January is looking to be a busy month for bid teams everywhere, as many public sector contracts are released with deadlines in the New Year. Typically, this is one of our busiest times as clients call upon us to assist them as interim bid writers over the holiday season.
It is vital not to leave that all important PQQ or tender to the last minute over the festive period and find yourself completing a poor quality bid in a rush. Here are some of our bid writers’ tips for avoiding last minute submissions and preparing efficiently for your deadlines.
Sticking to the bid process
It can often be stressful when you have a short timescale in which to complete a winning bid, but it is important to stick to your bid process. Taking a methodical approach to your bid not only allows for a high quality response, but it reduces the margin for error. A bid writer should deconstruct the tender and respond to questions or sections separately, in a process which includes several deadlines and quality checks to not only get the project completed in time, but also to make sure all points are addressed and it is a high quality response.
Although it may seem easier to jump head first into the bid and start writing, taking the time to plan properly will result in an on-going quality process, which will ultimately score you the most marks. Rushing through a bid and completing it as quickly as possible is likely to lead to non-compliances and simple mistakes, which can be the difference between a pass and fail.
Preparing your bid library
If you bid on a regular basis you will be accustomed to short timescales and last minute deadlines! In order to prepare for such occasions, there are a number of different documents you can have in place and then amend, strengthen and improve as you complete more projects. This is known as a “bid library”, and may include supporting documentation, policies and procedures, staff CVs, charts, certificates and model answers from past submissions. For our existing and retained clients, a bid library is always created to assist future tenders and store commonly requested documentation.
Having a bank of information available to include in your bid and amend as necessary will not only save time in the long run, but will also contribute to a good quality, evidence-based response. Documentation such as policies and procedures is unlike to differ, and having it prepared and up to date is always helpful. This is not the same as copying and pasting narrative between responses, which is not advisable. A “one size fits all” generic response will quickly become outdated and nonspecific, which is unlikely to be a winning submission.
Model answers and feedback from previous submissions can also be utilised as a method of continuous improvement when completing a new bid; it is good to learn from your mistakes and refresh past responses to develop your bid writing further and increase your success rate.
Support from expert bid writers
You can prepare as much as possible but still encounter a last minute tender, which you can’t possibly complete alone because of limited resources. During a busy period, holiday season or for a large, important bid, our team of expert bid writers can step in and support your organisation through the process.
If you have a PQQ or tender with a deadline in January, don’t leave it to the last minute – seek assistance now so that everything is in place for after the Christmas break and to ensure your tender is completed to the highest quality standard. To discuss your requirements with one of our bid writers, call us today on 0800 6125563 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.