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When faced with a large number of bids to write, every organisation at some point considers whether or not to outsource their proposal writing activity to a skilled proposal writer. There are a number of factors involved with deciding if outsourcing is the best solution for your company, including the resource you have, the size of the bid and the time you can spend upon proposal writing.

In essence, the outsourcing question can be effectively determined by weighing up the investment against the potential profit from a winning bid. Return on investment can be calculated not just in terms of winning a single bid, and the value, but the potential leads which a new contract may open up for repeat business, and the way in which a winning project will influence other customers in their purchasing decisions.

Keeping all proposal operations in-house means that a company is able to invest in their staff on an ongoing basis, strengthening their bid team and providing tender writing training and experience to enhance the proposal writing process. The downside to having a strong bid team in place at all times is that at quiet times, you run the risk of needless expenditure when your team have little to do. Investing in a team to the extent that you can comfortably manage peak times invariably will lead to some periods of inactivity, where staff remuneration packages (with pensions, benefits, holiday entitlement and sick pay) may clock up a large expenditure which is not mitigated through winning contracts.

The benefits of in-house bid capability development is primarily realised by the strength of having a team in place which fully understands the organisation, and has the experience and relationships necessary to create compliant proposals quickly and efficiently. Hiring a sub-contractor to produce proposals will invariably take an amount of briefing and orientation before the bid writer can gain enough knowledge to produce a compelling and engaging account of your company’s activities.

The following considerations are worth taking in to account, prior to making a decision on outsourcing proposal writing:

  • What are the company goals for business development?
  • Is there adequate budget and head count for full time staff members within the proposal writing team?

  • How consistent are the numbers of proposal, bid and tender opportunities?
  • Does the amount of work warrant developing your in-house capabilities?

  • How likely is it that you can secure talented, skilled and experienced bid staff for your allocated in-house budget?
  • How does the cost of the in-house personnel compare to the cost of outsourcing your proposal writing?

 

PQQ FAQs

What is a PQQ (Pre-Qualification Questionaire)

If you are new to tendering you many not be familiar with the concept of the PQQ, or Pre-Qualification Questionnaire. The PQQ is a document designed to let your potential customer know all about your organisation, before making a decision to formally invite you to bid for a project as service provider.

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Know your competitors before you complete you PQQ

Considering the act of competitor research in a PQQ process may bring to mind images of espionage and underhand tactics, but the truth is that any informed organisation will take time to understand their competitors’ strengths and weaknesses, prior to deciding to a bid for a contract.

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The proposal writer’s guide to compiling your document template

Making space and time for dealing with a huge influx of bids is essential for busy proposal writers looking to manage their workload and get everything in on time. Even the most basic template for your document can support you to save time and get things produced to a professional standard, regardless of how tight your deadlines may be.

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Where do I find tender opportunities?

Many small enterprises assume that penetrating the public sector is the most challenging element of the bid process. However, government policies are geared towards encouraging competition from small businesses, leading to around sixty percent of local authority contracts going to small and medium sized businesses. Sixteen percent of all businesses that have won EU contracts are micros (consisting of ten or fewer employees).

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The bid writing checklist

When you’re in the midst of bid writing a new project, sometimes it can seem as if there are so many things to consider, it’s impossible for the bid manager to keep track of it all. With content coming through from subject experts sporadically, questions to the client going unanswered for days on end, and an ever-approaching deadline, it can sometimes seem as if the range of considerations which go in to securing a completed bid document are endless.

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Tender writing checklists for bid/no-bid decisions

Tender writing is challenging at the best of times, without the bid writing team wasting their time on the development of needless bids. Writing proposals for tenders which are not viable or have no chance of securing business for the organisation can create a resource shortfall, wasting valuable time, effort and energy on the creation of documents which won’t result in a successful bid.

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Considerations for outsourcing proposal writing

When faced with a large number of bids to write, every organisation at some point considers whether or not to outsource their proposal writing activity to a skilled proposal writer. There are a number of factors involved with deciding if outsourcing is the best solution for your company, including the resource you have, the size of the bid and the time you can spend upon proposal writing.

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Four critical questions to answer in bid writing

When the average writer develops material for a response, the most natural thing to do is answer the questions within the RFQ or RFP, enabling the customer’s own structure to determine the way in which our responses will be organised. While this is usually an outstanding way of providing material, there are also further questions which every bid writer needs to include in their response, whether it is solicited or not.

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Creating space for your bid writing

The writing process is usually one which involves a number of attributes. Creativity, discipline, focus and commitment are just a few of the words which can describe bid writing, mixed in with a heady dose of self-discipline, organisation and best practice. If all this seems a little too good to be true, it’s worth thinking about the last time you sat down in your role as bid writer, and produced some great compliant copy. The likelihood is, you managed to somehow shut out the rest of the world and focus intently upon what you were writing. You produced the copy in a kind of haze of intent, without allowing the rest of the world to intrude upon what you were doing.

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