Bid writing can bring in a large amount of revenue and a plethora of new contract opportunities if you know how to do it right.
When done wrong, it can be a huge waste of time, effort and money and can even put businesses off the whole process, meaning they are missing other perfect opportunities.
Below we break down the top four bid writing mistakes that we, as bid writing experts at Thornton & Lowe, see most commonly when working with businesses.
- Not selling yourself enough
The whole point of writing a bid is to really sell yourself and your business. Showcasing your previous work and getting your values to shine through makes for a successful bid, but surprisingly a lot of businesses miss the mark with this one.
To make sure you do this correctly, answer all questions in depth. Why should the assessor choose you to deliver the work over anyone else? What makes you stand out from the rest? Do not write generic responses! Make sure your answers are relevant to the question being asked. Most importantly, focus on the results you can deliver for them – that’s ultimately what they are looking for, after all.
- Not checking the bid thoroughly before submitting
Proofread every single word. Ask your colleagues and even senior management to review if possible. A fresh pair of eyes can pick up on typos or grammatical errors as well as repetitive content. These mistakes can be the difference between winning or losing a bid!
Remember, the assessor may not understand technical jargon, so explain yourself in layman’s terms. Run through it again and imagine you are reading it from the perspective of someone who does not work in your industry. Does it all make sense?
- Going for the wrong bid
Not every bid will be a perfect fit for your business. It can be tempting to look through a list and become excited at the number of projects you think would be perfect for you! Don’t apply to every single one; it would be like throwing a huge net out and accepting whatever you catch, whether you can deliver it or not. Be sure to read the fine print – your business may even be excluded because you do not have the correct level of insurance or accreditations.
Ask yourself these questions: Is it asking too much if you are stretched already? Do you have the resources? The last situation you want to find yourself in is one where you let the buyer down because you over-promised and under-delivered.
- A lack of understanding of the evaluation process
Read the evaluation guidance thoroughly and understand which questions have a greater value. This will improve your chances of a high score as you will understand which responses need to be absolutely perfect. This is not to say that other answers don’t have value, rather that most of your time should be spent focusing on the answers where you can really shine.
Make sure you have all relevant documents to hand. The assessor may outright ask for this during the application process, or you may be asked to provide these at a later date. Either way, organisation is key.
Taking these tips into consideration will help to increase your chances of winning a bid. Essentially, though, it’s all about making sure you really understand what is being asked and adding as much relevant information as possible to secure your dream contracts.