Page limits: They make life easier for evaluators, and help to separate the sheep from the goats, procurement-wise. After all, those who are best at delivering a service or designing a product or building or software system are also best at explaining themselves succinctly, right? Well, maybe. Maybe not. But whether you love ’em or hate ’em, page limits are more and more the way of government procurement, so it behooves bidders to get better at handling them. Herewith, the second tip.
OK, so you’ve done the step of focusing on what the customer really wants to know, and you’re still over the page limit. What now? That depends on how much you’re over.
Give your text to an editor, who will cut wordiness and repetition, and also turn long-winded paragraphs into terse bullets or tidy text boxes.
Give your text to a layout specialist or graphics artist, who will do two things:
- Make the most out of the format/layout rules in the RFP – choosing tighter fonts and adjusting margins and line and paragraph spacing where possible.
- Find graphical ways to scrunch big blocks of text, especially conceptual frameworks and sets of principles.
Go back to Tip #1. You have to cut content, and you’re better placed to do it than an editor.