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The Eastern Cape is the fourth largest economy in South Africa and one of only three provinces growing faster than the national average. This province offers vast prospects for small, medium and large businesses to participate in commercial activities undertake projects and expand into this vibrant economy. 

Many of these business opportunities are accessible through local government departments and public entities, but require completing complex and cumbersome tender processes, which are time-consuming, labour-intensive and costly, particularly for businesses that do not have a local presence in the Eastern Cape. Among the challenges businesses face when tendering for local government and public entity opportunities are the costs of travelling to East London, one of the most expensive South African cities to fly to, in addition to the local travel and accommodation costs while in the city. Furthermore, navigating the unique business landscape in the Eastern Cape demands time and resources, which are often underestimated, resulting in lost opportunities.

Tender processes also require dedicated resources to collate up-to-date documents, comply with legal requirements, collect and deliver hard-copy documents, make cash payments and attend tender briefings, all within tight deadlines. To complicate matters further, many Eastern Cape municipalities have poor technical abilities and facilities, requiring, for example, physical collection and delivery of documents and cash payments. 

To address these challenges and ensure that businesses, regardless of where they are based, can take advantage of the many lucrative opportunities in the Eastern Cape efficiently and cost-effectively, East London-based virtual office provider Second Office has launched another unique solution: Tender Support Services.

Second Office, the first virtual office solution in East London, offers cost-effective, flexible and on-demand solutions for start-ups, small businesses, travelling professionals, companies exploring business opportunities in new areas and businesses that require temporary space. These virtual offices provide businesses with space and resources that allow for maximum productivity, without the costs of setting up and staffing offices. Modern virtual offices provide premium office, training, meeting, boardroom or conference rooms, furnished and fitted with the latest technology, as well as a range of amenities such as mail forwarding, call answering and administrative services delivered by professional staff, on highly flexible hourly, daily, weekly or monthly terms. 

Building on the success of this concept, Second Office has now also launched a unique Tender Support Services Solution, providing businesses with a locally-based administrative arm with the time, expertise and resources to tender professionally. The benefits to businesses are extensive, including a virtual presence for businesses in the Eastern Cape, optimal use of resources and significant cost savings, allowing exploration of the opportunities and expansion into the region with minimal investment, while also improving prospects of tender success with on-time, procedurally-correct tenders.

Second Office’s Tender Support Services Solution includes professional collation of original documentation required for successful tenders; ongoing monitoring of document validity, with timely requests for updates of expired documents; payment and collection of tender documents; representation at tender briefings; professional collation of complete tender packages; submission of tender packages and payments across the Eastern Cape; and ongoing feedback on the tender process, including reporting. 

“Development, growth and opportunities within East London’s infrastructure and industrial areas are recognised and addressed by local, provincial and national governments, as well as by companies looking to participate in development programmes, expand into the area and build a presence the province,” notes Sibongile Booi, founder of Second Office. “We are excited about the prospects in East London and in the Eastern Cape and passionate about facilitating business growth and success in the area! This is the driving force behind the solutions we continue to create, including modern virtual offices and now our Tender Support Services, that will allow businesses to explore local prospects professionally yet cost-effectively, and to improve their tender success to take advantage of the many opportunities that await in the Eastern Cape.”