Contractual Advice During a Pandemic
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Here at BWL, we pride ourselves on our 92% bid writing success rate.
Aside from the fact we believe we have the best writers, managers and consultants in the business, there are various strategic methodologies that underpin our success.
Kevin O’Neil, our Senior Bid Consultant, has written his thoughts below about how having a focussed bid strategy supports both large and small organisations in their quest for success and business growth.
Why have a bid strategy?
The formulation of a bid strategy comes after the decision to go for the opportunity and invest the required time and resource (Bid/No Bid stage – BNB). Whether you are a large corporate organisation or an SME, in my opinion, it is imperative that any bid must be reinforced with a bid strategy that has been signed off and approved by all senior stakeholders/sponsors. The bid strategy underpins the bid and ensures that the messaging and solution is on point, coherent and effective.
For a smaller organisation, a singular bid strategy will cover all of their bidding opportunities, whereas a larger organisation, which are typically involved in the higher value and complex opportunities, would carry out a bid strategy exercise for each and every bid.
For the larger multifaceted bids, the strategy may evolve, change and re-develop throughout the bidding process, but it is a key area of governance that supports the initial decision to invest (BNB).
Some questions to answer in your bid strategy are:
But I'm just an SME - how does this relate to me?
The benefits of using this approach as an SME are far wider-reaching, in that it can transform their thinking into their business direction and future growth, and become their ‘business strategy’. Whereas a larger corporate organisation, whose business plan should already be relatively clear and robust, means that any change in strategy should be a natural progression.
For a smaller organisation, the above questions still apply, but some areas that a large organisation would already have considered at BNB stage are probably the most important factors to the smaller enterprise in terms of their growth strategy. It is these key ‘selectivity’ points that will help plan ahead, such as:
For a young organisation, a bid (business) strategy carried out effectively can provide a clear understanding of where the market need actually is, and what the customers see as their objectives and vision for the future. This can then allow the SME to put real credibility into their business plan, mapping out their short, medium and long-term goals, and close any gaps that may restrict success and put the necessary building blocks in place for continued growth alongside any budget restrictions.
All too often, a young organisation will focus on areas that it thinks are the most important, when the reality is that it is probably isn’t appropriate, and takes up valuable resources, time and investment.
Learning is key!
While we want to win every bid - the truth is that we don’t. However, that does not mean that the value is lost in terms of business growth, in fact, far from it.
All organisations need to learn from the feedback provided and why their tender was not successful. They must have a process in place to capture the details and be able to act/account for them in their bid strategy. If the client has not provided enough information, then they should chase for it or arrange for a face to face meeting with them to discuss. It is hugely important.
How much should we focus on our competitors and what they are doing?
I read so many articles and hear comments about how to handle the competitive landscape, and everyone has a different opinion. Some ‘gurus’ will say that too much focus on the competitor means that you are not focussing enough on your product or service, and are not driving innovation. Others will say that you must fully understand the competition in order to differentiate yourself.
While it would appear that I’m sitting on the fence here, the answer, in my opinion, is both, depending on the context.
I agree that in a fully-fledged business, too much focus will lead to a very insular and blinkered approach. There has to be an innovative approach that is free from competition bias and more focused on the customer and key target markets.
Whether you are a large corporate organisation or an SME, to ignore the competition will be at your peril. You must always be aware of the competition to mitigate against their strengths and explore their weaknesses within your bid submission to win.
BWL’s Professional Bid Services team has a wealth of experience in all aspects of the above – we’re a great bunch of Bid Writers, Bid Managers and Bid Leaders and can help businesses from a range of industries maximise their bidding potential.
It would be great to know you if there are other areas of a bid strategy that are equally as important as what I've mentioned above. Feel free to share them with me over on my LinkedIn here.
Alternatively, if you need advice or support with writing a bid or tender response and want to be in the best position to be awarded the contract, contact the team and me today by completing the online form here, and we will be in touch.
Whether you are a large corporate organisation or an SME, in my opinion, it is imperative that any bid must be reinforced with a bid strategy that has been signed off and approved by all senior stakeholders/sponsors.Kevin O'Neil Senior Bid Consultant at BWL Consulting
Kevin O'Neil is Senior Bid Consultant at BWL Consulting.
He has a wealth of experience in writing, managing, reviewing and maximising the potential of bids and tenders for customers across a range of industries. He is happy to talk to you about your bid and tender queries, and offer advice and support over a free consultation.
Request a call from him today by clicking the button below and completing the online form.