We’re often asked what the secret is to a successful healthcare bid. Our bid team have compared notes, and here are their top tips to help your bid reach its full potential…
The contract specification, along with other vital tender documents, will include key details of the goods / services you wish to provide, specific details of supplier requirements you’ll need to demonstrate you can fulfil, and (hopefully) clear instructions. This information is crucial and will shape your whole bid.
A successful bid is unlikely to be created in isolation. For a bid to be insightful, accurate and well-balanced, it should ideally be created by a ‘bid team’ comprising a variety of individuals with fundamental expertise and experience from different areas of the organisation, including leaders.
Bids have the potential to become stressful, unwieldy and quickly confusing. It is vital that the planning and writing process is well coordinated and that someone is managing correspondence, the tender portal and whatever shared drive the documents are being collated on.
Remember that the bidding process is a competition – you need to stand out from the crowd. Find your unique selling points and ‘win-themes’, continuously highlighting these throughout your bid.
Bids are more meaningful when they are tied together by ‘a golden thread’ or overarching theme. Everyone in the bid team should have a clear understanding of what this is, so they can tell a consistent and tangible story from the beginning of the bid to the end.
As there is often a large amount of content to create, it is important to start the writing process as early as possible. Avoid the temptation to repeatedly question your service model and to return to your thinking stage. Instead get things on paper, which can always be edited later.
Bid writers know so much about their service model that they often assume prior knowledge and answer questions in an insufficient amount of detail. This will leave the reader with gaps in understanding and diminish the overall effectiveness of the bid. Spell things out and constantly check you are answering all parts of the ‘exam question’.
If allowed in the bid requirements, it is particularly valuable to use diagrams and infographics in your answers. It is worth spending time on these so they are designed effectively, as complex systems are much easier to interpret in diagram form. If attractive and clear, diagrams and infographics will pull a whole bid together, adding a professional sheen; they will be what your reader concentrates on to understand fundamental concepts, and what they remember.
Healthcare bids are often packed full of acronyms and definitions. As bids are likely to be long documents, with various writers and contributors, these acronyms and definitions can be used inconsistently. If you want your bid to be fully comprehensible and reputable, attention must be paid to consistency. A useful solution is creating a glossary with your bid team early in the process. Inconsistencies undermine a bid and make readers lose confidence in the submission.
Remember to treat your bid answers as living documents, with tight version control in place. Keep editing and proofreading to ensure answers are succinct, with a mind to the above points. Not only will this aid effective communication through consistency and accuracy, but it will also strengthen the effectiveness of your golden thread and win-themes. Drafting and honing will improve the overall digestibility and respectability of your bid, thus taking it to the next level, and ensuring your bid shines.
With our help, our clients have won and mobilised over £1.5bn in contracts. We offer end to end bid support.
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