08 Jan How To Get Your Business Bid Fit
Writing high-quality, impactful bids that win your business more work is a great way to grow your company. But before you begin creating bids, you need to make sure your business is ‘bid fit’.
This means knowing exactly what the buyer is expecting from you, having the right content and resources available to create a winning bid, achieving the necessary accreditations and turnover requirements, compiling case studies and references, and developing a winning pricing strategy.
In this article, we will address the key areas you need to address to get your business ‘bid fit’, and outline how you can put this information into practice.
Know The Industry’s Expectations
Every client is different, but you should have a rough idea of what buyers in a particular industry expect to see in submitted bids.
For instance, you should have a thorough understanding of their industry standards and guidelines, and be able to demonstrate this knowledge within your bid.
You should also be able to show professionalism and responsiveness – this includes demonstrating valuable skills and attributes, such as organisation, team-working abilities, a good level of written language, and the ability to build trust with key stakeholders.
Prepare The Right Content For Your Bid
You should have a wide range of content available to use in your bids, including data, statistics, case studies, and references.
This data can be displayed in a wide range of ways – like for example, tables, charts, graphs, and diagrams. Ideally, try to use methods that present the information in a visually dynamic fashion, and be sure to use graphics to break up large bodies of text and keep the bid engaging throughout.
You should keep this content stored in a ‘content library’ to ensure that the information can be found quickly and easily when you need to write your bid. This content library should be managed regularly to delete any ‘out of date’ content, and to highlight the material that is most relevant to your latest bids.
Do You Have An Existing Bid Library To Work From?
Furthermore, you should store all your previous bids in a ‘bid library’ so that they are easy to find; you can then reuse any relevant information in your future bids.
Having a bid library also allows you to go back over your bids while you are working to deliver a contract, so that you can ensure your business is fulfilling the guarantees made to the client during the bidding process. This can help you handle any issues raised by the client in a clear and professional manner.
Plus, if you are bidding on a contract for a client that you have worked for previously, you can reference your last job for them, discuss the results you were able to deliver, and highlight how you successfully met their needs.
Do You Have The Right Accreditations?
Ensuring that your business is fully accredited is essential for building a trusting relationship with any potential buyers.
Accreditations prove that your business is fully qualified, works to industry standards and guidelines, and is approved by a third-party organisation. Therefore, you should ensure that your business has fully up-to-date accreditations to promote a sense of professionalism and trustworthiness with buyers.
However, if your business is not accredited by the required third-party organisations, you should work towards achieving these accreditations as a priority. You can usually find information about what entitles a business to qualify for an accreditation on the accrediting body’s website.
Do You Meet The Turnover Requirements?
As a general rule of thumb, you will not be eligible for contracts worth more than 50% of your annual turnover. You may even be asked to provide up to 3 years of accounts to prove your financial position to buyers.
Therefore, you should only apply for contracts that are appropriate for your annual turnover figures in order to prevent wasting time and resources.
If you have your eye on bigger contracts, work up to them by starting small!
Bid on lower value contracts which your annual turnover makes you eligible for, grow your business by completing these contracts, and then as your turnover increases, apply for the more lucrative opportunities that become available to you.
Do You Have Case Studies And References To Show Off Your Abilities?
Case studies and references prove to buyers that your business can successfully deliver on its promises. You should have a roughly equal number of case studies and references in your bid to help show that your company is reliable and trustworthy.
Case studies outline the key facts and outcomes of contracts that your business has worked on in the past. And by providing case studies, you can show how your business met the brief, remained within budget, and delivered examples of added value.
While case studies are created by your business, references are given by previous clients.
In a reference, a client can give a full review of your service and highlight your core strengths. By providing references alongside your case studies, buyers will be able to get a first-hand account of how your business was able to meet the needs of a previous client – which is far more persuasive than case studies alone.
When choosing which references to include in a bid, make sure you pick fully developed responses that are complimentary of your services.
Do You Know How To Price Your Services?
Developing a winning pricing strategy is essential for meeting your buyer’s needs. They will be looking for the Most Economically Advantageous Tender (MEAT) – which essentially means that your pricing should meet their requirements, while the overall value you offer beats the competition.
Your pricing strategy needs to meet the buyer’s expectation of price vs quality, which is usually expressed in percentages. For example, buyers who prioritise price may judge bids 60% on price and 40% on quality, while buyers who prioritise quality may judge bids 60% on quality and 40% on price.
You can find more information about developing a winning pricing strategy here.
What Resources Will You Need To Create The Bids?
Ensuring that you have the necessary resources available to create your bids is critical. This means having data, statistics, case studies, and references easily to hand, as well as scheduling the required time with your team to formulate the bid.
To minimise the amount of time required to gather information, you should ensure that your content and bid libraries are regularly maintained and kept up-to-date. In addition, buyers may offer you the chance to conduct site visits in order to gather more information that you can use in your bids – wherever possible, always ensure that you take advantage of these site visit opportunities, and leave ample time for you to attend and gather key details.
Are You Ready And Able To Deliver The Work You’re Bidding For?
Your bid should be representative of the work you are ready and able to deliver at the time of writing. Do not make any promises that your business will be unable to keep!
If you suspect that a contract is ‘out of your league’ for any reason, you should not apply – this will save you wasted time and effort in the long run, and prevent any damage to your reputation that would be sustained if you are unable to deliver the contract as promised.
Want to know more about how to get your business bid fit and ready to win contracts? Contact our expert team!