Having the right information on how to successfully win a contract in South Africa is like hitting gold mine to most contracting companies, especially if it has to do with governments or big companies.

This is because winning a contract from any company is not easy not to mention winning one from the government or a big company.

Getting a contract in South Africa is serious business and a single contract would be all a contractor needs to hit the rare gold. This is true for South Africa millionaire entrepreneur and businessman, Emeka Okonkwo, also known as Emoney whose grass to grace story was based on his logistics company winning a contract of $2 million.

This article provides useful information on how to successfully get a contract whether from the government or a private firm.

How to Successfully Get and Win a Contract in South Africa

Winning a Contract in South Africa

It is very much possible to win a contract from the government or big companies in South Africa but your chances of success will depend on the whether or not you have the right tools needed to achieve such a feat.

There is usually a strict bidding system with hundreds of companies submitting their proposals for consideration. Based on the requirements of the body offering the contract, most of these companies will get screened out and the body will be left with only those that are highly qualified and possess a good company profile.

However, the process is not always so as some less reputable companies can win such contracts. This is as a result of the depth of connections such less reputable company have with high officials in the body offering the contract and this is something to consider when submitting a contract proposal.

Before we go in depth on how to successfully win a contract in South Africa, there are some terms you need to familiarize yourself with before considering bidding a contract. This will also set you on the right path when submitting a proposal.

Types of Contractors

Major Contractors

Major contractors are mainly big companies, organizations that possess the manpower, technical expertise, experience and funding to handle top-level projects. They get the bulk of the top-level projects and earn big by landing such projects from governments and other big organizations.

Projects handled by major contractors include construction of roads, bridges, oil refineries, stadiums, government buildings, dams, power plants and so on. They sometimes give out contracts to subcontractors. However, these contracts are small projects and the profit of the subcontractor wouldn’t be as significant as that of the major contractor.

Subcontractors

Subcontractors are small scale independent contractors who do not possess the same expertise as major contractors. The main reason they are classified as subcontractors is that they mostly handle contracts re-awarded by major contractors. These contracts are mostly low-level projects like the supply of pieces of equipment, procurement, consulting and other ancillary services.

As a first timer and a small scale contracting company, you should focus on this category to build your reputation and experience in the world of contracting in South Africa. This will also help you get the connections you need to succeed in winning contracts.

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How to Get and Win a Contract in South Africa

Build Your Reputation

When it comes to the world of contracting in South Africa, the reputation of your company is everything. Before awarding any contract, government and large companies would first look at your portfolio to check your experience and your reputation in handling such projects. If you have been unable to meet deadlines and produce low-quality results, you will be stroked out and overlooked in the bidding phase.

You can build your portfolio and reputation by offering discounts for your first projects or doing them for free if possible.

Get Enough Connections

This is similar to the first step; by offering discounts or executing projects for free and delivering top-quality results, you can easily build connections with such companies for future references. You will definitely need this as you bid for top-level contracts offered by government and big companies.

Do Research

You can follow this step to get your first contracting job. Doing research via the internet or by following updates of companies within your market area is the easiest way to stay updated with the latest contracts offered by the companies. When you find such a company, look for their contact information and reach out to the procurement department.

You can ask for information on pending or future contracts and request that your company be added to their list of potential contractors. You can also hire expert marketers to speak on your behalf and get your company listed in their list of potential contractors.

Confirm Your Company Eligibility

If the company has a pending contract, you can request for the procurement process and bid requirements. Confirm if your company is eligible for the contract so that you can go ahead to with the request for bid proposal.

Prepare Your Bid

After going through the request for bid proposal and confirming you meet all the requirements stated by the company, you can start your bid submission. Include a summary of your company, its qualifications and the reason why you are the best for the contract. It is important to adhere strictly to the rules and regulations.

Note that other companies will also be bidding for the same contract as you. You must not only meet the requirements but also surpass them and have the right connections and portfolio if you are to scale through and win the contract.

Finalize Your Bid

Ensure that every calculation including your expenses and profits are clearly calculated. When placing a price tag on your bid, note that your competitors will also be placing a certain price tag on their bid and its best to bid reasonably if you hope to land the contract. Bidding too low could be counterproductive and harm your reputation if you deliver a low-quality result or unable to meet with the deadline.

Also, being the lowest bidder wouldn’t necessarily grant you the contract when it comes to government contracts. Factors like company reputation, portfolio and connections are the main determinants of who will turn out successful in the bidding process for government contracts.

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