When you are writing a tender, funding submission, grant application or any other bid document, it is always best to factor in some time to read the document and review it carefully before lodging it. Given that bid documents are written and compiled with the clock ticking, sometimes mistakes can creep into the document and go unnoticed.
A bid submission is essentially a marketing document where you are trying to present your organisation in a positive light. If your document contains errors, it can diminish the selling message you are trying to convey. It is therefore valuable if someone in your bid team – or possibly external to it – can check the final draft with a fresh set of eyes to make sure it is error free. The following brief checklist may be helpful:
- Spelling – this may sound like a no-brainer in today’s world where we have spellcheck in word processing software however, it is important to run spellcheck on the final draft to ensure that all spelling in the document is correct. Also, it is essential that you check words that are not listed in spellcheck’s dictionary such as your organisation’s name, the client organisation’s name and the names of team members. Getting these names wrong can be a little embarrassing.
- Consistency – make sure you are consistent in the terms and spelling that you use. For example, how are you going to refer to your business or the client in the submission? What acronyms are you going to use? Often when you have multiple writers, the draft will come together with variations in spelling and the use of acronyms. To avoid this, put together a style guide that includes a list of agreed spellings and provide this to all writers before they begin the writing process.
- Headings and bullet points – make sure you are using the same headings and bullet points throughout the document. Differences in presentation can make your bid document look sloppy. A well-constructed template including heading and bullet points that is provided to all writers at the commencement of the writing phase can prevent differences in style from occurring.
- Pricing – when providing your pricing, make sure the numbers add up. Is your total figure correct? Have you calculated the hourly rate correctly? Have you considered what the tender specifications state about GST inclusive or non-inclusive pricing? This rule also applies for any numerical information provided in the submission. Does your timeline actually include all the steps from your proposed methodology? Are the dates correct? Remember to check all figures.
If you can keep your submission document error-free, it is more likely the key elements of your bid will shine through. As a result, reading and checking the final draft should be a priority! If you need help with this, contact TenderOne.