2019 UK Contractor Survey

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The survey, conducted by Bid Solutions, aimed to deliver the first meaningful research specifically focussed on the UK bid and proposal contractor market.

More specifically, we wanted to:

  • Understand contractor readiness for IR35 legislation changes
  • Review contractor working practices
  • Report on contractor KPIs and service quality metrics
  • Understand contractor market sentiment.

In total, we received 196 completed surveys – approximately 20% of the UK bid and proposal contractor market. Whilst care must be taken interpreting data from a sample of this size, we are confident that contractors and clients seeking contractor services will find the results informative.

Key Findings

  • 62% of respondents cited flexibility of working hours as a primary reason for choosing to operate as a contractor
  • 83% of respondents had more than 10 years’ experience working in the bid and proposal profession
  • Only 10% of respondents stated they fully understood IR35 regulations and proposed legislative changes
  • 49% of respondents delivered their services remotely or from home
  • 98% of those surveyed offered clients more than one core service
  • 75% of all working time was spent on live bids and proposals, with only 25% spent on consulting / bid improvement projects
  • Almost one in three contractors stated they were generalists, working successfully across multiple industries
  • 60% said their contract earnings were better than their last salary in permanent employment
  • One in three contractors did not always agree terms of business before embarking on a contract
  • Only 21% of respondents had attended any bid or proposal training in the previous 12 months
  • Only 42% used win-rate as a measure of service quality
  • 88% price services on a day-rate or hourly basis
  • 75% stated existing clients and word of mouth were by far the most frequently cited sources of work
  • Seven out of ten surveyed said they would recommend contracting as a career choice.

The full survey results and analysis can be viewed in Issue 7 of Bidding Quarterly. 

This article was written by Bid Solutions.

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