Timing is everything. That’s as true in bid work as it is in stand-up comedy. Bring in your support too early and you may end up paying more than you need to, bring your support in too late and you run the risk of not hitting the bid deadline or putting in a sub-standard response. At BiD Masters, we’re happy to help at any point, but there are optimal times depending on who and what you need.
So when do you bring in outsourced support to shape your bid?
The answer will vary depending on what kind of support you need. (If you need help deciding who or what you need, click here.)
If you’re just looking for a bidmaster to eliminate typos and grammar mix-ups, you can bring in a proofreader towards the end of the process, once your response is mostly there. If you’re after more than that, though, the earlier you bring your bid support in to the process, the more chance they have of shaping your response and crafting a winning proposal.
Ideally, engage your bid support at the start of the process. With the right structure in place, you’ll know what you need to do to formulate a high-scoring response, what you should be covering in your proposal, and how you’re going to go about it, all of which saves time and effort.
Obviously, if you’re making a bid or no-bid decision and bringing in assistance to assess your chances, that has to be in the early stages. If you’ve already taken that step and decided to bid, you’re at an important crossroad. Do you bring in more support now or do you wait until you’ve got some of the content together?
All too often, bidmasters are brought in t oshape a response that’s already written. Once something is written, it’s hard to un-write. Imagine you’re baking a cake and you put too much vanilla essence in the mix or forgot to put it in altogether. The rest of your baking experience will be trying to compensate – perhaps you could put lemon in the icing to counteract the additional vanilla? Or put a layer of cream in the middle with vanilla to get it back in? Trying to fix a proposal after it’s written is much the same. You have to wonder whether troubleshooting is really the best use of outsourced support. Wouldn’t it be better to avoid the issues in the first place? There’s something to be said for getting it right the first time.
There’s a process flow to bid writing that’s a bit like following a recipe when baking. You decide you want to make a cake. Not just any cake. A fabulously decorated, white chocolate mudcake. You could just start throwing ingredients into a bowl and hope it all works out. Or, you can make sure you have all of the ingredients, weigh them out, add each at the right time, bake your cake in the oven you pre-heated for the right amount of time, ice it when it’s had time to cool and spend the rest of your time decorating it with marzipan flowers. The more time you have for the non-essential decorating, the better.
In writing a proposal, if you know what your solution or offer is and you know how to structure your response to each of the questions, you have more chance of writing a response that does what it’s supposed to do – answer the question. You can spend the rest of the time decorating – adding in metrics, developing graphics, and getting those win themes embedded into your perfect response. Now that sounds like a win.