We are delighted to be launching our SME Academy, a fully-funded training program for smaller business, delivered via email. It’s the latest step in a long journey to support more SMEs to their first small business tenders, driven by our passion for working with smaller businesses. We thought this was a fitting time to talk about the academe in depth, and just why we are SME Champions in the world of bids and tenders.
What is the SME Academy?
Like many businesses, when we first found ourselves a little quiet after lockdown in 2020, we decided that we wanted to do more to support our fellow small businesses. We started writing blog posts, creating videos, and designing infographics to talk about the benefits of winning public sector contracts through small business tenders. We believed it was the perfect time for smaller businesses to make that change, securing their businesses with contracts from financially secure institutions who follow the prompt payment code.
We soon had a collection of resources available and realised they could be combined to make an introductory training program. We were able to secure some funding from Cheshire & Warrington Local Enterprise Partnership to cover the costs of developing the training and it’s platform so now we can offer fully-funded basic bid training to absolutely anyone!
We work with both corporate clients and smaller businesses, but it’s the SMEs (companies with less than 250 staff/turnover for under £50m) that inspire us. Our ideal clients are small businesses that area great at what they do, who deliver a fantastic service and are looking to grow and make a difference. For some of our clients, that difference is about changing the world, and for others, it’s about securing jobs and delivering a fantastic service.
When we talk about why we do what we do, the answer is always the same: People. That’s why the word is up there in our values. We love getting to know our clients and their businesses, helping them to understand where they are different from the competition and then supporting them to grow. We know that small business tenders change lives because those businesses create more jobs, deliver great services, and impact the experience of social housing residents, students, the elderly, and the wider community through their social value initiatives.
What’s in the Training Program
When you sign up to the SME Academy program you’ll get a series of emails, delivered one per day, with the contents grouped around a topic.
- Day One is your welcome to the academy and useful links and looks at some of the barriers to bidding that SMEs encounter.
- Day Two asks that fundamental question: Is Bidding for You? Exploring the benefits and signposting you to potential opportunities for your business.
- Day Three is a close look at the tender documents, making sure we understand what is needed for a winning bid.
- Day Four looks at the Bid/No-bid decision, the most important in the bid lifecycle.
- Day Five takes a deep dive into win themes and solution architecture, helping you understand how to pitch your service to the client.
By the end of the program, a complete novice should have a basic understanding of the small business tenders process and whether it is right for their business or not.
Following on from the SME Academy is our challenge: Get Bid Ready in Five Days. This is another free training course that will walk you through the concepts introduced in the academy in greater depth, including daily live training from Bid for Success and peer support via a Facebook group. We run ‘Get Bid Ready in Five Days’ at regular intervals, so whenever you join the academy, there will be follow on training available for you very soon.
To sign up, all you need to do is visit the SME Academy page and enter a few details, check your inbox and you’ll get your first small business tenders training email within minutes.