Hitting the right note

Nothing makes my heart beat faster than a competition.  Maybe this is why I like bid writing so much..and when one of those bids wins, my day is made.

To hear that another organisation or person has read your words and believes that the client has fully met the brief, understood the criteria and given them something that they want, above all others, is a very special thing.

Whether this is for a boiler maintenance contract, an events service, a business award or a service for disadvantaged children, I relish the opportunity to write for companies who want to grow through funding applications, business awards and tenders.

Whilst always aware that people do (and can) write their own applications, having an external experienced bid writer provides a critical assessment of your application by someone with knowledge of the “tricks of the trade” and an understanding of the terminology of the commissioner. They can also shout about your company in ways that you may be reluctant to do (ah, the British reserve!).  Or maybe they just understand more fully what the questions are asking.

This happened recently, for a client who had been unsuccessful twice in their application.  They had all the right words…just not necessarily in the right order. We worked together to redesign the content, and just this week they rang to tell me they had been successful.

I knew they had a great project to offer, but they needed to ensure what they were offering met the criteria, and to show the commissioner that they understood this, and could deliver.

So.  Some questions and tips when you are writing your next application:-

  1. Do you know exactly what is being asked for?
  2. Can you deliver this (in the way they want) or could you even exceed their expectations?
  3. Have you read the tender specification at least twice?
  4. Do you understand what each question means?
  5. Can you produce the content in the way they want, and to their timescales?

If you answer to some of these is no, then ask yourself is the tender really what you want, and if it is, can you get some help (ie is there enough time!)?

If you are securing a bid writer’s time, some questions to ask:-

  1. Experience of success – particularly win rates
  2. Examples of similar bids and competence with technical submission portals
  3. How will they obtain the content from you – meetings, past examples
  4. How much will they cost (don’t forget, their time is not free!)
  5. Whose responsibility is final check and submission?

As I said…immortalising the great Les Dawson, you may have the words, but not necessarily in the right order…a bid writer will create wonderful music from those right notes.

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