You’re busy and the deadline is looming. Writing tenders, bids and proposals is not your day job nor expertise, but you know how great it would be to win this contract.
You’ve tendered for business in the past and maybe you could re-use some content… But where is it? You’re trawling through lengthy documents, frantically searching for that silver ‘cut and paste’ bullet.
The question is, is this the right way to approach a tender? And is this good use of your time? No. Here’s why.
Beware of cut and paste!
Although you can use cut and paste as a starting point, you can’t rely solely on it for your responses. The proposals with the best chances of success truly address each question and the criteria specified in the Statement of Requirements.
Therefore, cut and paste answers are likely to be too generic. Your responses need to be tailored to what the procurer is looking for. You need to demonstrate that you have planned out your offer and are ready to deliver it.
The best way to do this is to tender for work that’s right for your business. If this is the case, you should already have a strong methodology in place and be ready to execute it. It’s also more likely that you have content you can leverage from past proposals. But you need it readily available as you don’t want to waste time searching for information. This is where a content library comes in handy.
Build a content library to support you
When you are not on a deadline, go through your previous tenders to identify common content you repeatedly use. This is the content that you need in your library. It may include details about your business, experience and the credentials of your team. Make sure that the writing is as strong as it can be; it should be clear, persuasive and error-free.
You will then need to organise your content so that you can find it quickly. The simplest library, created using folders and sub-folders, can be highly effective for managing smaller quantities of content. When you’re managing a large quantity of content that requires constant revision and updating, it’s worth investing in a bid management or content management tool.
Remember though, your company, products, services and proposition are not static. Like everything, they’re constantly evolving – particularly if your company prioritises continual improvement. Therefore, it’s not a set-and-forget solution; revisit your content library regularly to make sure it’s up to date and you’re always ready to respond to opportunities that come your way.
Get professional support
A professional tender writer can help you put together your proposal. There is some information, of course, that only you can provide – and this is where your library comes in. But a professional may be able to add content, finesse the writing, and advise you on whether you need more in your offer to address the Statement of Requirements. Being organised goes a long way but having expert support can get you across the line!