Responding to complex tenders is no longer the sole domain of the large enterprise sized companies. In recent years the UK government has launched several initiatives with a view to encouraging small & medium sized enterprises (SMEs) to take part in the competitive tender response process.
However it is understandable that many SMEs are reluctant to do so for several reasons. Obviously there is the cost involved in having, in many cases, several departments tied up writing a bid response. There’s also the amount of time it takes – to not only gather the information but – to get it into a format that is suitable.
However, having been involved in a huge number of bid responses, we believe that the real reason many SMEs don’t get involved in the process is due to a lack of understanding and ultimately fear of failure. For these organisations outsourcing the tender response process could very well be the answer.
Organisations who outsource their bid writing and the tender response management process entirely enjoy more success than those who rely on regular team members.
Here are some reasons to use a professional bid writer when competing for public or private sector contracts:
No – of course they’re not. As with all professions there’s the good, the bad and the indifferent. Fortunately making an informed decision as to whether or not an individual bid writer is right for you and your business can be relatively easy.
A copy of the bid writer’s CV when cross-referenced against their LinkedIn profile can give you a good idea as to what questions you need to ask just to be sure. OK it’s not fool proof but it’s probably the best you’re going to get.
As a bid manager/director looking for bid writing assistance there are many things you need to consider – cost, experience, compatibility etc. However, it all boils down to a single, four letter word – RISK. Building a solid business relationship with the right bid writing consultancy firm can significantly mitigate the risk to your business.
It can be really valuable to have a bid writer in-house, who knows your business almost as well as you do, but it is also a single point of failure. Individuals do get ill, need a holiday or even change positions, leaving a considerable skills gap within your organisation.
Another reason for using a consultancy over a sole trader is because not all tenders you receive will be the same. The services you are offering will probably be the same, but you will no doubt be offering them into different market sectors.
With a consultancy the chances of finding someone with the relevant market experience is considerably improved. Having a consultant that understands the industry you’re bidding into and can talk the language gives you a much higher chance of success with your response.
The combined experiences of a pool of consultants will far outweigh that of any individual every time and a good consultancy firm will always encourage and facilitate knowledge transfer between its team of consultants.
Again this offers huge benefit to clients, they only pay for one consultant but if channels are in place for that consultant to ask for help and advice from colleagues should it be needed, improves the chances of a successful submission no end.
If you’d like to speak to us more about the opportunity of working with one of our professional bid writers, contact our team now.
Leigh is an experienced business developer and recruitment professional with a history of sales and delivery success in sectors including IT Services, Management Consulting, Outsourcing & Software. Prior to joining eXceeding he spent a decade in the Executive Search industry.
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