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5 reasons why you should hire a professional bid writer

The benefits of outsourcing your bid writing process
By Leigh Hatfull on 25 October 2020

Responding to complex tenders is no longer the sole domain of the large enterprise sized companies.  In recent years the UK government has launched several initiatives with a view to encouraging small & medium sized enterprises (SMEs) to take part in the competitive tender response process.

However it is understandable that many SMEs are reluctant to do so for several reasons. Obviously there is the cost involved in having, in many cases, several departments tied up writing a bid response. There’s also the amount of time it takes – to not only gather the information but – to get it into a format that is suitable.

However, having been involved in a huge number of bid responses, we believe that the real reason many SMEs don’t get involved in the process is due to a lack of understanding and ultimately fear of failure. For these organisations outsourcing the tender response process could very well be the answer.

So why outsource your bid writing process?

Organisations who outsource their bid writing and the tender response management process entirely enjoy more success than those who rely on regular team members.

Here are some reasons to use a professional bid writer when competing for public or private sector contracts:

  1. Understanding the specification.
    If you have never seen a PQQ or tender before, the documents can be very confusing. The sheer size of a specification is enough to put off an inexperienced writer.A professional bid writer completely understands the specification and knows exactly how to respond to each section within the document. Without knowing what is required in a tender your company is at risk of failing.Losing a tender can be very costly as many companies rely on these contract opportunities for work. Completing a submission without understanding the specification is a huge waste of time, resources and money.
  2. No replacement for experience.
    There is no replacement for experience. Someone who has completed hundreds of submissions will save you time and money and will vastly improve your success rate.One of the keys to being successful is constantly adapting and learning from previous submissions. A lot of previous experience means that you know exactly what the contracting authority is looking for and can secure the most points.
  3. Unique writing skills
    Tender writing requires unique writing skills – you must be able to convey your organisation’s strengths whilst hitting all the points in the specification. There is also the need to potentially pave over any minor cracks, if the company does not meet certain requirements.The writing is formal, yet incredibly creative. The writer must be able to make the company shine, whilst drawing the reader in, as well as driving the specification points home. These skills take years to develop and a good bid writer is always adapting.
  4. A professional bid process
    A bid writer will have in place a thorough bid process. This is essential to the success of a tender and holds the bid together should anything interfere, such as illness or company distractions.A professional bid process also ensures the quality of a document, as well as the timely completion. It may involve mini deadlines throughout the writing process, along with periodic quality checks and analysis. This will ultimately save time and improve the quality of the document.
  5. Much higher chance of success
    The use of a bid writer ultimately increases your company’s chances of success. Experience and structure, along with exceptional writing skills are what exemplifies a good writer. If you are considering bidding for public or private sector work you should seriously consider using or hiring a professional bid writer.Many companies rely on their sales teams for the completion of submissions; however, this reduces the quality of the bid and also means that their day-to-day duties will suffer as a result.

Are all bid writers the same?

No – of course they’re not.  As with all professions there’s the good, the bad and the indifferent.  Fortunately making an informed decision as to whether or not an individual bid writer is right for you and your business can be relatively easy.

A copy of the bid writer’s CV when cross-referenced against their LinkedIn profile can give you a good idea as to what questions you need to ask just to be sure.  OK it’s not fool proof but it’s probably the best you’re going to get.

So how can you pick the writer consultant to help with bid writing?

As a bid manager/director looking for bid writing assistance there are many things you need to consider – cost, experience, compatibility etc.  However, it all boils down to a single, four letter word – RISK.  Building a solid business relationship with the right bid writing consultancy firm can significantly mitigate the risk to your business.

It can be really valuable to have a bid writer in-house, who knows your business almost as well as you do, but it is also a single point of failure. Individuals do get ill, need a holiday or even change positions, leaving a considerable skills gap within your organisation.

Another reason for using a consultancy over a sole trader is because not all tenders you receive will be the same. The services you are offering will probably be the same, but you will no doubt be offering them into different market sectors.

With a consultancy the chances of finding someone with the relevant market experience is considerably improved. Having a consultant that understands the industry you’re bidding into and can talk the language gives you a much higher chance of success with your response.

The combined experiences of a pool of consultants will far outweigh that of any individual every time and a good consultancy firm will always encourage and facilitate knowledge transfer between its team of consultants.

Again this offers huge benefit to clients, they only pay for one consultant but if channels are in place for that consultant to ask for help and advice from colleagues should it be needed, improves the chances of a successful submission no end.

If you’d like to speak to us more about the opportunity of working with one of our professional bid writers, contact our team now.

Leigh Hatfull

Leigh is an experienced business developer and recruitment professional with a history of sales and delivery success in sectors including IT Services, Management Consulting, Outsourcing & Software. Prior to joining eXceeding he spent a decade in the Executive Search industry.

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