Get your next proposal over the line by following our five tips for drafting a winning bid, tender or proposal. In this article we cover off graphics, content, editing and final preparation for the win.
Graphics can be simple and easy to complete with programs such as canva making it easy for the graphic designing novice. The key point is that graphics need to convey meaning. They need to spark interest and compliment the responses to the individual questions.
Bid writing consultants are increasingly focusing on graphics and for good reason. Loads of text can bore the reader. When reviewing a tender, the procurement team may get tired and may interpret information in different ways. This is where a graphic can help substantially. You may be proposing a complex solution to a problem or issue, or alternatively, you may have a complex team structure which you need to explain. An infographic is a perfect way to do this.
It’s been proven time and time again that first impressions count. Unfortunately, this often applies to the personnel reviewing your submission. Graphics are therefore to developing the perfect tender. Some areas you can include them include:
- On the cover page, and as cover pages for all Appendices
- As images and profiles of your key personnel
- As a template for all of the documentation
- As infographics to convey complex solutions in a simple and easy to interpret manner
- For all supporting documentation
- As part of your responses to questions.
Detailed, engaging content and well-written content
Now that we have the graphics out of the way you still need to write your response. The text needs to be in active voice. The company will want to know that you will deliver, not that you should, could or would deliver. Short sentences are great. Be concise. Go into detail. Interpret the question broadly. It’s important not to waffle, but instead, go into detail and be concise. Put your writing through a readability test and see how you go. For example, if the question asks you for previous experience, you could:
- Provide a brief overview of your previous experience (2 or 3 paragraphs).
- Provide a bullet point list summary of your previous experience including when you completed the works/service and what you delivered. You may also include the total value of the service and the details of the client.
- Provide two or three detailed case studies. These need to be closely aligned to the RFP or RFT requirements. They need to be of similar size and scope as possible. In the case study, you need to talk about what key personnel were involved, what issues were overcome, what you achieved and how you met any key deliverables.
The right capability and team
It’s absolutely critical to put your best foot forward and to make sure you propose personnel and expertise that can deliver. This means only submitting to win contracts that you have the capability and experience to deliver on.
It also means managing any internal politics until after you have submitted the tender and not before. For example, if you are bidding for a contract for plumbing services and you have an installer with over ten years experience. You may also have an installer with one years experience who happens to be the owners’ son, and looking to be recognized.
It’s best you put them both installers forward, as a supervisor and installer based arrangement. Any preference or internal hierarchy within your team must stay within your team, and the personnel with the most experience and expertise put forward.
A real solution
The solution you put forward has to be credible and has to work. For example, if you are providing landscaping services to a local shire, you have to demonstrate that you have the required personnel, workforce and equipment. If you are proposing to build a highway for a major construction project, you need to have a credible program.
You need to demonstrate that you can deliver a quality outcome within the timeframe. Most importantly, you need a clear, credible solution.
Alternative Bids are also a great option when you have an alternate solution to what the client has thought of. Putting forward an alternative bid can give the benefit of proposing a real solution whilst also getting the attention of the review panel. It shows that you know what you are talking about and have thought the project through.
An error-free document
This can be a challenge. You will have multiple stakeholders to coordinate and some internal stakeholders may delay a few things until the last minute. It’s important to allow time for peer review of the document as well as to proof read the document. The key reason that you should submit an error-free submission is that typographic errors generally distract the reader and don’t present professionally. You want the reader to be engaged throughout the document, not be distracted by errors.
There are lots of components to the perfect bid, tender or proposal. Our expert consultants at Tsaks Consulting help businesses across the UK and Europe write winning tenders, bids and PQQs. Email us now or call for help with your next tender submission. We provide a full range of tender and bid writing services and are happy to provide examples of our work.