BQ12 Available Now!

I’m thrilled to share Bidding Quarterly 12 with you. ‘The Culture Club’ explores geographical differences, local influences, and workplace variations within the bidding profession. With 15 fantastic articles from Bid Solutions team of global BQ Experts, it explores a wide range of cultural preferences whilst offering strategies, insight and advice for how best to manage diverse cultures within a bid environment. Download it here.

Bidding Quarterly 11 – Out Now!

We are delighted to share BQ11 with you. This special edition of Bidding Quarterly has been created by the brilliant Women in Bids and Proposals (WIBAP) team. The positive action they are taking to drive equality in our profession is truly inspirational.

BQ11 has 12 brilliant articles from our BQ Experts, the WIBAP team and a few of their Allies. Containing stories of hope, new beginnings and the breaking down of barriers, it also tackles head on the uncomfortable truths about our historically male-dominated profession. I applaud all the contributors for their honesty, bravery and leadership with their shared goal of eradicating inequality.

There can be no more excuses for discrimination in our profession, or indeed in any walk of life. When Bid Solutions produced the first UK Bid and Proposal Salary in 2008, I was truly shocked to see the scale of the inequality. Fast forward 13 years and as a profession we have only taken tiny steps towards equality. It’s time for giant strides.

I really hope BQ11 inspires you to get actively involved, become a WIBAP Ally, challenge inequality head-on and create a fairer world. 50:50 in everything we do.

State of the Industry Research

We would like to invite you to participate in QorusDocs 6th annual ‘State of the Industry’ research initiative.

The survey focuses on revenue teams, such as RFP response management and pre-sales, sales and marketing teams who create proposals.

The report will provide industry information to help you benchmark sales productivity and revenue outcomes in the increasingly complex world of proposal management.

We are very interested in hearing your insights – as someone in your organisation involved in responding to RFPs, proposals, security questionnaires, and due diligence inquiries.

The survey has a broad focus and a section dedicated to proposal and RFP management. It will take roughly 10 minutes to complete and all those who do will receive a copy of the report. Click here to take the survey.

UK 2022 Salary Survey

Bid Solutions’ regular cycle of UK Salary Surveys was due to be published this year. Unfortunately, with Covid-19 and the resulting furlough scheme having such a huge short-term impact on the market and salaries, it will be impossible to draw meaningful conclusions or truly compare data with the 2018 survey. We aim to press ahead with our survey in early 2022.

Ask the Expert

With 30 Bid, Proposal, Capture and Winning Business Professionals on Bid Solutions’ Expert Panel, you are never far from free specialist advice, help and support.

Whether you have a question relating to a particular skill, tool, process, or discipline, or you are bidding into a new or challenging sector and need to tap into specialist industry knowledge, our experts are ready to guide and help.

Simply select the most relevant expert and submit your question here:

BQ10 Out Now!

BQ10 features twenty fantastic articles from our brilliant team of experts. They discuss everything from time management techniques, to self-care in challenging times, differentiating between common and best practice, and social learning techniques. You’ll learn about ‘reader drag’, ‘bid unicorns’ and diminished attention spans. The quality of the contributions from our panel of experts and guest writers – their shared experience, wisdom, advice, guidance, excitement, sadness, vulnerability, honesty and humour – is beyond anything we have previously published. It’s our biggest and best publication.

Download it here.

REbuild Project Launches

Fantastic to see the launch of the REbuild Project. This brilliant initiative aims to drive change across the Construction industry (and beyond). With less than 20% of Board roles currently fulfilled by women, they have set the following goals:

– 50% women in Executive roles by 2030
– 30% women in Executive roles on top 10 contractor Boards by 2025
– 50% women in entry level positions by 2025
– Zero gender pay gap by 2035.

Lots more detail in this launch document.

Please also consider signing their petition which will keep these issues firmly in the spotlight:

Visit their dedicated website for all the latest news.


IR35 – will you be picking up the bill?

With only 10 weeks to go until the new IR35 legislation comes into effect, questions remain about who will be picking up the bill.

From the 5th of April 2021, the responsibility for determining the IR35 status of a contract will shift from a contractor to the client hiring them and will be applied to all payments made. In short, the client will determine if a contractor can operate as genuine contractor (outside IR35) or must become a temporary employee for tax purposes (inside IR35).

Whilst these changes will have limited impact on those genuinely operating outside of IR35, the impact on those now deemed inside IR35 will be significant. We have already witnessed some clients taking an ultra-cautious approach, effectively throwing a one-size fits all ‘inside IR35’ blanket across all contract resource, changing their status to that of PAYE temporary employees, rather than contractors who typically pay themselves dividends.

Why does this matter you might ask? Well, it significantly increases the cost to the client and reduces the take home pay of the contractor. As an example, a Bid Writer who is currently charging £500 per day outside IR35 would need to charge £568 per day to take home the same net pay inside IR35, based on the difference in tax on PAYE versus dividend income. The hiring client that determined them to be inside IR35 would then need to add Employers National Insurance (13.8%) and the monthly apprenticeship levy (0.4%) to the £568 per day, bringing the total cost to £643 per day. This is nearly 30% more per day for the same services. And whilst our numbers are based on some standard assumptions, whichever way you cut it, the price increase is significant.

And so, to the elephant in the room – who is going to pick up the bill? Will contractors be asked to take the hit, or will clients happily pay more for the same services? Our experience to date is that many contractors are turning their backs on PAYE work. Many clients believe they will simply pass on the additional tax burden to the contractor but that would significantly affect the whole business model and justification for the extra risks contractors take. Worse still, contractors deemed ‘inside’ will not qualify for other benefits such as holiday pay or sick pay. So, they will pay the same tax as an employee, but without the benefits.

With so many clients yet to fully understand the implications of the changes, and many contractors still hoping their current services fall outside the reach of the new legislation, there will be many twists and turns ahead.

Contractors should be working with their accountants to calculate their equivalent PAYE rate, which will be heavily influenced by how many weeks they work, the expenses they claim, pension contributions and any additional income. Whilst all advertised contract opportunities will need to give an indication of ‘inside’ or ‘outside’ after 5th April, contractors might find that the determination statement comes after they have started delivering services. Hence, it is imperative that they have quoted two rates to the client before starting – an ‘outside’ rate and an ‘inside’ rate. Walking away from PAYE work on principle alone could prove very costly in the medium term.

Clients need to implement a process for delivering status determinations.  Many are simply relying on HMRC’s widely criticised Check Employment Status for Tax (CEST) tool to assess their IR35 position, but it has proven time and again to be over simplistic in its assessment of contracts.

Whatever your thoughts about the new legislation or the viability of becoming, or indeed remaining a contractor or consultant, action needs to be taken. Bid Solutions is prepared for the changes and can offer you advice to help smooth the transition – our IR35 Compliance page is a good starting point.  Please do get in touch if you have any specific IR35 related queries. For more general advice about becoming a contractor in the Bid and Proposal profession, take a look at Bidding Quarterly 7 – Freelancing. Finally the Facts.