Author: 
Samuel Mortimer, QCOSS
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A brilliant project idea can quickly fall flat if your funding application isn't up to scratch. It's crucial to give yourself the best possible base to build from and take your time to develop a well-constructed tender.

Here are some tips for developing a solid proposal.

Use the templates or formats provided

Tender specification paperwork will often include a template for responses with sections left for you to fill out specific information to your project. By following all of the formatting requirements in the template you make it easier for the selection panel to consider your response.

Structure your tender documentation clearly

It is important to keep your tender response clear, well-organised and logical, with a clear and persuasive introduction stating the purposes, rationale and central proposition of your bid. 

The Queensland Government has a helpful tender development checklist you can use as a guide.

Provide all relevant details

Tenders must include certain information to be considered. This may include details like ABN, company profile and capability, subcontracting proposals, conditions, insurances and matters surrounding intellectual property rights. 

As a rule of thumb, if it is asked for and it applies to you it should be provided.

Address the selection criteria

You should closely follow the criteria throughout a tender request to make sure your offer precisely meets the needs of a buyer. Describe the benefits they will receive from your services and provide specific examples of how you meet the selection criteria - rather than simply stating that you do. 

Catering to each point will help your application to stand out.

Choose the right referees

Use referees that know your products or services and make sure you get permission before including them in your response. Briefing them on the highlights of the request will also allow them to better answer potential questions that could be asked. 

Proofread

Always get a second opinion on your tender by asking someone with a fresh set of eyes to look over the document for spelling and gramatical errors, as well as using a spell checker. If your work has several contributors, make sure sure one person reads the entire document from start to finish to ensure there is a level of consistency throughout.

Submit before the deadline

Late or incomplete tender responses are often immediately excluded from consideration, barring exceptional or pre-agreed circumstances. Ensure sufficient time to upload online or use couriers who will deliver the same-day to ensure your application is ready to go. 

If you would like to learn more about tender writing, QCOSS has partnered with the Department of Employment, Small Business and Training to deliver a webinar to help community-based organisations respond effectively to funding application for the Skilling Queenslanders for Work (SQW) initiative.

Sign up here for a free webinar (places are strictly limited): 11 March 2019, 10am to 11am. Find out more about the tender writing workshops happening across Queensland.

The Business Queensland website also provides resources around writing a tender.

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