One of the trickier aspects of writing a good bid is sticking to what seems like ridiculously small word limits – how can you fully answer what is often quite a detailed or multi-part question properly in just a few short paragraphs?
On the flip side, large word limits can be intimidating in their unspoken implications and can lead to panic-padding – how do you keep yourself on track and not feel pressured to ramble just to fill up space?
There are three key issues related to word limits in tenders that are useful to address. For the sake of clarity and to fit in with the average tea break, I’ve broken these down into a three part series.
- ‘Part 1: Understanding word limits’ covers why buying organisations impose word limits and what purposes they serve for both buyers and bidders. It explains why word limits are a good thing and how you can use them to your benefit.
The second two are opposite sides of the same coin and deal with finding a balance between leaving out important facts and burying key information in waffle.
- ‘Part 2: Why stating your intentions is not enough’ looks at how to fully answer a question and give the buyer enough detail to make an informed choice. It shows you how to deconstruct the question and make sure your response hits all the right marks.
- ‘Part 3: Why brevity is your friend’ gives practical tips and guidance to help you structure your response and edit your answer to fit word limits, without losing the vital details and core message.
I hope this series helps you slay the Blank Page Dragon for your next bid and, as always, if you have any questions, comments or experiences to share, please do so in the comments.