Winning Proposals and Bids

By Chris Wadsworth

Published in The Source issue 20

The upturn in the New Zealand economy is going to bring more opportunities for new business. So how do you ensure success comes to your business instead of your competition?

Prepare for success

When submitting a proposal or bid document your business is usually being compared directly against your competitors. For this reason it is essential to put your best foot forward and communicate your benefits and offer in the most effective way possible. A good way to do this is by preparing document templates for proposals and bids that are written and designed ready to use. These templates also reduce the time spent creating proposals and bids making the process more efficient while minimising the impact of short submission deadlines.

Proposal and bid templates

Certain information about your products and services can be used unchanged across different proposals and bids while other information will need to be tailored specifically for the prospect and offer. By preparing set information in advance it can be reviewed and crafted without the pressure of deadlines to ensure you are communicating your points clearly and to your best advantage. For information that is specific to individual proposals and bids it is still possible to create a framework for the content and design which can be used as a base to work from.

Template documents can be made using different software programmes depending on your needs and available resources. Word documents are good for companies with limited design resources because of Word’s accessibility when producing documents inhouse. Word is however limited in its scope for design and layout. Professional design software can be a better option for companies with an inhouse design team or a reliable external design partner because there is more flexibility and control which allows for a much more professional looking end result.

Bespoke documents for maximum impact

For high value or strategic opportunities a document that has been written and designed specifically for the offer will make the strongest impression and have the best chance of success. This can be anything from creating a special cover to a full presentation package designed to make you stand out from the competition.

Production and quality

The way your proposal and bid documents are produced creates an impression of your company and offer. When printing and binding documents inhouse consider the print quality, paper stock and binding method and ensure they are high quality. Professional printing and binding provides a range of options for a strong presentation.

Make the most of every opportunity

Opportunities for new business are usually the result of prospecting, promotion, advertising or the strength of your reputation. All of these take time and investment so it is important to do what you can to achieve the best outcome when opportunity knocks.

Posted 30 April 2014

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