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Anisha Patel

The challenges of scaling up and winning bigger business – and how Proactis can help

Winning new business is difficult. Often it’s most difficult for new and emerging companies to challenge the established order, especially if they’re doing things in a different way. As businesses expand and develop, they begin to examine different avenues, moving away from ad-hoc smaller pieces of work to looking at more formal access routes to substantial contracts. 

Here we arrive at the wonderful world of bidding, proposals and tendering (you’ll see these terms being used interchangeably, but don’t worry they all mean the same). As potential contract sizes get larger, the demands placed on prospective bidders become ever more arduous and detailed, formal submissions are required for public and private sector buyers alike. 

As you might expect, larger companies have more resources to dedicate to business development and specifically to bidding for work. A recent survey of bid professionals showed just 20% worked in organisations of less than 100 employees and only 12% were the sole responsible resource in the organisation*. 

Unfortunately for smaller organisations, research has repeatedly shown a direct correlation between the level of resource employed in preparing proposals and success rates. The good news for developing organisations is that there are some relatively easy steps to take to improve proposals. A recent industry study shows that nearly half of all procurement professionals believe suppliers are letting themselves down with their proposals and that they are of poor quality. With the general standard being low, smart thinking and some effort can make a big difference.

If you are at the stage where you are or soon will be submitting proposals as part of your business development strategy then we can support you. We offer a range of support from analysis of current bid strategy and support with a live bid to a review of a past proposal.

To discuss, contact Andrew Watson, Bid Consultancy and Training Manager at Proactis Tenders Limited – Andrew.Watson@proactis.com

*APMP UK Compensation Report 2019

A round up of 2019

Another year has passed and we’ve had a busy year at Tenders Direct! We’ve reviewed approximately 68,000 notices and have categorised and published over 40,000 and trained over 150 delegates on our public sector bid writing courses.

Alongside these, we value the feedback we get from our customers, and use this to make continuous improvements to the services that we provide. Key highlights this year have been: 

Opportunity Manager – We’ve upgraded our bid management tool to make planning, preparing and coordinating your day-to-day bidding activity simple from a single pipeline view. You can allocate tasks, set reminders and attach notes for all your bids and create an audit trail of every action.

Competitor Tracking Alerts – A new feature developed to allow you to track the successes of your rivals providing market intelligence on their bid strategy and capabilities, so that you can inform your own public sector strategy. These alerts notify you when any organisation you choose to track are announced as winners of above threshold public contracts.

CPD accreditation – We’re proud to announce that our courses are now CPD accredited. If you’re a member of a professional body, completing one of our one day public sector tendering courses in London, Manchester or Birmingham will count towards your CPD training hours.

Opportunities

Looking back over the last year we’ve seen several articles pointing towards the positivity in the public sector, but one that really stood out to us was a report the Education Technology framework in which it was highlighted that 78% of the 40 suppliers are SMEs. We’ve seen new opportunities in all sectors, from ICT frameworks for education to Green City deals and places on frameworks for niche products that aren’t catered for in traditional commercial agreements. There are opportunities in the public sector for businesses in all industries and sizes and we’ll continue to help you find these quickly and easily.

Brexit

Brexit has, of course, been at the forefront for much of 2019. For the most part the legal framework for public procurement and the different procedures available to contracting authorities will remain the same. Should we result in a no-deal Brexit, one key difference for contracting authorities will be the need to send notices to a new UK e-notification service instead of the current EU Publications Office. Head to Gov.uk for more information, and to keep up to date with information in a no-deal Brexit scenario.

Looking ahead

Looking ahead, whilst there is much uncertainty about what will happen with a confirmed Brexit delay until 31st January 2020, for now, we still remain part of the EU and therefore the new thresholds published by the European Commission will still apply. Read the new thresholds for 2020/2021 here.

As always, if you’ve got any questions related to finding and winning business in the public sector get in touch via our website, or call 0800 222 9009.

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