The trouble is with hiring a bid writer is how do you select a good one?
Here are my ten top tips for finding a good tender writer
1. Take your time: Do not rush into it. There are lots of good tender writing firms so you can take your time you do not have to retain the first one you come across.
2. Do not evaluate on price: Price is a very poor guide to quality. You are much better off asking for samples of the work or for testimonials. In fact testimonials are the best way, but make sure you contact them, do not just take them at face value.
3. Check them out: Once you have the testimonials use other methods to find out if they are really able to deliver what they promise. Use search engines and sites such as LinkedIn to see if they are consistent and reputable.
4. Cultural fit: Have a long chat with the potential bid writer. You may not be able to do this face to face as many tenders are written remotely. But you should speak at length to them and get a feel for them. Do they have passion for your business? Are they genuinely interested or are you just another project?
5. Test their work ethic: Send them an e-mail after hours and see how long it take for them to respond. Tender writing is tough and can sometime go on until the small hours. Seeing how quickly they respond will indicate commitment.
6. They do not have to have worked in your industry but they most certainly should be management professionals. Be careful with ex public sector procurement employees turned writers. There are some very good ones but there are some very bad ones who do not have experience across the whole of all business functions.
7. Make sure you see the CV of the writer you will be working with and get to talk to them first. Some large firms allow a senior member of staff to do the “selling” and juniors do the writing. So make sure you are not mislead.
8. Small firms are usually better as they will not take on as many projects, will not have as many overheads and usually provide a better service.
9. Make sure they provide a fixed price with a detailed list of what is included and what is not. For instance; proof reading, printing etc.
10. They should provide you with a strict timeline with milestones at agreed points. Do not allow general and loose writing programs it will spell disaster.
Don’t forget you could be working with this person for a couple of weeks or even a month or so. Make sure you get on with them, use your intuition. Above all, remember you are the customer, the one who is paying the bill. Do not accept poor service just because you are out of your comfort zone.
Neil Capstick of http://www.executivecompass.co.uk
We specialise in bid and tender writing services and advice for private and public sector tenders across the UK.