Best practice in bidding

What a great time to be working in proposal development….helping companies in all sectors identify and prosper from best practice to help them win 

Having worked on proposals across all industries and sectors for over 20 years, I would say this is probably the most exciting, creative and innovative time to be a proposals specialist and to be helping companies identify and share THEIR best practice that helps them win wherever they are bidding.

We all know that the nature of proposal development has changed dramatically to encompass e-bidding, e-auctions, the no-ITT (guess our requirements!) procurement, competitive dialogue and ever-more-prescriptive word-limited portal responses aiming to squeeze out any vestige of creativity and make it easier for evaluators to score everyone on a like-for-like basis. As a result, the challenge now to help companies differentiate from the pack is not only fantastic for us as bidding specialists but also sorts out the ‘best practice’ operators amongst us!

With Banks not lending what alternative sources of funding are there?

This is the question that many SME’s are asking in ever increasing numbers. If the Banks will not lend to them who will? The answer is that there are many alternative sources of funding that many people are totally unaware of. There are even some products from main stream lenders that seem to be forgotten. Here are just a few examples, but remember these are ‘alternative’ sources and as such are more expensive than High Street lenders.

Why do so many British Companies ignore R & D Tax Credits?

The Government wants to give money back to British Companies that undertake research and development. Unfortunately many Managing Directors and Finance Directors and even their Accountants concentrate on the word ‘research’ and not on the word ‘development’ and so believe that this means that they will not qualify. In many cases this will not be true and so they are missing out on this very useful source of funding. If you are developing a new product or service, or making improvements to existing products and services you may very likely be eligible. Even software companies have been successful.

The scheme is designed to encourage and reward innovation. It allows innovative companies to either recover Corporation Tax paid and or receive a rebate of the NIC/PAYE generated by the business. Most first time claimants are able to also submit a claim for the last two completed year ends.
The average claim in the first year is £40k

Don’t let your Grammar cost you business!

This post is by Sara Parr

No, I’m not going to crack a dodgy joke about your mother’s mother…

I must admit, I am a little prickly on this one – the odd typo is one thing, but when an “expert” in their field can’t get their own technical terms right then surely we have to question both the education system and their own ability and standards. When their field of expertise is supposed to be administration, I really get worried – a surgeon with shaky hands perhaps shouldn’t be a surgeon, so should a VA with poor “English” (or any other language they choose to work in) be thinking about a career change? I was given a “stationary” price list today from a local printer – good thing too, I don’t want the thing running around the office!

“Can’t care, don’t care” – How to avoid the “Just send it” moment in your bids

This post is by Sharon Pink

No matter how important this bid is to your business….

No matter how high the value….

No matter how well you know you can deliver to that client…..

….. there comes a point in the development cycle when you just stop caring.

You’ve spent so much time on the research, the planning, the writing and the proofing, so many days staring at the same paragraphs, that you actually can’t see the words objectively any more.  The deadline is looming and, despite your rational mind knowing there are probably lots of things that need correcting and improving, you find yourself saying “Look, just send it”.