How SME Bid Training Can Transform Your Bids and Tenders

Jul 3, 2020SME Champions, Bid Training

In our recent article, we talked about the barriers small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) can experience when it comes to bids and tenders including the lack of SME Bid Training. One thing we didn’t discuss in depth was the fact bidding isn’t always a level playing field. This is important to consider if you are choosing to bid for an opportunity. Smarter upfront decision making and choosing the right opportunities leads to greater levels of success both in terms of how you bid and winning more work.

When an SME submits a bid, they could be competing with a larger company with an in-house bid team, or that has the budget to pay external consultants (like us) to make sure that their bid performs as well as it possibly can. That’s why we’ve put together our SME Bid Training, to help smaller businesses create winning bids and tenders.

The first SME Bid Training course will start in July 2020 will run over 8 weeks. Here’s what you can expect:

Know Your Company

We’ll take a deep dive into your business, what you do, and what makes you unique. We’ll look at your competitors so you can start to put together a case for why your company is the better option.

Bidding Fundamentals

Bidding isn’t an intuitive process. It can be confusing to people new to bidding, and it’s certainly an industry full of jargon. We’ll help demystify the process and give you new confidence when you’re talking about SQs and BAFOs. That includes an understanding of the bidding landscape and our golden rules of bidding.

Finding Opportunities

We’ll help you identify the right places to look for opportunities for you to pursue, and help you start building the relationships that are vital for success by calling in Jeremy Brim of The Bid Toolkit, who is an expert in the Capture (pre-bid) phase. We’ll also look at different types of opportunities including contracts (direct awards), frameworks, Dynamic Purchasing Systems (DPS), and consortia.

Bid/No Bid

Just because an opportunity is there, doesn’t mean you should take it. It’s important to assess the bid opportunity and the bid documents properly to make sure this opportunity will take your business in the direction that you want and that it will be profitable. You also need to know that it’s worth investing your time and money into the process; we’ll give you the tools so you can make great bid/no-bid decisions to support your growth plans.

Resourcing & Timelines

Once you’ve decided to pursue a bid, you need to make a plan that will take you through to successful completion in often tight timescales. Bid professionals manage all that with a bid lifecycle, but the version that’s taught in most bid classes is aimed at corporate bidding. So, we’ve created a version for SMEs that will help guide you through the whole process making sure that nothing gets missed or forgotten.

Solution Architecture

A vital component to winning bids is the solution that you develop to meet the client’s problems. A great solution stands out and offers more than just a race to the bottom low price; it offers solutions and extra value that make your offer hard to resist. We’ll walk you through that process showing you how to add value and develop key ideas that will underpin your offer (win themes) whilst showing the benefits your solution offers to the client so they want to buy from you (customer value propositions).

Gathering Evidence

It’s not enough to just say you can deliver the service, you must prove it. You can do that through references and case studies based on present and past experience, certificates/ memberships of trade and other organisations, and features of your solution; for example, the products you use and the performance thereof. In this section, we guide you through that process and start putting together your bid library (standard content) and the types of ‘evidence’ needed for the written part of doing bids successfully.

Bid Writing

In this section we look at how you break down questions in a supplier questionnaire or tender document and use that to plan your answer (SQs = past or present / tenders = future and what you will do for the client). We’ll then talk you through the process to come up with persuasive arguments to help your client make the right decision and choose you! (We’re exceptionally good at this. Our success rate is 91% for the quality aspect of a bid, which is the written response part.)

Bid Production

Our final subject is producing the bid. While some bids are just entered into a web form, others require you to submit formatted documents, and that gives you the chance to use graphics, images, and other design elements to support your bid. These sessions will include exercises from our guest speaker, Linzi Atkinson Groom of Linzi Loves Design.

SME Bid Training

This is the first SME bid training; current training is aimed at bidding professionals and corporate employees. We’re an SME ourselves, and we know the value that smaller businesses can deliver. We also know that the UK Government is falling short of its commitment to spend £1 in every three with small or medium-sized businesses like yours. We want to help change that.

If you’d like to be one of the first to learn more about the training, including early-bird sign-up prices and more guest speaker announcements, visit our training platform today.

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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