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.
- 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.