News

Ask the Expert – Andy Haigh

Our public sector expert, Andy Haigh, has been asked for advice as to how someone new to bidding can justify the need for additional training. The person in question has undergone a starter course but feels further training is needed to improve their success rate. To view Andy’s response, click here.

Andy is an expert in bidding and tendering, specialising in competitive formal bids into EU Public Sector organisations. Andy is an authority on EU procurement legislation and can bring all these capabilities together to initiate and drive major complex bids through to a successful completion. He assists in optimising the strategic direction of the bid and directing, managing and supporting the bid activity as required.

To ask Andy a question, click here: https://bidsolutions.co.uk/experts/andy-haigh/

In addition to Andy, we have 19 other Experts, all with different areas of specialism. To find an Expert and ask a question, click here: https://bidsolutions.co.uk/bid-hub/ask-the-expert/

SMSW Media – The Ad Agency for Bids

Have you ever stopped to think how different your bids would look if you treated them like adverts?

 

If the honest answer is no, don’t worry – not many have. And that’s exactly why, when we found ourselves with a blank page in the printed version of BQ magazine and a looming deadline, we called on Simon Wellstead.

 

Simon is creative director at SMSW Media, the ad agency for bids. Yes, you read that right. An ad agency for bids.

 

SMSW’s approach is fuelled by the belief that the magical simplicity of messaging from the golden era of advertising (50s and 60s) should be applied to every bid and sales campaign. Simon and his team have been surprising and exciting clients for over 10 years by highlighting business differences through compelling, captivating and creatively intelligent bid campaigns.

 

Simon is an exceptional storyteller and his work nods to some of the finest ad men including Ogilvy, Bernbach, Lois and Arden.

 

So getting back to that blank page in BQ magazine, it didn’t take long for Simon to transform the space into a self-promoting ode to the creatives of old.

 

The ad didn’t appear in BQ’s digital version so we wanted to share it here for anyone who missed it to enjoy.
Click Here

 

If you haven’t spoken to Simon yet and are tasked with improving bid quality and win rates, or want to inject first-class creative into your bids or pitches, we would highly recommend getting in contact. He’s always happy to offer valuable tips and advice (stolen from the masters of course).

 

News & Jobs From Bid Solutions

We have a great opportunity for a Senior Bid Manager to join a growing team in Kent that is undergoing significant investment. The role will be split between managing live deals, developing and amending existing bid processes and line managing a Bid Coordinator. If you are a Bid Manager local to the area and want a new, rewarding challenge, please review the job details here: https://bidsolutions.co.uk/jobs/?keywords=VAC-16873

 

Our latest Permanent Opportunities this week include: 

 

Senior Bid Manager Opportunity working for a major global legal practice based in London. Salary is competitive – https://bidsolutions.co.uk/jobs/?keywords=VAC-16950

 

Proposal Manager Position in Wembley working for a construction and civil engineering firm. Salary is up to £50k + Car Allowance – https://bidsolutions.co.uk/jobs/?keywords=VAC-16948

 

Bid Manager Vacancy in Manchester working for a leading law firm. Salary is competitive – https://bidsolutions.co.uk/jobs/?keywords=VAC-16945

 

Senior Bid Writer Position for a major security firm, with time split between London and home. Salary is competitive – https://bidsolutions.co.uk/jobs/?keywords=VAC-16954

 

Bid Coordinator (French or German Speaking) Position with a global material handling manufacturer based in Frimley. Salary up to £37k – https://bidsolutions.co.uk/jobs/?keywords=VAC-16907

 

Bid Executive Vacancy in Manchester working for a leading law firm. Salary is competitive – https://bidsolutions.co.uk/jobs/?keywords=VAC-16947

 

Bid Specialist Opportunity working for a leading logistics firm based in Uxbridge. Salary up to £33k – https://bidsolutions.co.uk/jobs/?keywords=VAC-16918

 

Bid / Submission Coordinator Role in Wembley working for a construction and civil engineering firm. Salary is up to c.£30k – https://bidsolutions.co.uk/jobs/?keywords=VAC-16949

 

For a full list of current job opportunities please visit: https://bidsolutions.co.uk/jobs

News & Jobs from Bid Solutions

Our close friends at Strategic Proposals recently launched their thought provoking ‘How the Best Win’ report. This demonstrates the direct correlation between proposal capabilities and win rates and recommends key, practical steps that organisations can take to gain competitive advantage in the bid process. It is therefore a must-read for Heads of Bid and Proposals, Sales Directors and C-Suite Execs responsible for winning work.

 

You can download your own copy here: https://www.strategicproposals.com/resource-centre-research-and-papers/

 

Our latest Permanent Opportunities this week include: 

 

Bid Manager Vacancy in Manchester working for a leading law firm. Salary is competitive – https://bidsolutions.co.uk/jobs/?keywords=VAC-16945

 

Bid Team Leader Opportunity with a global material handling manufacturer based in Frimley.  Salary up to £55k – https://bidsolutions.co.uk/jobs/?keywords=VAC-16885

 

Bid Manager Role with a leading FMCG provider based in Kent. Package up to £55k – https://bidsolutions.co.uk/jobs/?keywords=VAC-16873

 

Bid Coordinator and Senior Bid Coordinator Opportunities within a leading architectural firm in London. Salary up to £45k – https://bidsolutions.co.uk/jobs/?keywords=VAC-16944

 

Bid Writer Position working for a leading construction organisation based in London. Salary up to £40k – https://bidsolutions.co.uk/jobs/?keywords=VAC-16939

 

Bid Writer Vacancy based in Orpington, Kent for a construction firm. Salary up to £40k – https://bidsolutions.co.uk/jobs/?keywords=VAC-16942

 

Bid Writer Role based in Swindon for a business services firm. Salary is competitive – https://bidsolutions.co.uk/jobs/?keywords=VAC-16928

 

Bid Coordinator (French or German Speaking) Position with a global material handling manufacturer based in Frimley. Salary up to £37k – https://bidsolutions.co.uk/jobs/?keywords=VAC-16907

 

Bid Specialist Opportunity working for a leading logistics firm based in Uxbridge. Salary up to £33k – https://bidsolutions.co.uk/jobs/?keywords=VAC-16918

 

For a full list of current job opportunities please visit: https://bidsolutions.co.uk/jobs

New & Jobs from Bid Solutions

Our Construction Expert and Professional Coach, Holger Garden, has written a fantastic article on the subject of well-being and stress management. His article explores how he manages expectations to ensure he can do a better job of helping his clients and managing his own well-being.

 

You can view the article here: https://bidsolutions.co.uk/leave-me-in-peace/

 

To ask Holger a question (or any of our 19 experts), click here: https://bidsolutions.co.uk/bid-hub/ask-the-expert/

 

Our latest Permanent Opportunities this week include: 

 

Proposal Manager Role for a fast-growing IT organisation in London. Salary is competitive – https://bidsolutions.co.uk/jobs/?keywords=VAC-16935

 

Senior Bid Manager Opportunity with a global material handling manufacturer based in Frimley.  Salary up to £55k – https://bidsolutions.co.uk/jobs/?keywords=VAC-16885

 

Proposal Manager Position with a leading financial services firm based in Central London. Salary is competitive – https://bidsolutions.co.uk/jobs/?keywords=VAC-16931

 

Bid Manager Vacancy on a 6 Month FTC covering maternity, based in London. Salary up to £45k pro rata – https://bidsolutions.co.uk/jobs/?keywords=VAC-16938

 

Bid Manager Opportunity with a leading FMCG provider based in Kent. Salary up to £45k + Car Allowance – https://bidsolutions.co.uk/jobs/?keywords=VAC-16873

 

Bid Writer Position working for a leading construction organisation based in London. Salary up to £40k – https://bidsolutions.co.uk/jobs/?keywords=VAC-16939

 

Bid Writer Vacancy with a leading healthcare provider based in Leicestershire. Salary up to £38k – https://bidsolutions.co.uk/jobs/?keywords=VAC-16940

 

Bid Coordinator Position working with a leading security organisation based in Sutton, Surrey. Salary up to £35k – https://bidsolutions.co.uk/jobs/?keywords=VAC-16923

 

Bid Specialist Opportunity working for a leading logistics firm based in Uxbridge. Salary up to £33k – https://bidsolutions.co.uk/jobs/?keywords=VAC-16918

 

For a full list of current job opportunities please visit: https://bidsolutions.co.uk/jobs

Will You Leave Me in Peace While I Get the Work Done!

“I got eight little fingers and only two thumbs

Will you leave me in peace while I get the work done!”

‘Working On It’ by Chris Rea in ‘New Light Through Old Windows’

 

I’ve learned some essential lessons about managing stress in bidding, and about managing others’ expectations so I can do a better job of helping my clients – and, crucially, of managing my own wellbeing. I plan ahead to avoid scenarios that make me feel I can’t cope.

Stress management is needed for mental health and wellbeing. Research has shown stress to result from demand / resource imbalances1. Our stress response is mediated by resources and perceived ability to cope, both factors that can increase – which means stress can be controlled1.

I’ve learned the best way to control stress is to plan for best use of resources, leading to highest perceived ability to cope with demands. My resource planning includes five key influences: time, expectations, productivity, comparison and communication.

Time is usually my most important resource. I work with bid teams to determine realistic timescales for producing strategies, writing plans and draft responses, and the supporting inputs and resource schedules. We include time for receiving review feedback, editing drafts, and compiling the submission.

With much less experience, I allowed myself to work without bid plans agreed from the start. This meant there was no guiding plan to align everyone, so contributions were unco-ordinated and too late to be useful. I did a lot of stressful ‘heavy lifting’ to recover the bids. A plan agreed, and reviewed regularly, is essential because it reinforces the need for everyone, including those not resident in the bid office (e.g. SMEs and senior management), to play their part on time.

The plan sets timescale expectations, which we need to complement with specific daily goals, including how others’ inputs matter. I get the best from others when I’m clear about what I need, and about effects of changes. I once worked on a bid in which a changed commercial proposal came at 7pm on the day before a noon deadline for a printed submission. The changes caused significant edits to most sections. I worked all night to make the edits, including formatting. In those days, I didn’t sufficiently appreciate the importance of being clear about expectations, so the team saw no problem presenting late changes. I should have been clear about the impacts of late changes. Needless to say, my stress in the morning was extremely high as I rushed to compile the printed copies.

Feeling that my productivity is high is a great way to reduce stress, linked to a higher perception of achievement and ability to cope. Since clients judge me on results, I’ve learned the importance of being where I do my best work. Some days, I need to be with team members to review topics, benefiting from ‘bouncing’ ideas around in the room. Other days, I need to be alone to use information to produce responses. A day’s writing in an environment fostering concentration and clear thinking – which may vary from the bid room to my home or a remote flexible office – increases my motivation and makes me feel I’m ‘winning’.

One of my greatest stressors has been comparison of my work with others’, but I’ve learned that comparison isn’t usually meaningful or useful since different team members work on different subjects with different requirements and constraints. However, it is useful to share ideas on ways to be productive, learning from others’ experiences.

I’ve worked in bid teams with a strong competitive culture causing friction. I find healthy competition stimulates momentum, but the real measure of progress is delivery against the plan. I used to be anxious seeing other writers tap away furiously while I sat thinking, but I learned that a good writing plan pays dividends for faster writing of more convincing messages. The key is to have enough confidence in your own work to avoid being drawn into the spiral of self-doubt from seeing others working.

Communication of issues and sharing concerns are great stress alleviators. Other people see solutions from different perspectives. Teams are more receptive to people who raise concerns as they arise than to those who don’t or who are unclear.

As George Bernard Shaw said, “The single biggest problem in communication is the illusion that it has taken place.” For me, this means checking everyone understands what they need to do, so the right team contributions lead to strong bids in which stress is managed well.

  1. Lazarus, R.S., & Folkman, S. (1984). Stress, Appraisal and Coping. New York: Springer.

 

by Holger Garden, Construction Expert and Professional Coach

News & Jobs from Bid Solutions

If you haven’t already seen the latest edition of Bidding Quarterly, it is available to download here: https://bidsolutions.co.uk/bidding-quarterly-issue-4-hidden-costs-bidding/

 

It has received fantastic feedback so far, with many readers commenting on the comfort they have taken from the articles and their ability to relate to what has been written.

 

“Must read for all of us embedded in the management and preparation of bids”

“It helps to hear that others are going through the same things as you”

“Very much needed in this industry.”

 

We encourage you to share the magazine with your own network to promote the important topic of well-being within bid management.

 

Our latest Permanent Opportunities this week include: 

 

Bid Writer Opportunity based in either Maidenhead, Birmingham or Manchester for an engineering organisation. Salary up to £60k – https://bidsolutions.co.uk/jobs/?keywords=VAC-16937

 

Proposal Manager Position for a fast-growing IT organisation in London. Salary is competitive – https://bidsolutions.co.uk/jobs/?keywords=VAC-16935

 

Bid Manager Vacancy working for a major global legal practice based in London. Salary is competitive – https://bidsolutions.co.uk/jobs/?keywords=VAC-16932

 

Bid Manager Opportunity on a 6 Month FTC with a leading architecture consultancy based in Central London.  Salary up to £45k – https://bidsolutions.co.uk/jobs/?keywords=VAC-16938

Bid Team Leader Opportunity with a global material handling manufacturer based in Frimley.  Salary up to £55k – https://bidsolutions.co.uk/jobs/?keywords=VAC-16885

 

Proposal Manager Position with a leading financial services firm based in Central London. Salary is competitive – https://bidsolutions.co.uk/jobs/?keywords=VAC-16931

 

Bid Manager Vacancy with a leading FMCG provider based in Kent. Salary up to £45k + Car Allowance – https://bidsolutions.co.uk/jobs/?keywords=VAC-16873

 

Bid Writer Role based in Swindon for a business services firm. Salary is competitive – https://bidsolutions.co.uk/jobs/?keywords=VAC-16928

 

Bid Writer Opportunity working for a leading Recruitment firm in Manchester. Salary up to £35k – https://bidsolutions.co.uk/jobs/?keywords=VAC-16934

 

Bid Coordinator Role working with a leading security organisation based in Sutton, Surrey. Salary up to £35k – https://bidsolutions.co.uk/jobs/?keywords=VAC-16923

 

For a full list of current job opportunities please visit: https://bidsolutions.co.uk/jobs

News & Jobs from Bid Solutions

This week we launched the latest edition of Bidding Quarterly, focusing on the hugely important topic of mental well-being within bidding. There are fantastic contributions from industry experts, covering personal experiences and suggestions on how to maintain good mental health in a pressurised environment.

 

To view the latest edition of Bidding Quarterly, as well as all previous issues, please click here: https://bidsolutions.co.uk/bidding-quarterly/

 

Our latest Permanent Opportunities this week include:

 

Proposal Manager Position for a fast-growing IT organisation in London. Salary is competitive – https://bidsolutions.co.uk/jobs/?keywords=VAC-16935

 

Bid Manager Vacancy working for a major global legal practice based in London. Salary is competitive – https://bidsolutions.co.uk/jobs/?keywords=VAC-16932

 

Senior Bid Manager Opportunity with a global material handling manufacturer based in Frimley.  Salary up to £55k – https://bidsolutions.co.uk/jobs/?keywords=VAC-16885

 

Proposal Manager Position with a leading financial services firm based in Central London. Salary is competitive – https://bidsolutions.co.uk/jobs/?keywords=VAC-16931

 

Bid Writer Role based in Swindon for a business services firm. Salary is competitive – https://bidsolutions.co.uk/jobs/?keywords=VAC-16928

 

Bid Writer Opportunity working for a leading Recruitment firm in Manchester. Salary up to £35k – https://bidsolutions.co.uk/jobs/?keywords=VAC-16934

 

Bid Coordinator Role working with a leading security organisation based in Sutton, Surrey. Salary up to £35k – https://bidsolutions.co.uk/jobs/?keywords=VAC-16923

 

Bid Writer Vacancy based in Leeds on a 14 Month FTC for a leading environmental organisation. Salary is competitive – https://bidsolutions.co.uk/jobs/?keywords=VAC-16927

 

Bid Writer Opportunity based in Andover. Salary up to £30k – https://bidsolutions.co.uk/jobs/?keywords=VAC-16936

 

For a full list of current job opportunities please visit: https://bidsolutions.co.uk/jobs

Bidding Quarterly Issue 4 – The Hidden Costs of Bidding

With more than 1 in 4 people now expected to be impacted by mental health problems, there has never been a more important time to prioritise your own well-being.

When we decided to lead this edition of Bidding Quarterly with mental health, I was somewhat apprehensive about what we might publish – mental health issues always seem to be in a special category of their own when it comes to being unfit to work. A bit of a taboo.

I think most of us can think of a time when we have questioned our own mental well-being – some of you might be doing it right now – and whilst help is at hand, I know from personal experience that it can be hard to seek out. To admit to mental health issues, or be self-aware enough to recognise the symptoms, is seemingly not in our basic make-up.

Bidding is without question at the higher end of the stress spectrum. It is inevitable we will be pushed beyond our comfort zones on a regular basis. But what are the hidden costs of this and in reality are you sacrificing yourself to win? Perhaps you do it because you feel the need to impress your manager or maybe you just love the thrill of winning, or perhaps you can’t afford to be out of work? Whatever your reasons, have you really considered the dangers of this cyclical self-inflicted stress?

I can relate to much of what has been written by our experts this month – by far some of the best contributions we have ever published. Whilst I learnt something new from all our experts, one bit of advice really resonated with me.

Nigel Hudson gives a candid and somewhat harrowing account of what can happen if you ignore the warning signs for too long. One piece of advice he gives is particularly poignant:

“Bidders inherently give our all, but absolute focus should only be given to that which matters absolutely. We should seek to win, but not at all costs”.

– Martin Smith

Download your copy here: https://bidsolutions.co.uk/bidding-quarterly-issue-4-hidden-costs-bidding/

 

News & Jobs from Bid Solutions

The latest issue of Bidding Quarterly will be released this week, tackling the important issue of well-being within the bid profession. With contributions from some major industry experts and thought-leaders, it is one of the best issues to date. Keep an eye out for it on LinkedIn this week.

 

 

Our latest Permanent Opportunities this week include: 

 

Bid Manager Vacancy working for a major global legal practice based in London. Salary is competitive – https://bidsolutions.co.uk/jobs/?keywords=VAC-16932

 

Senior Bid Manager Opportunity with a global material handling manufacturer based in Frimley.  Salary up to £60k – https://bidsolutions.co.uk/jobs/?keywords=VAC-16885

 

Proposal Manager Position with a leading financial services firm based in Central London. Salary is competitive – https://bidsolutions.co.uk/jobs/?keywords=VAC-16931

 

Bid Manager Opportunity based in Central London for an IT Provider. Salary is competitive – https://bidsolutions.co.uk/jobs/?keywords=VAC-16919

 

Bid Writer Role based in Swindon for a business services firm. Salary is competitive – https://bidsolutions.co.uk/jobs/?keywords=VAC-16928

 

Bid Coordinator Position working for an award winning recruitment organisation in London. Salary up to £35k – https://bidsolutions.co.uk/jobs/?keywords=VAC-16917

 

Bid Coordinator Role working with a leading security organisation based in Sutton, Surrey. Salary up to £35k – https://bidsolutions.co.uk/jobs/?keywords=VAC-16923

 

Bid Writer Vacancy based in Leeds on a 14 Month FTC for a leading environmental organisation. Salary is competitive – https://bidsolutions.co.uk/jobs/?keywords=VAC-16927

 

Bid Coordinator / Writer Opportunity on a FTC until end of 2018 for our client based in Uxbridge.  Salary up to £30k pro rata – https://bidsolutions.co.uk/jobs/?keywords=VAC-16918

 

 

For a full list of current job opportunities please visit: https://bidsolutions.co.uk/jobs