3 tips for streamlining your bid writing process to perfection

April 14, 2021

Streamlining your bid writing process the right way

When it comes to writing and crafting bids , even the most seasoned bid managers could improve their writing process and track progress more efficiently. Below, we’ve broken down our top tips for streamlining the bid writing process after your bid documents arrive in your inbox.

Decide who is helping and give deadlines straight away

As soon as the bidding documents have arrived and you make the final decision to bid, it’s time to plan, plan, plan.

You’ll already be aware of the best people to write specific pieces – for example, if you have to provide any financial information, you know you’ll likely need documents from your Head of Finance or Accountants. Letting them know what you need and when you need it by is key. The earlier, the better – you don’t want to be held up by any documents that have vanished off the Google Drive!

In some instances, you may need to provide confidential information (e.g. salary information if you are a Living Wage Employer and this supports your application) that the HR department may want to give to you right at the end or submit as a passworded document for the tendering organisation’s eyes only. It’s important that they know who they should be sending the documents to if they are doing this themselves.

In order to streamline this process, we recommend creating a spreadsheet with information about who is writing what, when you gave them the information, their deadline and progress – perhaps in a traffic light colour system. This way you can visually see what you are waiting for without having to scroll through a lot of email chains.

Plan the content and identify ‘win themes’

It may be that you are applying for this specific project as it aligns perfectly with your values or goals, in which case, it’s important to emphasise these. For example, our organisation is committed to providing X, and have a track record to evidence this, this work could help us further our aims… etc.

It’s almost like telling a story – what matters to your business and how do yours and the tendering organisation’s goals align? How can you help them achieve their own targets and what extra benefits can they get from working with you? What is your unique selling point that makes you stand out from your competition?

Make sure the team is aware of these ‘win themes’. For example, if the project is heavily based around social return on investment, this is crucial for the HR department to understand as they have a greater insight into what they can share. It might be proving that you provide opportunities to people from disadvantaged backgrounds, pay the Living Wage, that a certain percent of the money your staff earn is invested back into the local town, etc. 

Again, it is worth including some of this information in your spreadsheet under a ‘Notes’ column for specific details you have asked them to include.

Write and submit the bid

Once each contributor knows which parts they are writing and the themes to emphasise, it’s time to get writing. Different parts from different departments will likely be sent over to you in dribs and drabs so save them into the document immediately and make any changes necessary.

If you get stuck – don’t panic! If you find the bid submission and research hard to figure out , you can always search the internet for some extra help like this Thornton & Lowe’s guide or read a bit how governments handle bid submissions.

Make sure you are completely happy with the information provided – it might be that you have just thought of another factor that could be included (e.g. statistics from a case study), in which case you can get back to the relevant department and request this information with time left to make very final changes. Then, it’s time to submit and wait to hear back! 

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