Successful bid writing

Pay Attention! Detail is The Crucial Element of Any Successful Bid

Bid writing is an incredibly important activity when it comes to a successful bid in public sector contracts. 

The process of bid writing involves creating professional bids in response to a tender with the aim of showcasing the ‘supplier’s’ capabilities (and winning the potentially lucrative contract to supply goods or services).
Attention to detail is a crucial aspect of bid writing. It is absolutely essential to create effective bids that differentiate you from the competition.  

Today in this blog post, I will discuss the bid writing process and its stages, with a focus on the importance of attention to detail. 

I will also briefly touch upon the role of professional bid writing companies (like Bid Writing Service) and expert bid writers in creating successful bids.

Successful Bids – Bid Writing Services

At Bid Writing Service, when we review previous failed bids (that, incidentally, we had no part in), one of the key themes we observe time and time again is the easy-to-avoid mistakes such as incorrect font size or not attaching an admittedly seemingly unimportant document.  

These little details are vital, and an oddly large number of companies who choose to write their own bids fail to make it past the first stage of evaluation simply because they’ve committed one of these mistakes.   

Details win or lose bids!  Don’t miss out on potentially business-changing contracts because you used Times New Roman instead of Arial or didn’t attach the 7th page of an insurance document.   And that’s what we’re here for!  

Bid Writing Service lead the way when it comes to detail. We’re renowned for it and are more than happy to help.  

We offer Bid Writing Services, Bid Management, and Bid Reviews. Whatever it is you need, contact me (Mike) at 07760 514 645; I’d love to have a chat about how we can support you in winning your next tender opportunity.

The Tendering Process 

The tendering process serves as the primary mechanism through which public sector organisations solicit bids from potential suppliers or contractors in order to identify the most suitable provider of goods or services. 

This process encompasses a series of well-defined steps, beginning with a ‘request for tender’ (RFT) and culminating in the selection of the successful bidder.

Various types of tenders exist, including open tenders, restricted tenders, and negotiated tenders. 

Open tenders are accessible to any supplier or contractor interested in submitting a bid. 

Restricted tenders, on the other hand, are exclusively available to pre-qualified suppliers or contractors, while negotiated tenders involve a negotiation process between the client and a select group of bidders.

Developing a strong bid response requires a comprehensive understanding of the tender requirements and the evaluation criteria. 

This entails gaining insights into the client’s specific needs, project scope, budgetary considerations, and any other particular requirements. 

Carefully scrutinising the tender documents and seeking clarification from the client on any ambiguities is crucial. 

By doing so, bid writers can tailor their bid response to precisely align with the client’s expectations, thereby setting their submission apart from the competition.

In the following sections, we will explore the pivotal role of attention to detail in crafting an effective bid response.

Preparing For an Effective Bid

Bid writing begins with thorough research and understanding of the client and their unique requirements. 

This initial step is crucial, as it enables bid writers to tailor their response to specifically address the client’s goals, priorities, and challenges. 

Diligently reviewing the tender documents and seeking clarification from the client when needed is essential, and here is where attention to detail truly shines. 

In fact, even the smallest detail that competitors overlook can prove to be significantly important. 

To illustrate this point, imagine you’re a Facilities Management company vying for a contract to manage the plumbing services for a series of government buildings. 

During your research, you discover that the particular council in question places great emphasis on local apprenticeships. 

Recognising this detail, you might consider incorporating a proposal to develop plumbing apprenticeships for local individuals within your bid. 

This strategic detail-orientated inclusion could substantially enhance your chances of securing the tender, demonstrating your commitment to meeting the council’s specific interests.

Crafting a high-quality bid response demands meticulous planning and unwavering attention to detail

It entails following a structured bid writing process, thoroughly proofreading the response for accuracy and clarity, and ensuring the overall presentation is engaging and easily comprehensible. 

Additionally, it is essential to highlight the organisation’s strengths, expertise, and relevant experience. Avoiding generic or irrelevant information, bid writers should focus on meeting the client’s precise needs.

Subject matter experts hold a pivotal role in bid writing, contributing their specialised knowledge and insights to the process. 

Their expertise helps provide technical input, identify relevant experience, and ensure the bid response remains accurate and credible. 

Engaging subject matter experts early on and ensuring their understanding of the client’s requirements is crucial for a successful bid. 

While not every bid may necessitate a subject matter expert, larger-scale bids often benefit from their involvement. Identifying these experts early and initiating meaningful discussions with them can significantly enhance the bid writing process.

Another effective strategy in bid writing involves incorporating the organisation’s track record into the proposal. 

Showcasing past successes, achievements, and relevant projects provides concrete evidence of the organisation’s expertise and experience. 

Bid writers should include relevant metrics, such as project timelines, budgets, and outcomes, to substantiate their track record. 

However, it is essential to tailor the track record to align with the client’s specific needs, avoiding generic information that fails to make a compelling case.

By adhering to these best practices and infusing careful attention to detail throughout the bid writing process, bid writers can create a compelling and distinctive bid response that outshines the competition.

The Bid Writing Process

The bid writing process involves creating a proposal in response to a tender or request for proposal (RFP). 

This process typically includes thoroughly researching the client’s requirements, writing a response, and submitting the proposal by a given deadline. 

The bid writing process requires attention to detail, strong writing skills, and the ability to work closely with other members of the bid team.

A step-by-step guide to the bid writing process:

  1. Understand the tender requirements and criteria
  2. Research the client and their needs
  3. Define the proposal’s objectives and structure
  4. Assign tasks and roles to the bid team (or utilise external support like us!)
  5. Draft the response, paying attention to detail and the proposal’s structure
  6. Review and edit the proposal to ensure it meets the client’s needs and the tender requirements
  7. Submit the proposal within the given deadline.

Having a clear structure and layout in bid proposals is crucial, as it makes the proposal easier to read and understand for the buyer. 

A clear structure helps the reader navigate the proposal and find the information they need quickly. It is important to use headings, subheadings, bullet points, and tables to structure the proposal effectively.  

Also, avoid using technical jargon if possible, and write something you’d like to read.  No one wants thousands of words of dry, boring content almost identical to the previous submission.  Be original, be creative, and wow them!

Additionally, and to reiterate, pay attention to detail! Not just in terms of spelling and grammar or attaching the correct documentation but also in terms of those little nuggets of gold other bidders won’t have thought have.

It may be the specific environmental goal the organisation is looking to achieve in the coming years that your company is able to facilitate or support, or it could be that you’re willing to utilise apprenticeships as part of your personnel strategy, thus aligning with the local council’s training plans over the next 5 years. 

Whatever it is, researching the buying organisation in depth is VITAL. Understand what they want, especially in terms of adding additional ‘social value’, and lean into it during your bid writing process. 

How We Can Help…

Successful bid writing takes time, effort and resources away from your business.  It isn’t just a case of showcasing what you can do, but also how what you can offer aligns with the buying organisation’s long-term strategy.  

This requires research.  It requires a depth of knowledge.  It requires an expert understanding of entire industries.   It’s tough! 

If you’re not new to bid writing and want to do most of the ‘heavy lifting’ but would like that little bit of extra support at the end, we’re excellently placed to help. 

We can deeply scan your bid, looking for structural and grammatical issues, but also looking for those little details that can help you ‘get over the line’. 

Our Bid Review service is world-class and can significantly improve your chances of winning your next tender!

Alternatively, if you’d like more ‘hand-holding’ support, we can guide you through the entire process with our bid writing and bid management services.  

Or, if you’d like to chat with one of our Directors, Mike is more than happy to spend some time talking about how to win a successful bid. Contact him directly at 07760 514 645.

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