There’s no doubt about it.
Bid writing is a highly specialised area.
And if you’re a bid writer, you’re an extremely valuable member of the business or organisation you work for. Your words have the potential to sell millions of pounds worth of services, or win similar amounts through grant applications.
However, if you’re new to bid writing then you’re probably thinking of ways to develop your bid writing skills.
Of if you’re an owner of an SME business who wants to grow, you might be considering tenders as a viable sales channel for your business that could be lucrative. You may want to train yourself in bid writing, or develop the skills of your staff.
And if you’re a start-up business, a useful grant can certainly help you cover some of those key business start-up expenses.
Tender and bid writing courses can certainly speed up the process of gaining skills in tender and proposal writing for you and/or your team.
But which bid writing workshop should you choose?
That’s the reason we’ve created this post – to help you find the best course for your needs and budget.
Continue reading to find out about 10 top tender and bid writing courses you should take a look at.
Formed in 2009 by Dave Thornton with the specific purpose of providing bid and tender support to organisations, Thornton & Lowe offer an Introduction to Bidding course, which you may want to take a look at; especially if you currently have limited experience in writing bids for the public sector. The course is a 1 day one, and among other things, its outcomes include gaining an understanding of the process involved in public sector procurement, how to find opportunities to bid for, becoming contract ready, developing a strong Pre-Qualification Questionnaire (PQQ) response, and how to use feedback on bids to improve when submitting future bids.
Take a look at their bid training courses to get a better understanding of what they cover and where they can help.
Based in Woking and founded by Marcus Eden-Ellis, Bid Perfect has experience of working with all sizes of businesses from small ones to large global corporates in helping them improve their bid submissions. The company also offers various training opportunities in bid writing, one of which is a 2 day Bid Skills open course. Numerous areas of bid writing are covered over the two days.
To give you a flavour of what you can expect, day 1 sets the groundwork through explaining the various roles and responsibilities of individuals when putting together a bid, the purpose of a bid, the bid management process, a formula for a successful bid, looking at the motives of the customer for buying, timelines for bids, unique selling points, proprietary tools created by Bid Perfect and many other things. Day 2 of the course then takes you through the actual writing process of a bid and teaches you how to write a winning document that is compelling and concise, and looks at the importance of your team and establishing roles, responsibilities, and contributors to form a bid team. Do take a look at this page to get a better understanding of what’s covered in the course.
Emphasis Training Ltd offers a Bid, tender and sales-process writing course for organisations looking to train 1-3 people. Formed in 1998 by Rob Ashton, this training provider has experience of helping all types of organisations with improving their business documents ranging from large businesses, and government departments to charities and universities, and other types of enterprises too. The course is not only a bid and tender training one. It also covers the all-important sales proposal to help your sales consultants and businesses to help close sales more efficiently.
The course is a 1 day one taken by business writing experts who are experienced trainers and you can expect to learn the following, among many other areas: how to set clear objectives, creating a persuasive structure to formulate bids, tenders and sales proposals, how to get key selling messages across on paper, the importance of executive summaries to really pique the interest of customers, focusing on the needs of your audience, writing understandable sentences and use of images and graphics to make your proposals more engaging. This particular course runs in Liverpool Street in Central London and has a fee of £495 excluding VAT of 20%.
4. Preparing tenders and proposals: the pitch, process and presentation by Centre for Strategy and Communication Ltd
Run by the Centre for Strategy and Communication, which is a part of the ITEC Training Solutions Group, this particular workshop runs over 1 day with an aim to prepare participants to submit tender responses for the delivery of services, and preparing proposals to raise funds. This particular course doesn’t have set, organised dates. Instead, the Centre for Strategy and Communication can run the course for your organisation on a date convenient for you and your staff. The day itself is jam-packed with comprehensive content covering both the theoretical and practical elements of preparing proposals and bids with a focus on planning a strategy for bidding, writing the actual tender documents, handing second stage interviews, and then maintaining a strong relationship with your clients after your organisation has won the contract.
If you decide to choose this provider, expect to also receive support for 1 year after completing your course. The fee for the workshop is dependent on the type of organisation you are. The price for charities with a turnover over of less than £3 Million is £245 + VAT, £355 + VAT for not-for-profit organisations (for all other charities and public sector organisations) and £395 + VAT for all other types of organisations. You can express interest in the course by e-mailing: firstname.lastname@example.org. The Centre for Strategy and Communication has a large team of staff and trainers and is headed up by Sally Pearman who is Learning and Development Director.
Introduction to Tendering is another tender and bid writing course worth taking a look at. The course is run by Silverlock, which was set up by Dewi Hughes in 2009 and is relevant to anyone in your organisation who is new to the world of tender writing for public sector contracts. The content of the course covers all the stages involved in tendering; some of these are deciding whether to bid or not to bid, differences between public sector and private sector tenders, project management of the preparation and submission of a tender, completing Pre-Qualification Questionnaires, putting together strong tender responses, style of writing, tips on submission and submitting online tenders.
If you work in the public sector, or a for a not-for-profit organization, then the Bid Writing Course, a one day training course by Idox, could be the one for you. By taking this particular course, you’ll achieve several key outcomes, which among others include being able to establish what the motivations of the funders are so that you can tailor your bids accordingly, understanding how to create a proposal structure that works and makes sense, and learning techniques to write in a style that is persuasive and compelling. An interesting point about this particular course is that Idox encourages you to bring along applications for funding, which you’re currently working on, in order to apply what you learn throughout the workshop to your own bids right away.
If you run a recruitment business, then there is particular open bid writing course for your industry. This particular 1 day course entitled Bidding to Win is run through a partnership between Fiona Brunton, a recruitment tendering expert, and The Association of Professional Staffing Companies (APSCo). The course is suitable for individuals at all levels working in recruitment whose duties include submitting tender responses and writing proposals. The course covers numerous topics. To give you an idea, some of these include breaking down procurement jargon in a way you can understand, getting through the first stage of a bid submission, how to score maximum points for your tender responses, structuring your proposals according to the needs of customers, and presenting evidence of your business’s strengths and capabilities in a way, which persuades the reader to take your tender seriously,
This particular bid writing course takes place at the APSCo head office in Central London and costs £620 + VAT per person. If you’re a member of APSCo, you can attend at a discounted rate of £490 + VAT.
Executive Compass, UK-based with offices in London, Newcastle upon Tyne and Glasgow provide bid writing training for companies, and can cater bid writing workshops to individual needs, such as experience, competency, strengths and weaknesses. They don’t have set dates, instead companies who require training can contact them anytime to organise in-house training, so it’s an evergreen experience.
More information can be found here. The courses they offer are CPD certified and prices depend on individual requirements.
Plain Words offers a 1 day open course on writing winning bids. The programme consists of all the key areas of bid writing such as creating a structure to base your bid on, effective writing principles and writing style, persuasive writing, collecting and researching information needed for your bid, good use of illustrations, assessing the quality of responses and use of templates, among other things. The next such course is taking place in London on 25th March and costs £495.
Rothera Group whose offices are based in central Scotland can offer training in public sector tenders, business proposals, complex tenders and bid process and management. Its training courses are customised to your organisation’s needs. You can find out more at this page.
Hiten Vyas is the Founder and Managing Editor of Writing Tips Oasis.