16 Nov Why Planning Is Essential For Writing Compelling Bids
When you are focused on delivering multiple contracts (while perhaps operating with limited resources), spending time and energy on thoroughly planning your future bids can seem like an unnecessary hassle.
However, if you don’t plan your bids effectively, they are far less likely to be successful; this can make it more difficult for you to win work in future, thereby jeopardising the growth of your company.
Here, we will outline some ways that you can ensure your bid writing pipeline continues to run smoothly, no matter how busy you are.
Effective time management is a crucial part of efficient bid writing, for several reasons.
Firstly – and perhaps most importantly – thoroughly planning your bid creation process ensures that you will have ample time to complete and submit your bid before the deadline. This is vital, as missed submission deadlines will usually rule you out of consideration for the job before anyone even looks at your bid.
Secondly, planning your bid creation effectively and leaving yourself enough time to complete it to a high quality will allow you to ensure that every part of the bid shows your business at its best. By dedicating the required time to make each bid section the most effective it can be at demonstrating your business’ value and how you can achieve the targets set by the client, you will substantially boost your chances of success.
Collecting And Visualising Evidence
Taking the time to include persuasive evidence in your bids – such as relevant case studies and client testimonials – that shows your company can exceed the client’s targets and deliver excellent outcomes, is almost certain to improve your bid win rates.
However, collecting and visualising evidence in an accessible and effective manner is a time-consuming process, and you will find that it requires significant resources to get the best possible results.
For example, your team will first need to thoroughly review your past work projects to collect evidence of your capabilities that presents your results in the best possible light. Following this, you will need to ensure that the information is communicated clearly and without any confusion or inconsistencies.
To help with successfully presenting the evidence in your bid to those who will be evaluating it, you may also need to outsource data visualisation work to a specialist graphic design professional.
This can add extra budgetary requirements and an additional time investment that must be accounted for in your bid planning.
Roles And Responsibilities
If you work in a team with multiple members, you will need to carefully consider the roles of ‘who does what’ in the bid creation process. Any confusion regarding which tasks belong to which people will lead to hold-ups and sub-optimal results.
In addition, if you allocate different sections of your bid to be produced by different team members, you will need to consider how to make the overall bid flow as a coherent whole. You should also do a final edit, or even several, to ensure that the writing style is consistent and that there are no contradictions across the bid.
Managing Your Schedule
Once you have planned the time frame and roles for each section, your team will need to stay organised so they can work to the schedule without any delays. This means setting out a time frame not only for each section, but for each responsibility within the sections.
For example, if a team member is writing the section about budgeting, you should set a time frame for collecting the information regarding your business’ financial status, for working out the budget for your materials, time, and profit margin, and for evidencing that your offering represents good value for your client.
This level of planning and task management will help your team to manage their workload effectively and ensure that the required results are delivered within your allocated timescales.
Designing Your Bid
A cohesive and impactful bid design will promote a sense of professionalism and allow your readers to scan your proposal quickly while absorbing all the essential information.
Remember too, that your potential client will have many proposals to read, so if there is a bid that does not grab their attention, does not immediately make sense, or is not easy to understand, the client may well discard the bid before properly assessing its contents, in order to read someone else’s proposal.
Here, the design of your bid is essential for making your proposal memorable and engaging to the reader, because if the client does not connect with your business or with the arguments presented in your bid, you are far less likely to win the job being applied for.
Designing a bid so that it engages readers and communicates your points in an appealing manner will take time, effort, and careful planning. For every bid you create, be sure to consult a design professional – whether they are in your team or outsourced – to check that the key points of your bid have been clearly communicated in a visual and engaging fashion that is easy for readers to digest.
Reviewing Your Bid Process
Regularly reviewing the way your team creates bids, and then optimising your process based on the findings, is an essential part of ensuring efficiency and giving yourself the best chance of winning work.
But without thorough planning, you may find that you run out of time to complete the review process effectively. This can lead to you being unable to identify the mistakes made in your bids (both successful and unsuccessful) and fail to put plans in place to prevent them from happening in future. As a consequence, your win rates going forward may not be as high as they could be, meaning you will miss out on securing work opportunities that you might otherwise be chosen for.
For this reason, completing an effective review of your completed bids is a critical part of ensuring long-term business success.