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Advice for First Time Bidders

tender writing

At Executive Compass® we work with clients of all shapes and sizes, from national healthcare companies to sole traders providing cleaning services. For both of these, our services have the same purpose: to help in successfully complete the bid writing for a contract.

It is often the case that a client has a well-established, successful company and has been delivering contracts for years, but has then found they have to submit a formal PQQ and tender in order to bid for a contract. This is where we come in!

Make sure you are bid ready

There are numerous reasons a company may start bidding for contracts: to expand, to increase market share, and to have a steady stream of work. Unfortunately, being able to deliver the work itself is not the only factor to take into account when you decide to bid. There are a number of documents which you need to have in place.

For all public sector contracts you will need to provide policy and procedure documents. This is to prove to the contracting authority that your company is fully compliant with all current legislation and meets all standards. The most common policies and procedures include health and safety, data protection, diversity, quality assurance and business continuity. However, dependant on which industry you are in and what service you are providing, there may be additional documents requested.

We recommend that you have in place the core documents, as well as staff CVs, relevant case studies and up to date financial accounts, all readily available to assist with your bid.

Bidding for the right opportunity

Once you have identified your company is in a suitable situation to start tendering for work, you need to identify a good opportunity. This may be something you are made aware of if you have an established relationship with a local council, or you may need to monitor the contracts advertised on Contracts Finder, until you find an appropriate contract.

Part of our service is offering professional advice in terms of the ‘bid/no-bid’ decision. Contract notices can be fairly comprehensive and there are a lot of requirements and instructions to follow. It is vital that you are fully aware of not only the contract requirements, but also the evaluation criteria and any pass/fail areas of the tender.

This can be the first hurdle for a first time bidder if they have not read through all the contract documentation and mandatory requirements. There is likely to be a minimum turnover requirement to bid for the contract (depending on the total value of works), as well as certain credentials, references and certifications that need to be provided for your company. It can be a beneficial exercise to create a bid checklist and ensure you are eligible to bid for the contract and can provide all items required. Alternatively, if you need further advice we can review the documentation for you and provide our professional opinion.

Compiling your bid

Although the standardised PQQ has recently been introduced, as a rule of thumb, every bid is different and the tender document especially can vary vastly in terms of size and complexity. Our main advice when writing a PQQ or tender is to spend time planning and organising your responses alongside the specification and evaluation criteria for the contract.

Try to put yourself into the evaluator’s shoes when writing your submission and ask yourself the following questions:

  • Have you demonstrated your company’s skills and competencies?
    Have you included evidence and statistics to back up your answers?
    Is your narrative response clear and concise?
    Do you provide innovations and value for money?
    Overall, would the contracting authority be justified in awarding you the contract?

We have a number of resources available to assist in writing the technical response of your tender document, including ‘how to’ blogs, infographics and downloads.

Contact us

If you feel you lack the skills and competencies to put all your information into a winning tender submission, our team of bid writers can support you in the writing process. Contact us on 0800 612 5563 or fill out our website contact form to discuss our range of bid writing services.

Call us now to speak to a member of our Bid Team:

0203 507 0314 or direct to mobile: 07590 276 006