Bid Writing: Use of Graphics

Many people don’t think about using pictures in their bids unless they are specifically required. But if there is not any specific instruction forbidding them, then they can be quite helpful.

Here we summarise how you can use graphical elements to good effect in your tenders.

1. Illustrating Case Studies

Presumably you will be including a few case studies in your bid. As long as the client is willing, it should be possible to include their logo in the case study, and some pertinent photos.

Case studies should be prepared in advance, so all the logos and photos are to hand. These all help in raising the credibility of the case study, and help the reader to immerse themselves in the story.

2. Informative Graphics

Other types of informative graphic can help, too. It depends on what particular aspect of the information you want to emphasise. For example, if you are asked to list several similar previous contracts, why do you think the buyers are asking for this?

  • Are they wanting to see if you can handle this size of contract ? Then you can present a bar graph of contract sizes, showing those contracts alongside a special bar (maybe in a different colour) which represents this contract you are bidding for. The buyer instantly gets the picture that this contract is well within your capabilities.
  • Or are they looking for evidence of geographic coverage ? Obviously a suitable map could be helpful.
  • Or perhaps they are trying to ascertain how much of your business is made up of this type of work. (You might be big, but you might not have much experience in this specific type of work.) In that case, a useful type of graphic would be a pie chart, showing each type of work as a slice of the pie.

In each case, of course, you would provide the list and the relevant numbers. But the addition of a graphic as well helps the buyer grasp the situation quickly and intuitively.

And another useful visual tool is a Gantt chart – a visual representation of a project plan. It shows the work breakdown and timings in an easily understandable manner, and demonstrates your understanding of the project.

Some tenders require a project plan, of course. However, even for those tenders that don’t require one, you might have needed to make an outline plan in order to calculate the price. So why not show that you’ve done your thinking, and include it in the bid documentation?

3. Adding Visual Appeal

You can also use graphical elements (including stock photos) simply to break up the tender document and make it more visually appealing.

As every brochure shows, visual elements really do help to give a document personality, and create a suitable mood. If you’re not confident about your visual design skills, it’s worth taking advice when considering using graphics for that purpose.

If you have successfully used visual elements in your bids, please share your experience with our readers by adding your comment below