There are now over 1,000 bid and proposal contractors, consultants and freelancers delivering services in the UK. Having passed this milestone, it felt like an appropriate time to dig beneath the surface and find out exactly what life is like for those that made the transition – mostly from permanent employment.
The contract market has experienced significant growth in the past five years. Whilst there are more options than ever for clients, there has never been a greater need to audit the credentials of those engaged.
The advice provided in BQ7 is the most comprehensive we have ever pulled together. This is supplemented with the key findings from the largest ever contractor survey we completed over the summer.
Mel Mae Smith (UK APMP Chair) kindly agreed to be ‘In the Spotlight’. Having voiced my concerns about APMP International in BQ5, I was keen to listen to what she had to say on a wide range of subjects. She talks passionately about the benefits of joining APMP and the soon to be released ‘speciality’ certifications.
We also have fabulous articles from our regular BQ experts. Holger Garden presents three core questions that helped him develop a successful business. Jon Williams provides some great insight on succeeding outside of the ‘corporate’ world, whilst Andy Haigh talks openly about why redundancy can be a blessing in disguise.
Nigel Hudson – candid as always – talks about the importance of making hay while the sun shines and Pippa Birch provides a great list of ideas to keep contractors on their toes. Finally, Kathryn Potter talks about the importance of family and staying motivated.
Changes to IR35 legislation are just around the corner and feature heavily in much of our experts’ thinking. Whilst we attempt to get to grips with the basics of these changes, the question on most freelancers’ lips anxiously remains: “Will HMRC and my clients deem me a contractor OR an employee after April 2020?”
The APMP UK 2019 “Coming of Age” Conference is now just a few weeks away. We are really proud to be sponsoring the Best Newcomer Award and look forward to announcing the winner at the Black-Tie Dinner. This will be our 17th consecutive year of attending the UK Conference and supporting APMP UK. Please come and say hello – we will have an exhibitor stand where you can try your hand at Bid Roulette and pick up the latest copy of Bidding Quarterly.
More information can be found here: https://apmpuk.zohobackstage.eu/apmpukcon2019#/?lang=en
Whilst canvassing ideas for Issue 6, we were overwhelmed by the energy and passion our experts showed for a variety of different subjects. Rather than stifle this, we decided to remove the shackles and let our experts run free. The only request? Write about something you are truly passionate about right now in the bid and proposal profession.
Once again, we have a fantastic range of articles covering everything from becoming a doctor to Excel modelling. In our biggest issue yet, there is advice on effective knowledge sharing, writing proactive proposals, client focussed innovation, creating high scoring answers and even the odd rant about challenging procurement rules.
We have been truly humbled by all the positive feedback from the first five issues – but BQ will be changing soon. Moving forward, we will develop industry focus groups, provide opportunities to submit white papers, sponsor key industry and professional research whilst still providing honest, unbiased opinion on subjects that matter most to you.
If you have genuine bid or proposal expertise in a particular field or industry, or believe you have a unique approach to winning business, I’d love to hear from you – the panel and BQ wants you!
Bid Recruitment and GDPR
The General Data Protection Regulations are now in force and impose greater data protection obligations on organisations whilst giving more rights to individuals in relation to how their personal data is
processed. As members of the Recruitment and Employment Confederation, Bid Solutions is committed to protecting your rights. To find out more about GDPR and Bid Recruitment, click here.
2018 Proposal Writer Salary Survey – Compare your Proposal Writer Salary.
There have been some fascinating changes in our profession since we conducted the last survey in 2015, and on the whole, I am pleased to report that the changes are positive. As well as outlining average salaries based on core job titles, these top-level statistics provide an indication of trends against variables such as location, education, and professional certification. For the first time, we have also collected information on the mindset of respondents, exploring whether they believe they will receive a pay rise this year and whether Brexit will impact their earnings. The detailed report and analysis will be released in February.
• The average industry salary across all permanent full-time roles is £51,816. This represents an 8% increase since 2015 (£48,088).
• The average salary for women is £47,211 (9.5% increase from 2015 (£43,099)). For men, the average is £57,321 (7.5% increase from 2015 (£53,339)). Across all those surveyed, men on average earn 21.5% more than women (the difference was 23.8% in 2015).
• In real terms, basic salary increases have outpaced inflation for the first time in our ten years of surveying salaries. Tracking inflation (Source: www.whatsthecost.com/cpi.aspx), the 2015 average female salary would now equate to £45,737. The male salary would be £56,603. In real terms, men effectively have 1% more buying power whilst women have 3% more.
• The average man in our industry is 41 (41 in 2015), and the average woman is 37 (38 in 2015). The average age of all professionals surveyed is 39. There is insufficient data to report on gender variants.
• Heads of Proposal Management are now the best-paid professionals within our industry, earning £73,436. Heads of Bid Management are a close second earning £71,149. Bid / Proposal Coordinators are the lowest paid earning £30,362. Bid Managers earn £54,358 (7% increase) whilst Proposal Managers earn £46,699 (4.5% increase). Bid / Proposal Writers earn £38,429 (9% increase).
• Heads of Bid Management are the best-paid contractors earning £678 per day. Proposal Managers earn £553 per day (5% increase). Bid Managers earn £549 per day (3% increase). Bid / Proposal Writers earn £413 per day (8% increase).
• Professionals located in Greater London (inside the M25) attract the highest basic salaries – £58,803 (13% increase). North East England recorded the lowest salaries – £40,263 (static since 2015).
• Over 72% (up from 67% in 2015) of participants have a Bachelor’s Degree or higher. 93% have A-Levels or higher. Less than 0.5% are currently on an Apprenticeship.
• 51% (up from 27%) of respondents have achieved APMP Foundation Level or higher. 24% of respondents feel the APMP Certification programme isn’t applicable to their current role (down from 37%). Disappointingly, 24% said their organisations do not support the training (previously 16%).
• 46% of respondents (down from 75%) regularly work unsocial hours but are able to claim it back as time off in lieu. 17% of respondents still work late on a regular basis. Only 8% work regular 9-5 hours.
• 48% (same as 2015) of respondents have no personal development plan. This increases to 60% for self-employed contractors.
• 59% of respondents haven’t attended any training courses during the past 12 months. This rose to 73% for self-employed contractors. Only 1 in 4 respondents had attended some form of external training in the past 12 months.
• 3% of respondents are unemployed / seeking work (2% in 2015). 81% are permanently employed (down from 87%). 16% are self-employed or in temporary work (up from 11%).
• 61% of respondents are either ‘Satisfied’ or ‘Very Satisfied’ with their current role. 44% are not satisfied or felt their current basic / day-rate could be better.
• 76% of those surveyed would choose work-life balance over pure financial reward (94% in 2015). Only 13% state career progression / financial reward as their main driver.
• 334 (up from 298) different job title variations were recorded in the survey.
• Brexit worries appear to be having little impact on the mindset of the profession. 28% of respondents feel ‘Extremely Positive’ about their prospects in the next 12 months whilst only 10% are ‘Extremely Negative’.
• Balancing all relevant individual, company and market factors, a resounding 31% of respondents feel ‘Extremely Positive’ about securing a pay rise in 2018. Only 2% are extremely negative and expect a pay cut.
* Please note all salaries / contractor rates discussed are an average of basic salary / day-rates unless otherwise stated.
The 2018 UK Bid & Proposal Salary Survey is now open.
Please click here to launch the survey. The survey has the following aims:
- Deliver the definitive salary report for the UK profession.
2. Enable employees to confidently benchmark their salary and benefits.
3. Provide employers with reliable information when hiring and promoting.
4. Report on major disparities.
5. Review market dynamics and future prospects.
A full report will be published in January 2018. Our online salary calculator will be updated to enable generation of customised salary reports.
The survey should take no more than 10 minutes to complete. All information will be treated in the strictest confidence and no personally identifiable data is collected. Data will not be shared with any third parties.
Thank you in advance for your participation.
We are excited to announce that we will shortly be launching the 2018 Salary Survey. This promises to be the largest and most comprehensive survey ever undertaken of the UK bid & proposal profession. We will be shining a spotlight on many of the issues identified in the previous 3 surveys, such as the gender pay gap, the north-south divide, industry disparities and overall satisfaction of the workforce.
To pre-register your interest in the survey, please email email@example.com
As ever, Bid Solutions is committed to making the results freely available to everyone in our profession. As well as publishing a comprehensive report, we will also be updating our Salary Calculator Tool.
Issue 2 of Bidding Quarterly explores the concept of Bid Utopia and I’m delighted to say that our panel of experts have delivered up some fantastic ideas and views on this somewhat intellectually challenging subject. We have nine different perspectives for you to peruse – some of our experts certainly share similar views whilst others are somewhat more ‘out there’.
Issue 1 of Bidding Quarterly declares ‘hope is not a strategy’ and provides insight, opinion & straight-talking from Bid Solutions’ panel of industry experts.
Wondering How to Develop Value Propositions?
There’s very little clear guidance or tools available to help bid teams to develop value propositions. Bearing in mind that research suggests that only 14% of a seller’s unique benefits are actually seen as such by buyers, our partner Strategic Proposals decided to embark on some research to delve deeper in to value. Their aim was to try and help organisations to answer the ‘So What’ question better. This paper, written by Jon Williams and Graham Ablett is the result. It’s a fascinating read and explores all the different ways that a buyer looks at value and provides you with thoughts and ideas to help ensure you build these into your proposals and presentations.