At The Write Business we are often asked to help small to medium businesses prepare submissions or responses to tenders.

You may ask – how are we able to do that without really knowing the business? It’s a good question.

We take a structured approach to learning about your business and, having worked with a variety of other businesses and their submissions, we have learnt how to solicit the necessary information. This experience also means we bring objective and constructive criticism to your current materials.

We go through an initial information gathering session to accumulate knowledge of your business and also conduct our own research of the industry and the competition. We also run a session to ascertain your current business objectives and to better define your competitive advantage.

This is quite an investment of time upfront, however, and often it’s the case, it’s a good foundation to assist with developing a bank of materials for other submissions in the future.

All submissions, proposals and responses to tenders need to be tailored – a cookie cutter approach is not advisable.

However, some business documents can be prepared as a standard template and be organised in a logical folder system from which to draw on for each submission. These likely include your company profile including vision and mission, your business structure, staff bios as well as all the information you usually need to include like insurance details and pricing schedules.

Customise your ‘demonstrated experience’ with Case Studies.

Demonstrated experience is almost always a requirement and this definitely needs to be tailored to address the criteria. We recommend building up a bank of case studies that cover all your service areas and products and how they have performed across a range of projects. You can then pull on this bank and tweak the cases to address specific criteria. This ‘bank’ can be built up gradually, prompted by the submissions as you go along.

The value of good photography.

No matter what business you are in, if the submission format allows, we also recommend use of good photography to illustrate how effective your business is – and how professional.

Testimonials speak volumes.

You will also need referees and their testimonials are always handy. So, when you finish projects collect testimonials and referee permissions along the way – so you don’t have to make adhoc calls at the eleventh hour before submission.

Contact us if you’d like help preparing submissions, proposals and responses to tenders.

We really enjoy bringing structure and organisation to the materials that help our clients to win tenders and contracts; and also in a way that helps our clients to do it themselves.

[Originally published 2015.]