The idea that special skills are required to secure contracts is a misstatement. Winning all competitive work is down to a combination of events. Therefore, prepare well, understand the competitive approach the buyer is looking for and ensure you have enough time.
What makes tenders competitive?
Lean – ensure it doesn’t carry unnecessary content!
Accuracy – state facts by all means but ensure they are correct!
Compelling Content – style counts, winsome words win contracts!
How do you improve the chance of winning?
Understand the competitive approach – know the buyers strategy
Prepare every response as though it is the first
Work at the content all of the time – add real value to a tender by improving and updating content
Never stop trying to improve on the last one – get your scores, especially when you win
Know when to Employ a specialist
Not every tender requires a bid writer or a writing team, for example why pay to get on to a framework if you were already success in a previous competition. Take the template and work with the formula.
Yes I’m a tender writing specialist but if you don’t require my support I will let you know. Paying £1,000 for something you can do the bulk of yourself is throwing away good money. So discuss the tender, chat for half an hour and work out what is really required.
Stay lean, remain agile and be competitive that ensures winning Public Tenders is never accidental or a surprise.
Call me or contact via email if you want more information or to join the next Workshop Public Tenders – Introduction to Winning
Business strategy is rarely considered as critical to the foundation, however, it has to be!
Experience teaches us a great deal and more effectively if we learn from the mistakes of other ventures. The saying is “Fail to plan = Plan to fail” consequently create the sustainable foundation.
What materials are required for the foundation?
Clear support features
Anyone who is a Dragons Den or Shark Tank viewer is familiar with the phrases “this is not a business”, “solving a problem that doesn’t exist”.
A sustainable business requires a marketplace that continues to produce demand. For example, the every lasting light bulb could be possible but it renders all other light bulbs obsolete and you only get to sell it once. A hobby is of interest to a few people you know and you can be a master at it, however, that doesn’t mean it will sell enough to sustain you or the business.
Therefore, understand the scope and depth of market the product or service requires and then build the support for it. A personal favourite is the company that introduced a reliable product with the purpose of selling the after care service.
Each element applies to developing your business.
Too few new businesses owners plan for months when the targets are missed, that is why so many businesses fail in the first 12 months.
Consequently, the best advice is hold on to 3 months living costs permanently. That creates capacity for poor sales performance, late payment and supplier tardiness.
If you get to the end of the week and you don’t know what’s in the bank then start to get control of the finance. In start-up classes I referred to it as “Old Mother Hubbard”, the affliction of businesses across the world.
One rule that builds respect and financial credibility, pay your own bills on time.
Another, put a credit marker on everyone who is slow to pay. It isn’t unreasonable, because you can’t walk into a supermarket and say of course I’ll and then proceed to eat everything in the basket before you pay.
To dream an impossible dream. When others tell you that you can achieve what ever you want to achieve, there is a truth, if no one is buying you’re not supplying.
So a dash of cynicism hasn’t hurt the planning process. Keep the process honest, based on facts so that the support structures have a real chance to take the load of business development.
The greatest complexity in the whole process needs to be the foundation. Strength comes from understanding that the shape of the building above can change and the foundation remains solid.
Like a building surveyor we test your business foundation, explore where reinforcement is required and what additional structures open new markets to you. Contact me for more detail. There is a world of opportunity and yet businesses still fail. Build on a sustainable business foundation
Business experience has taught me that companies only adjust and comply when it is absolutely necessary. Consequently, these time critical actions create mistakes and irregularities.
Therefore, Competitive Tendering is the litmus test of your business compliance.
The use of a Standard Selection Questionnaire and an opportunity specification creates the perfect measure of business compliance.
Mark P Trotter Consultancy provides the in depth review of policies, procedures and compliance at a fixed price. Understanding where your business is today improves the winning capacity tomorrow.
Contact the team, because we complete the check in 7 days and guidance steps are clearly detailed.
Win only to lose
Consequently, Winning the competition to lose during the due diligence checks is therefore, humiliating. Avoid the embarrassment, review, amend and compete.
Business is fun, learning to build in a competitive marketplace and then delivering the service is rewarding. However, “you’ve got to be in it to win it” the saying goes.
Mark P Trotter Consultancy support services has designed a range of new products for winning competitive tenders in 2021, throughout UK, EU and using the WTO rules. Contact us to access the products and training.
All Successful Tenders begin with a clear response plan. The Public Sector procurement activities demonstrate that small businesses are competitive.
Plan the Success Tender response
Learning lessons from other businesses creates a short cut to success. Therefore, here are three things clients do when they want to win.
Get to know the buyer
Pick the right opportunity
Research the background of the bid
Know the Buyer
This often comes across as strange, because there are clear rules about the procurement process. So “we can’t contact the buyer” is the logical response.
Getting the know the buyer is more than talking to them, look at previous tender opportunities, the companies who have been successful – ask “what do they have in common?”
The trend is there, so know where to look.
Review spending against the previous contract, often you find a clear indicator, do you require aggressive saving tools?
Read the policy documents that count.
Review minutes of Council Meetings on Strategy and Development
Learn to speak their language
Successful Tenders – Pick the right opportunity
Create the hit list of target clients, looking at their future contract spending plans and be patient.
Often businesses see the value and decide to go for the contract based on that alone. Two powerful tips:
Create the contract boundary
Be realistic about revenue
To mobilize a contract 5 miles away is easier than mobilizing 20 miles or 200 miles. Recognize from contract award to start date is short. Generally allow 4 weeks, set a 4 week bedding in and trouble shooting period and then 4 week evaluation of performance. Keep this simple!
If you turnover £50,000 a year who will award a £500,000 contract to you? It happens but you have to be clear on how the plan works. Safer to begin with 2 x £25,000, growth in turnover is doubled without the level of risk. Once the contracts are performing add 2 x £40,000 plus contracts. Within 18 months you’ll be winning £500,000 contracts. Have a realistic growth model.
Where can I find the right opportunities? Do I have to pay for the service? Two free sites for you to review a couple of times a week:
Sign up with the procurement portals and set your alerts properly. Cutting corners and bidding for everything will keep you busy, it makes successful tenders very challenging when looking at value for money.
Success Tenders – Research the background
Every Public Spending Review weighs the value for money in services that Government procure. Therefore, the Civil Service invest time and resource to present a clear rationale for the spend. That spending rationale responds to key themes in Government.
Right now if you want to be successful the cross cutting theme that creates interest remains “Protect the NHS”. Then look at Social Value and what it means to the department spending, what are they doing? Equality, inclusion, youth employment and education are constant messages that raise the evaluation scores.
Be bold and read everything about your prospective client because you are going to want to keep the contract for years.
Success Tenders – The Incumbent
Surprisingly easy to beat because preparation begins late for most incumbents. However, the opposite should be true. In another post I’ll explain how to beat an incumbent. Preparation for A successful tender rebid begins as soon as the mobilization process is complete and as the contract rolls on builds the additionality and added value for the next time you have to tender.
Successful Tenders begin with a structure, foundation and strong direction. Know the plan, share the plan and keep to the plan.
For winning to become a habit prepare for every bid as though it were the first.
Never lose sight of the objective – making money follows planning excellence.
Understanding that dynamic people require direction is a powerful tool when managing yourself.
Often, we use the description of “self-starter” or “self-motivated” and link it to the energy an individual brings to a job.
Sadly, this trait is not a guarantee that they will achieve what they want in life! But it is a positive value we bring to our life.
How? By pushing ourselves to get things done. The constant desire to achieve tasks can appear to be industrious. However, like the bee flying at a window, all that effort can be energy wasted.
So the real issue is how much of the dynamic energy we bring to a task, job or problem is wasted?
The principal lesson we learn from the Bee is to understand the environment. Identify how and where to achieve the goal. Could be the right target but the wrong place.
Wanting to do something, and understanding how to achieve it, also motivating yourself to do it, are completely different things. The Bee sees the objective but requires another’s intervention to achieve.
What is the difference between those who never reach their goals, year after year, and those who achieve one goal after another? Often, it’s their management of energy, being dynamic when the environment permits and reducing frantic activity when less is required.
Well an article in the Mindtools Newsletter from a good few years ago introduced me to a Self-motivation tool, this is the force that keeps pushing us to go on – it’s our internal drive to achieve, produce, develop, and keep moving forward. When you think you’re ready to quit something, or you just don’t know how to start, your self-motivation is what pushes you to go on
With self-motivation, you’ll learn and grow – regardless of the specific situation. That’s why it’s such a fundamental tool for reaching your goals, achieving your dreams, and succeeding, in this journey we call life. Refer to the support from Businessball.com these articles and challenges have helped me over the years. I established why although a self starter and dynamic person I still require organisation, structure and direction. Wasting precious resources doesn’t prevent you from achieving your goals it just delays the progress!
Self-motivation doesn’t come naturally to everyone. And even those who are highly self-motivated need some extra help now and then.
Build your self-motivation by practising goal-setting skills, and combining those with positive thinking, the creation of powerful visions of success, and the building of high levels of self-efficacy and self-confidence.
Your attitude and beliefs about your likelihood of success can predict whether or not you succeed. Set goals, and work hard to achieve them. Examine ways to improve your self-motivation, and regularly reassess your motivation levels. If you actively keep your internal motivation high, you can significantly increase the likelihood of achieving your hopes, dreams, and visions of the future.
Contact the Marketplace for details and additional support.
Business is more than just growing a customer base. Follow the Blog
Generating a customer base is a real challenge. The crowded marketplace requires skilful nurturing. So once a business has some momentum the lightbulb moment, “hire salespeople”.
A good salesperson is worth between 10 and 20 times their salary. So it is a great idea.
Interviews over and the salesperson starts on Monday, “they’ll know what they are doing” is the recipe for disaster.
Three things need to be clear:
What they are selling
Who they are selling to, and
Who generates the leads
Often I support businesses who think that from a standing start a sales team can generate new leads from old contacts, you are lucky if that is the case.
So here is the first simple tip #1 – agree that all leads wherever they originate go through the sales team.
markptrotter 2019 “why sales fail”
This has been reinforced by recent experience, a fast growing business introduced sales people but the central office took all enquiries and they responded to opportunity. Building the confidence in your team requires just one simple rule – “Our Sales Teams do the selling!”
It has to be a business mantra. No one would send an office administrator to fit a gas boiler of build an extension, but the work comes through the office and is scheduled for the skilled staff to complete. Selling is described as an art, however, it is really a finely tuned set of tools.
Build Sustainable Relationships with your Sales Teams
Like every member of your business they are expected to pay their own way. For sales people set achievable targets, reward immediately and demonstrate the respect you have for their specific skills.
Remember “Cold Calling is very hard” the best people at that are Jehovah’s Witnesses because they have spent years training to achieve one result. So don’t expect from a sales team results that struggle because you haven’t created the strong infrastructure.
Problem Solving Sales Teams
From personal experience as a sales person and as an employer I am convinced that if you give the team a challenge and let them solve it you have identified a recipe for success.
Selling is fun, pressurized and rewarding, when you are good it is great! However, when the sales aren’t coming in you don’t need reminding. As a business owner look at what the support is achieving.
In a recent example I noted above have just got through 4 sales people each one having to build from scratch. The fifth has been supported by the 4th who has just left. Remember when the first point of call doesn’t pass on the enquiry the sales team can generate the leads and someone else closes the deal.
It is a small business failing.
We are moving out of the economic restrictions, there is a world to do business in so set you sights high, venture into new markets and never be caught relying on the NHS to treat your work force.
It is time to insist on private health insurance as one of the perks of your terms and conditions.
Protect the NHS by leaving it for those who can’t afford access to private healthcare.
My business is focused on growing other businesses. Creating the infrastructure and generating income that ensures development and progress. Call or fill in the contact form
Another COVID protection tools and innovation is the use of UVC Lighting for more details please contact the team at AED Group for additional direction on how to install this innovative response to COVID protection.