Using proposal templates for bid and proposal writingBy
Wherever you look online, there are people out there offering services for proposal writers, encouraging you to download proposal templates for a small fee. Whether you are looking to produce a cover letter for your bid, an executive summary with a set established format, or a case study, you can easily find a host of sites which offer you the chance to download a quick file online for a price, and fill it in to submit it to your client.
Despite the prevalence of proposal templates online, there are a number of things to consider before you go ahead and begin using them to shape your proposal documentation. The following reasons demonstrate the pitfalls of relying upon set proposal templates for content production in your bid responses:
- No proposal template can carry the depth of understanding required to really tailor your bid for an individual, client-focussed response
- Proposal template use runs the risk of lulling you in to a sense of complacency, whereby you rely upon the set structure and forget to think objectively
- There is the small risk that your competitors could be using the same format, which would alert your client to the fact that you are not using an original response
- Proposal templates rarely make the distinction between types of proposal, meaning the modification of the document may take more time than it would use to create content from scratch.
Having said all that, it’s a superb idea to make your own proposal templates to speed up the process of content production. Having a great set of documents in place for the following elements of your proposal can support you to utilise industry standards for content, keeping your thinking focussed, and reducing the amount of work for each bid:
- Cover letter templates, formatted with fields for address, contacts, and solution outlines for each type of bid you do
- Executive summary four-box templates which outline a structure for reflecting back customer needs and articulating how you will respond to them
- Proposal mapping template to keep you, your bid team and content providers on track when devising your solution and response
- Post-production analysis templates, again to focus evaluation meetings and provide a standard approach to the analysis
- Overall document templates with images, formatting and cover pages prepared in advance, to make your document manager’s role easier for proposal production.
These five templates will serve to reduce time and effort for each bid, without cornering your thinking in to a set pattern which detracts from your writing process. Take time out in quiet periods to create an outstanding set of documents, and you will save yourself time and effort when peak proposal times come along and you have to undertake several projects, concurrently.