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BLOG: Top 5 tips for successful tender bid writing

Steve O'Hare offers five key tips to help your business make the most of any tender writing opportunity




MD Steve O’Hare has seen plenty of tendering bids ruined by basic errors made during the bid-writing process.


So read these five tips and stick to them to create the best chance of success for your company.


1) Identify your strategy and get the crucial points into your answer. Make sure you don’t waffle. Putting lots of extra text down into your response, doesn't lead to you getting a better mark and, in lots of instances, ends up with the response 'going down a rabbit hole'.


Tenders are completed on a timeline and you simply waste time by including information that you don't have space for or do not need. You then waste yet more time by trying to take unnecessary content back out of your bid!


Background research


2) Do your background research. Find out what you need to answer and focus in on your sales point as a business.


3) Make sure you answer the question that is set. One of the biggest mistakes that I see time and time again, is people’s failure to answer the question. Once you decide that a tender is right for your business, the way to give yourself the best chance of winning that tender is to answers questions you are asked.





Answer, the how, why, what, where and when, which is asked. I have seen lots of answers which describe a person or job role when the question asks 'how' something is done.


I have also read really well-written pieces that describe what they have been doing previously, when the question wanted to know what they were going to do in the future. Your attention to detail really is crucial.


Your answer


4) Let the assessors know why you and your company should get this tender and not somebody else. What is your biggest selling point? What is good about your business for this bid. Why would the buyer think you are the organisation to do a good job with this tender? This is where you really have to sell yourself.


5) When completing word-restricted responses, make sure that you do not over-write your answer. If you are asked for 250 words on any particular subject, writing 700 words will not get you extra marks, it will harm your bid.


Writing succinctly and saying what you need to say in as shorter amount of words as possible is a real skill. But learning it will stand you in very good stead. Ask yourself: ‘Is every part of this answer necessary’?


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