The art of writing tenders

We’ve spent much of the last month helping clients write tenders for large projects – gathering information, presenting information clearly and adding value where we can. Here are ten top tips!

To make the most of external support when you’re writing a tender a few things can make life easier, save time and money and increase your chances of winning the contract:

  1. Have a nominated internal lead who will make sure everything stays on track. External support can do many things, but making sure people in your own organisation are supplying what is needed is difficult unless you know who to chase.
  2. Kick things off with a meeting of key people, internal and external. This can save a massive amount of time as you can agree responsibilities and the internal lead can create an action plan and timeline.
  3. Give yourself more time than you need. Someone somewhere will be on holiday, loose a key piece of information or have an urgent priority put on them so build in time where you can – the earlier you start the better your chances of getting it right.
  4. Create a shared online area. Use an online tool such as Dropbox to create a private, shared area for the key people to access – this stops email being clogged up and lets you all see progress. A good filing system can help!
  5. Get an early first draft. Creating a draft quickly helps identify gaps and highlight documents you need to locate to support your tender.
  6. Chase, chase, chase! You will need information from a lot of people and it won’t be their highest priority so you’ll need to be on top of it.
  7. Proof read everything. There is nothing worse than having an error that puts off a reader that could have been avoided. It’s worth paying a professional to do if you’ve got time.
  8. Add graphics if you can. If the tender process allows it add graphics, photos and other images to add interest, make points clear and highlight key information.
  9. Collect key information for future tenders. Once you’re done make a folder of useful documents, key contacts and sample answers so you are prepared for future tenders.
  10. Review. Once you have feedback from the client use it to review your documents and tender process – make sure you’re better prepared for the future.

 

We are now working to put some systems in place for our clients to make tender writing easier in the future – we’ll let you know how they go!