It’s or Its?

Many people struggle to choose between “it’s” and “its” because they think it takes a possessive apostrophe. Possessive adjectives (my, your, his, her, their, our, its) do not need an apostrophe. Only use an apostrophe with “it’s” when the word means it is or it has.  Without the apostrophe, “its” means belonging to it.

People Positive

The surest way to lose a bid is to think you will lose it.  It is important that everyone involved in working on a tender has a positive mindset and understands the key messages you want to convey. The bid manager’s role should include maintaining enthusiasm and consistency within the bid team. 

Choice of Language

Latin abbreviations are not recommended when writing plain English so they should be avoided in bid and tender documents. Instead of writing ‘e.g.’ simply put ‘for example’.   If you think you need to use ‘i.e.’ (meaning ‘that is’), perhaps you should have explained yourself more clearly in the first place.


Microsoft Word has excellent functions which allow you to see the readability scores of your tender responses. These can be found in the “check document” option, once preferences have been set in “settings / options / proofing”. In general, sentences should be kept as short as possible, using simple words and written in the active … Read more..

Opening Sentence

The first sentence in each section of your bid should grab the reader’s attention and make them want to read on. To do this, work out “what” it is they want and “why” they want it. This will show that you have been listening to their requirements and are not just trying to promote yourself … Read more..


It is worthwhile remembering that Latin is not widely used in many workplaces. When writing tenders and bids, make the text easier to read and avoid potential misunderstanding by avoiding Latin words and abbreviations. There are English alternatives to all the commonly used ones such as “per diem”, “quid pro quo”, “i.e.” and “e.g.”

Using Subheadings

Subheadings are helpful for readers who are trying to digest large quantities of text. The subheadings should provide signposts which summarise the contents of the sections which follow. Try to use informative and/or positive titles such as ’24 Week Programme with 10% Contingency’ or ‘Experienced Project Team’.

What is Concise?

We all know that long-winded and rambling responses are not going to score well. Evaluators like succinct, well-structured answers that describe the service or process and the benefit it will deliver along with addressing any possible concerns they may have. To do this you must provide adequate detail and not over-condense a response so that … Read more..


It is important that you convey a positive tone in your bids and tenders. As an example, instead of simply highlighting everything that is NOT included in your offer, try to find a way of being less negative. You could insert a table of responsibilities showing the separate client and supplier activities.