Choosing the right bid partner: agency, freelancer, or consultancy?

Produced by Kittle Group, Reading-based bid writing specialists (August 15th 2023)

Whether you’re a small business looking for support, or a busy bid team seeking a long-term strategic partner, sourcing the right type of bid support will play a make-or-break role in your tendering success.

But with the different types of bidding partners – agencies, freelancers, and consultancies – all pitching for your attention, how do you decide which is best for your business?

Choosing the right type of bidding partner can help you unlock your bidding potential no matter the size of your company. We can alleviate stress, offer strategic guidance, and craft submissions that you may not have the time, experience, or internal capacity to manage.

The risks are high. If you get it wrong, you can end up spending a huge amount of money without the results to show for it.

This blog explains the three key sources of bidding support and gives you the key intel you need to make the best choice for your business.

Types of bidding partner

There are three distinct types of bidding partners in the industry: agencies, freelancers, and consultancies:

  • Agencies usually consist of a central sales office with well-connected directors who have a bank of freelance writers. They take service enquiries and act as a broker by connecting freelance writers with clients.

  • Freelancers are completely independent writers who are contracted directly by organisations for temporary periods, without the use of an agency or middleman.

  • Consultancies are specialist bid writing firms who employ full-time writers, and the business set-up lends itself to forming long-term relationships with clients.

Most businesses do not consciously consider why they use their existing bidding partner, instead falling into old habits and doing what they’ve always done.

But, this could be costing you work, and a better solution may be available to you.

To start working out the right bidding partner for you, ask yourself the following:

  • What kind of partnership do we need (i.e. short or long-term)?
  • Do we require a subject matter specialist, or a versatile all-rounder?
  • What is our budget for bid writing services?
  • How much surety do we need around availability?
  • Do we want hands-on account management?

By determining the specific needs of your business, you will be able to assess which of the bidding partners will help, and not hinder, your strategic aims.

The pros and cons of different bidding partners

Due to their organisational and resource structure, the different types of bidding partner have different strengths to offer clients.

Take a look at some of the basic pros and cons of the different partners, informed by years of industry experience:




  • Almost guaranteed availability due to having a large bank of writers
  • Access to niche experts and specialists
  • Can offer a variety of services on top of bid writing such as work capturing, training, commercials, and solutioning



  • May assign writers based on availability and not suitability
  • Quality of writers is mixed
  • Writers don’t undergo writing tests – they are contracted just based on their CVs
  • Their work is not subject to quality assurance, supervision, or proofreading
  • Clients will not experience continuous improvement in their bid process as they will not have dedicated and consistent account management





  • Often cheaper and offer a variety of price points
  • Offer 100% accountability and visibility as they work alone
  • Can become a close partner and well acquainted with your business over time



  • Clients can experience poor availability (e.g. annual leave, illness, busy on other projects)
  • Quality of writers is mixed
  • Will have own writing style and methodology which may not be suitable
  • Their work is not subject to quality assurance, supervision, or proofreading
  • Difficult to deal with issues, especially late in bid, as they have no support mechanisms





  • Writers receive oversight, management, and supervision
  • All work is quality assured, checked multiple times, and proofread
  • Offers account management that can implement feedback over time to refine bid processes with clients
  • Uses a filing system and knowledge bank – can share information among writers
  • Takes a long-term partnership approach
  • Cover is always available in the event of absence


  • Sometimes have less availability compared to agencies as they have a limited amount of writers
  • Can be more expensive compared to freelancers

Although agencies and freelancers offer unique benefits to clients, they are inherently risky in terms of consistency and quality.

Using a bid writing firm can eliminate these risks as they have robust procedures and oversight in place to ensure that their work meets the buyer’s requirements and that they’re sufficiently highlighting the value a client brings to a solution.