Bidding can seem like a daunting proposition. It may appear complex and confounding, but still be vital for you to grow your business. Silly mistakes can lose you important marks, and make the difference between success and failure. Here are some common Tender and Bid writing mistakes for you to consider.
*Choosing the wrong bid in the first place…
It may be tempting to see the many opportunities available and attempt to win them all, even ones which only vaguely fit your business but this is a common bid writing mistake. The bidding process is costly in time and resources, so choosing the project which is the right fit for your business is vital in remaining profitable. Read all the documents carefully and ensure you fully understand the buyer’s requirements. Consider whether you are eligible – can your business be excluded for not holding the correct certification, accreditations or insurance? Do you have the capacity and infrastructure to fulfill the contract? Can you provide evidence that you have experience in the type of work required and the ability to work in the required location? Think about how this contract might affect your other contracts and commitments. Take time to weigh up whether committing resources to submit this bid is worth it to your business, in relation to the contract value, the overall value of your business and your likelihood of winning the contract. It is better to commit your resources to bids you are likely to win and which will be profitable, than squander your resources on bids you are ineligible for or unlikely to win for whatever reason.
*Not paying attention to understanding the evaluation process…
Take time to read evaluation guidance and note the weighting of responses. Focus on the right questions, allocating more time and resources to questions which have a higher weighting to maximise your scoring potential. Answer every question, and make sure answers are relevant to the questions asked. If you do not understand a question, seek clarification, preferably in writing. Make sure you include ALL required information and documentation – the assessor cannot score information they do not have. Ensure pricing templates are completed correctly, that formulas work and that your figures are up to date – assessors may well look at that section first, and write off your entire bid if they find errors. Remember, pricing templates are there to make it easier to evaluate submissions so if you make a mistake your bid may not be accepted.
*Failing to sell your business successfully
Make sure you answer all questions with relevant replies. You need to make sure you articulate why the assessor should choose your business over your competitors so differentiate yourself from the competition by focusing on what makes your submission unique, whilst fulfilling all the necessary requirements. Ensure your answers reflect the requirements of this specific buyer – do not use bland or generic answers that lack depth. Make sure your answers reflect what the buyer wants to hear rather than what you want to say. Avoid only writing about your business, focus on your results and the benefits a buyer might expect to enjoy.
*Not following clear instructions…
Make sure you read instructions carefully. Use the correct font and fulfill any format requirements; otherwise, you may be noncompliant and marked down. Take heed of word and page limits – anything over the limit may be discounted. Pay particular notice to submission requirements and deadlines – failure to do so may lead to disqualification. Add attachments only when permitted, otherwise the information may not be evaluated; similarly, only embed images or tables to highlight key information if you are allowed to do so.
*Lack of review
Take time to proofread every single word. You need to project a professional image and your submission represents your business. Check carefully for copy and paste errors too – you do not wish to foster the impression you are not detail orientated, or that your work lacks credibility. If possible, get someone unrelated to the bid to read your submission carefully and in its entirety, comparing it to the bid document or tender specifications, particularly if your response was written by more than one person.
Make sure you don’t make these bid writing mistakes, it could be the difference between winning a bid and missing out on it completely.