With the economy not exactly in its rosiest state (as you might have noticed) bidding for work tenders has become an ever more competitive business.

Bids and tenders are still one of the main ways for companies to land new contracts. However, compiling a successful written application is almost an art form in itself.

Whatever you’re bidding for – a new legal panel, an audit job, an infrastructure project, or to lay new cables under pavements – follow these top tips for penning the perfect submission:

  • Aim for a friendly but professional tone – formal, but not Shakespearian.
  • As with all writing, keep sentences short and easily digestible, and use paragraphs to break up different ‘thoughts’.
  • Structure your bid sensibly. Decide on your headings in advance. Make sure each section addresses a specific point of the tender outline. Don’t waste words.
  • Avoid jargon at all costs – that oh-so handy acronym you regularly use internally may mean nothing to whoever’s assessing your bid.
  • If in doubt, search the web for a bid template which can help guide your structure – but don’t be afraid to deviate from the template if required by the tender outline.
  • Ask yourself who the audience is. What will they want to read? What is their level of technical sophistication? Tailor your spiel to those who are making the big decisions.
  • Remember to proof-read your bid before submitting it. Ideally, ask a second pair of eyes to glance over it.
  • Feel free to add any supporting documents as an appendix rather than getting bogged down in technicalities in the main body of the text.
  • Be specific about your terms and conditions – be honest from the start, rather than approaching the client with additional stipulations and clauses subsequently.

Finally, if in doubt, ask a team of professional bid writers – such as Wordsworks – to write the application on your behalf. It’s the only way to guarantee that professional sheen which may set you apart from your rivals.