The ability to use themes in business proposals is one way to highlight the unique strengths of your bid. However there is some confusion as regards what it means to create a theme, how it differs from USPs, and whether all bids can be written theme-style. Let’s take a look at what a bid theme [...]

In the first tutorial, we looked at how to structure an abstract by developing the tone, phrasing, and also explaining how its purpose differs from the main document. However, before we go any further, let’s look at the two most common types of abstracts. There are two types of abstracts: Informational and Descriptive Informational abstracts [...]

Government Tendering: How to Write the Cover Letter

January 20, 2014

This is part one of a ten-part series on proposal writing. Make sure you sign up for the newsletter so you don’t miss any lessons. Over the next ten weeks, I will look at different parts of proposal development, such as writing techniques, responding to requirements, formatting, team reviews, proofreading, making presentations, applying to government [...]

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Proposal Development: Using References and Endorsements Strategically

January 16, 2014

How you write, phrase, and position references and endorsements in your proposal will influence how evaluators respond to your bid. Don’t make the rookie mistake of copying and pasting in quotes from sponsors without giving thought to their phrasing, weight, and message. But let’s back up first. Celebrity endorsements? Why do we pay so much [...]

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How to Write an Abstract – Part 1

January 16, 2014

This article describes how to write an abstract for business, proposals, grant, conference and academic papers. Why write an abstract? It depends. If your business proposal will be read by executives or those in the decision making process, then you want to distill the salient points of your proposed solution into a short, one or [...]

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Proposal Writer’s Guide – Dealing with Short Deadlines

January 9, 2014

Here’s a suggested approach if you need to write a proposal with a short deadline. For example, if you have been asked to take over a bid or grant application at the last minute or if your company decides to bid on a procurement tender (RFP) towards the closing date, then the following guidelines will [...]

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If Megamind was a Business Writer…

October 28, 2013

So, what do Megamind and business writers have in common? Here’s a clue from one of my favourite parts in the movie. Titan: This town isn’t big enough for two supervillains! Megamind: Oh, you’re a villain all right, just not a SUPER one! Titan: Oh yeah? What’s the difference? Megamind: Presentation! Presentation. That’s the difference. [...]

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How to Peer Review Business Proposals

October 21, 2013

From one angle, writing the proposal is the easy part. The difficulty is when you have to check what you’ve written, cross-reference it against the Request For Proposal, and ensure all parts fit together seamlessly. If you’re writing the document by yourself, you need to find way to check your own work as it’s easy [...]

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How To Control Proposal Files and Bid Documentation

October 14, 2013

One of the difficulties as a proposal manager is how to organize the documentation related to the bid. Not only do you have to manage the Request For Proposal document, but you also need to write, submit, and review clarifications, check submission guidelines, and make sure that support documentation is correct, comprehensive and accurate. How [...]

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Packaging Your Proposal: 7 Dos and Don’ts

October 7, 2013

A true story. Five bids arrived. We, the evaluators, tore open the packages and plonked the documents on the table. We’d decided who’d review which bids, and so set about. We meet again later than afternoon. Note: this was a preliminary stage before the actual evaluation began. At this point, were looking for completedness. Was [...]

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7 Proposal Writing Mistakes for Beginners to Avoid

October 1, 2013

It’s easy to become snow-blind when writing a business proposal, especially if you are performing more than one role in the team. And if you’re new to proposal development, bidding, and grant applications that are many pitfalls to avoid. Some are predictable, others less so. 7 Proposal Writing Mistakes for Beginners to Avoid Here are [...]

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What Michael Scott (Steve Carell) Taught Me About Winning Business From The Big Guys

September 30, 2013

If you’ve watched Steve Carell (Michael Scott) in The Office, you could be forgiven for thinking that it was a miracle his branch ever stayed open. That’s what I thought too. But there was a very interesting episode recently where Jan to town with the aim of landing a major deal with a local business. [...]

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What Tolstoy Knew About Proposal Writing

September 13, 2013

You wouldn’t think Tolstoy and proposal writing would have much in common, would you? But if you’ve read War or Peace, which is much easier to read than you’d think, there’s a few techniques in there that you can apply to your proposals. For example? Summary – read the first three chapters in War and [...]

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How Request For Proposals are Evaluated for Government agencies

October 27, 2011

How much do you know about how government agencies evaluate request for proposals? If your business depends on government contracts, funding, or grant-giving, then it helps to understand how bids are: Reviewed Assessed Scored and Awarded Download Now for only $14.99 – Buy Here! In this series of tutorials, I will first look at how [...]

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How To Create a Scoring System When Evaluating Request For Proposals

October 25, 2011

How do you create a scoring system so that business proposals are scored fairly? One way to do this is to develop a scoring system and award points for each part of the bid. You can further refine this by adding ‘weights’ to the scores, i.e. as some parts of the bid are more important [...]

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How to: Writing Risk Analysis for Business Proposals

October 23, 2011

Risk assessment creates problems for proposal writers. When responding to a Request For Proposal (RFP), you need to identify all known risks but also flag how these will impact other projects and deliverables. Your response also needs to discuss how you will mitigate against this; in other words, if you were awarded the contract, what [...]

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11 Guidelines For Scoring Business Proposals

October 21, 2011

Ever wonder how your business proposal gets evaluated? One of the problems when responding to Request For Proposals is that, unless you know how proposals are scored, you might focus your efforts on areas that have less value and win less contract awards as a result. With that in mind, here are some guidelines on [...]

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15 Business Proposal Writing Tactics

October 19, 2011

How does psychology affect your business proposal’s success rate? While most proposal writers focus on ‘hard’ data and ‘fixed’ costs, before you start your next tender document, consider other areas that typically get overlooked. For example? Look at underlying issues, pain points, and ‘emotional triggers’ that influence the proposal evaluation team. Business Proposal Writing Tactics [...]

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How to demonstrate Value For Money in Business Proposals

October 16, 2011

You can increase your business proposal’s success rate if you understand how evaluators determine Value For Money. Most proposal writers focus on the solution or cost. While both of these are valid, you need to examine your bid from the evaluator’s standpoint, in particular how they assess the ‘true’ cost. For example, the lowest bid [...]

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Free Checklist – Responding to Request For Proposals (RFPs)

October 14, 2011

Want to avoid last minute mistakes when submitting your business proposal? It’s easy to forget something when responding to an Request For Proposal (RFP) as there are so many activities to coordinate. One way to ensure your proposal gets delivered on time – and with all requirements covered – is to create a checklist. Here’s [...]

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