11 Tips For Successful Bid Writing

Wigan-based JGP Consultancy, which specialists in finding and securing public sector funding through tendering, bid writing and strategic engagement, marketing itself as “the UK’s number one Tender Finder Consultants for small and medium enterprises (SMEs)” has a useful article on its website titled:

11 Tips For Successful Bid Writing

1. Create added value in your bid writing

When bid-writing, you need to be able to demonstrate what you will bring to the customer. This is vital in winning the bid as it shows that you can deliver the desired solution.

Creating added value is showcasing your businesses strengths such as:

  • Expertise and qualifications
  • Industry experience 
  • Reputation
  • Case studies and similar work

There are also social factors that create added value including:

  • Corporate Social Responsibility
  • Social value
  • Environmental impact

2. Meet the deadline

It is vital to meet the deadline. Without meeting deadline, it shows that you’re unreliable and might not be able to meet other targets. For this reason, the bid is likely to be discarded, allowing another supplier to win the bid.

3. Study the tender document

Studying the tender document is important to understand key information. Crucial information includes:

  • Contract length
  • Important dates
  • Value of contract
  • Key requirements
  • Specification

Understanding this information is fundamental in planning for the future including staff requirements, raw materials design and implementation etc. It is also important for planning if you have the capacity and ability to deliver.

4. Master your research

Researching is key to successful bid writing. There are many parts of research that are needed for a successful bid. One element of research is understanding previous bid successes. This way you can understand what other suppliers have done previously and replicate this in order to be successful. Researching the customer is also paramount to success. Understanding whether they are local, regional or national has a great impact on your decision making. Additionally, You must also research your competitors to understand ways you can add value to your bid. 

One of the best ways you can do this is through Porter’s five forces which looks at:

  • Industry rivalry
  • Bargaining power of suppliers
  • Threat of Substitutes
  • Bargaining power of buyers
  • The threat of new entrants.

5. Be specific

The bid writing needs to be as specific as possible to give yourself the best chance of winning the bid. A stock answer demonstrates laziness and will not fit the requirements of what is needed. The more specific to the bid, the more likely the bid is to be accepted as you can tailor your answers to perfectly fit the questions. The specificity needs to include what you’re going to do, how you’re going to do it and include what resources you have. We believe using the strategy of PEE (point, evidence, explain) is the best way to answer questions as it allows you to answers answer the why and how whilst maintaining a concise answer.

6. Pricing

It is important not just to focus on the price of the bid. The value for money is much more important than just the cost price as proven by the UK Public Procurement Regulations 2015. Under-pricing your supplies run the risks of a lack of credibility as it could show poor quality labour and raw materials. It is valuable to be the Most Economically Advantageous Tender (MEAT) which evaluates more than just the price of the bid but other aspects of your bid including innovation, quality and customer service.

7.  Stick to a timetable

A timetable is a perfect way to create a strategy for the perfect bid. This allows you to stay on track with the bid and hit the deadline which is vital to success. The timetable must include each stage of the process with mini-deadlines with examples including:

  • Opportunity published
  • Submission deadlines
  • Presentation date
  • Contract start date

Similarly, a timetable is important once you have won the bid in order to satisfy the demands of the bid and maintain a successful relationship. This offers a greater likelihood of you winning another bid in the future.

8. Simplicity is key

Simplicity is key for successful bid writing. The main reason for this is that it makes your bid easier to read and shows your understanding. One way you can do this is through bullet points which organise and emphasise your points effectively, whilst improving readability. As well as this you must make sure key concepts are explained whilst minimising jargon. Another way to create simplicity is by creating powerful headings which makes your points stand out and more enticing to readers. Likewise a clear structure, such as the PEE paragraph structure will significantly improve your answers.

9. Proofread your document 

Proofreading your document is vital for success. Spelling and grammar mistakes in the document will reduce the credibility of your bid and significantly reduce the chances of your bid being successful. As well as this you must also make sure that you must address the full specification of the bid with a sufficient level of detail. You must review your answers so they are logically structured, consistent and in the word count. Most importantly, you must make sure you have backed each answer with evidence.

10. Understanding what bid writing is

Although you understand your own market, this does not mean that you are able to write a bid. A bid is not a sales document, it is a document outlining how each of your processes works and how that will benefit them. It’s essential you turn your industry knowledge into bid language which is what our experts do.

11. Answer the question

When bid writing, it is crucial you answer the question with a simple structure. However, each question will be different meaning that you must change answer structure for each questions. Questions asking “How?” must include a detailed response of what you’re going to do and how you’re going to add value compared to competitors. This may include a detailed step by step plan, including what resources you will use and critical evidence of previous experiences. On the other hand, questions may ask you for more detailed examples. In this case you must also add a previous example of how you have been successful in similar scenarios and what made you so successful.

The full item can be found on the JGP Consultancy website.