We understand that for small businesses, particularly in the current climate, spending money on an external bid specialist may seem like an unnecessary expense; after all, no one knows your business as well as you do. What this idea overlooks, though, is the cost of bidding in terms of your own time, and we know that many small business owners fit in bid writing at evenings and weekends and at the cost of their personal time.

So, what can a bid specialist bring to make them worth the investment?


A good bid consultancy will bring a wealth of experience to bear on your bid. This experience can be felt in a variety of different ways, so here are a few case studies from our own work to help you get a flavour:

We looked at the tender documents for one of our regional SMEs and felt that the insurance requirements were much too high for the work required. Our bid specialist knew the usual requirements for tenders of this type and value, and so we raised a clarification question for the client, and the insurance requirements were re-assessed to something more reasonable.

One client came to us with a project they would like to get off the ground, and as we talked, we realised that they were struggling to articulate the impact it would have. We worked with them, grounding their idea in reality and bringing it to life with numbers that demonstrated the change they could deliver.

We have also been able to support our clients who are tight on time by drawing up a structured programme that converts their service into a concrete project plan that the client can sign off on.

Then there’s the negative results; when we get losses, we’re able to challenge them where necessary (we recently supported a client to get a procurement re-opened where the Public Contract Regulations had been breached) or where to apply lessons if they’ve simply fallen short of the standard.

We also work on a mentoring basis with a number of clients, supporting them to learn how to bid for themselves and being a sounding board, sharing our knowledge to enable small businesses to become self-sufficient bid specialists.

A Team

We’re very proud of our team here at Bid for Success. We look for a combination of the right values, and excellence in performance. We also look for skills that balance each other out, allowing us to work together (there will always be at least two staff members working on any tender) and deliver the very best for our clients.

Our MD, Adrian Corcoran brings a wide range of bidding experience but also a real talent for seeing the commercial aspect of a bid. That’s the ability for her to understand what you do, and how that delivers great value (often in ways you hadn’t thought of) for your clients.

Gareth Morgan is our go-to bid specialist when it comes to solution architecture. That means looking at the client’s requirements and pulling together a solution that makes sense for you, and them. Getting the solution right is one of the most fundamental parts of the bidding process.

bid specialistIf your tender has lots of technical detail, then Mark Staker is likely to be assigned to your team. Mark has a Masters in Maths & Physics, and has an eye for detail, and a head for figures that has been applied to tenders in construction, recruitment, FM, aeronautics, and even the printing of bank notes.

Sarah Dixon is our Social Value bid specialist. Coming from a third sector background as a grant fundraiser (Institute of Fundraising trained), Sarah has a knowledge of charities and CICs that not only supports our third sector clients but helps her pull together winning social value proposals.

Another bid specialist with third sector experience, Lisa Lindley-Seath also works with clients to help them improve their internal processes. Bids and tenders can be easily lost because systems are not in place to ensure you can deliver the right level of service to your clients, but Lisa can help you ensure that you are working to best practice and scoring accordingly.

Iron Nerves

If you’ve ever hit submit on a bid, you’ll know that it’s a stomach-churning experience – at least it is the first hundred or so times you’ve done it. When you’ve written as many bids as we have (we’ve won over £350bn for our clients, between us) you get to take looming submission deadlines with a little more chill. While we still aim to have our submission tucked away a cool 24 hours before the deadline, when things happen, we’ll be the reassuring voice on the end of the phone as you send over that file with an hour to spare. We’ll also have an adult conversation about how to be more prepared next time!

Need a Bid Specialist?

If this sounds like the sort of knowledge and experience that you could use to support your company with your growth plans, then get in touch today. We’d love to help.

Adrian Corcoran

Adrian Corcoran is Managing Director and Founder of Bid for Success. Passionate about working with great businesses to win them new work, she and the Bid for Success team are here to help you with your bidding and work winning needs.


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