5 Mistakes People Make When Copying and Pasting in an RFP

Mistakes When Writing RFPs

Request for Proposal (RFP) writing is crucial when your business needs to procure a specific product or service. RFP writing is a great skill to have regardless of what industry you work in. If you are trying to find the perfect content management system, a well-respected company to provide specialized education services for your school district or even an architectural firm to design your next corporate headquarters, you’ll want to craft an RFP. Very often, you’ll find yourself copying and pasting from other documents stored away in your arsenal, which can put you in a situation where you are making mistakes when writing RFPs. Follow this easy guide to identify those mistakes before they happen to you!

Formatting Mistakes Make Your RFP Writing Look Unprofessional

It’s easy to make formatting mistakes using a word processing program like Microsoft Word or Google Docs. This is especially true when copying and pasting from one document to another. 

One great trick is to paste without formatting. This is an option in both Microsoft Word and Google Docs. When using this command, you’ll copy only the selected text to your new document. This means any previous formatting from the older document will be ignored. Any text that you’ve copied and pasted in from another document will automatically match the new format in the target document. To use this handy feature, you’ll want to press and hold the following buttons on your keyboard: 

  • For Windows: Ctrl+Shift+V 
  • For Macs: Cmd+Shift+V

Always review your finished document for inconsistent formatting. Catching formatting issues will make sure that your RFP is presented uniformly and professionally, letting you skip over possible mistakes when writing RFPs.

Forgetting to Edit Creates Mistakes When Writing RFPs

The ease of copying and pasting can often make us lazy, leading us to make mistakes when writing RFPs. If great content from a previous document can also apply to the current document you’re writing, then you might think success is only a copy-and-paste away. 

Unfortunately, this is not the case if you forget to edit. 

What looks great in one context may not work in another. You’ll only want to include relevant, non-sensitive information in your copy. It’s also important to ensure you aren’t copying too little information, which will make the answers you get after disseminating your RFP less useful. Also, look for the obvious. Spelling mistakes and poor grammar can make it appear that you aren’t serious about getting proper responses.

Leaking Confidential Information Can be Dangerous

You want to be as transparent as possible when writing your RFP. You must put information out there that responders need to know when crafting their proposals. Remember: you’re copying and pasting from other internal documents. This content can include payroll information, income statements, and a bunch of other information you’ll want to keep private. Mistakes when writing RFPs do happen, but you can mitigate the potential leaking of confidential information when you pay close attention to what you are copying and pasting.

Including Outdated Information Can Lead to Poor Outcomes

If you use older documents to copy and paste from, you must remember to update the information you include. Just because you find something relevant, it doesn’t necessarily mean it’s current. It’s very important to update the information you are copying from to make sure you are asking the appropriate questions in your RFP. You might find a piece of content that seems like it belongs in a section of your RFP just because it includes the same type of information you are writing about. Use that information wisely and update it before finalizing so you don’t make any mistakes when writing RFPs.

Need help writing an RFP Executive Summary

Missing Key Details Can Ruin Your RFP

If the content you are copying and pasting is very generalized, don’t forget to dig into it and add some layers of details. This is especially important when writing about deadlines, evaluation criteria, and pricing. Make sure your dates and times are updated so your responders can follow the RFP response timeline. Also, don’t forget to be very specific about scoring the RFP so your responders know what is important to you on a weighted scale. Really important mistakes when writing RFPs can also happen when you don’t pay attention to your pricing requirements. Ensure it’s updated from the content you are copying into your new document so you don’t overpay!

At The Bid Lab, we know we’re all human (unless you’re AI!), which is why we’re here to help. Our project managers, writers, and editors can catch careless mistakes before submission. So, whether you need a partner to manage, write, or submit a bid, we’re ready to assist. We can even help you find a bid via Bid Banana, our user-friendly RFP search engine! When you’re ready to submit professional, compliant bids, reach out to us today. Schedule a free consultation by calling 1-844-4BIDLAB or emailing respond@thebidlab.com.

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