Every bid writer should always be looking to improve. It is a career where you have to be adaptable and willing to learn. The requirements are constantly changing and whether it’s new legislation or contract stipulations, you always need to be one step ahead.
It is the job of a bid writer to adapt and improve, always understanding how to get the best from a submission. As a professional tender writing company this is a necessity for us and makes us an asset to any organisation.
To help you continue to win contracts for your company and develop as a bid team, we have provided some tips for improving your bid writing.
Evaluate – start with your bid process
Before looking out, you must first look in. You cannot improve without fully understanding the current working processes of your organisation.
One of the first things we do in our bid ready service is to look at a company’s writing procedures and evaluate their previous submissions. This gap analysis will allow us to find any weaknesses and work to correct them.
The purpose of the evaluation is to highlight areas for improvement. This can be in terms of process or actual writing: for example, do you have an internal review system? Have you previously failed in certain areas? These are questions you need to be asking and when you find a weakness, you must develop a thorough solution.
Prepare – get ready to bid
Once you have identified areas of weakness you need to look to improve. If the weakness is procedural, such as not thoroughly reviewing work prior to submission, then you must implement these procedures. Ensure that no work is submitted without first being assessed by at least one other team member.
Procedures are in place for a reason. They provide assurances of quality and mean that even if you are pressed for time and work gets rushed, there is still a safety net before submission. Your team must be strict and stick to every procedure implemented by your company.
Weak areas of previous submissions must be worked on in order to create a strong response for the next time. Model answers and case studies can all be prepared before a tender is even released, giving you ample time to create a winning response.
Review – ensure you have a winning tender
It cannot be said enough – reviewing your work is the cornerstone of a winning tender. Before you submit any bid you must review it internally, whether by another member of staff or an external organisation.
We often provide review services to companies wanting to ensure the highest quality submission. This will remove any mistakes and allow you to strengthen any weak areas of the bid in order to have the best chance of winning.
Submit – but do not idle
Once completed you must hand in your finished submission and await the result. However, this time should not be seen as a break. There is always work to be done and the interim period between submission and outcome should be used as an opportunity to continue improving your bid library and processes.
Use this time to discuss how well internal processes worked on the submission and what you can improve next time.
Feedback – where did it all go…?
Regardless of whether you win there are always areas of improvement. Feedback should be requested for every submission in order to highlight sections that were both good and bad.
If it went well use this for future tenders and add good responses to your bid library; if it went badly then find out why and work to improve this in the next bid.
Adapt – how to keep winning tenders
Whether you win or lose a bid writer must always adapt. Winning bids will still have areas for improvement and lessons to be learnt. Perhaps one section scored lower than the rest: aim to gain full marks in the area next time.
Your bid library must be updated and improved with all new information. This provides consistency and means that your business can continue to grow.
Improve – never be satisfied
You can always improve. Each submission is a challenge and as your company grows, bigger contracts will provide bigger challenges. As you adapt as a bid team look for areas that can be strengthened and sections where you can gain more marks.
Every submission is a new test for a company and winning is exciting as you see the work you have done help your company to higher ground.
Check out this video for some more tips:
You can also download our bid and tender writing tips here.