes entrepreneurs should avoid to help them win security tenders. There are also some best practices that they should follow. It is necessary to go through tender documents thoroughly, be eligible according to the documents, provide all the necessary data, price fairly and place your bid before time runs out. Be aware of special conditions for the type of contract, as a cyber security tender has very different requirement than tenders for security services in South Africa or security guard tenders in the UK. 


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