News

Ask the Expert – Kathryn Potter on How to Influence SMEs for Better Content

Our Content Management Expert, Kathryn Potter, has been asked how to influence SMEs to provide better content.

Kathryn’s brilliant response covers how to influence stakeholders to buy-in to working with bid teams on pre-written content, as well as 3 points that should be considered when creating the content itself.

To see Kathryn’s response, click here: https://bidsolutions.co.uk/questions/how-to-influence-smes-for-better-content/ 

To ask Kathryn (or any one of our 20 Experts) a question, click here: https://bidsolutions.co.uk/bid-hub/ask-the-expert/

Ask the Expert – Kathryn Potter

Do you Need a Bid Library?

Our Content Management Expert, Kathryn Potter, has been asked whether it is worth investing in a Bid Library.

Kathryn’s fantastic response explains what a bid content library is, how you get one and how you make it work effectively. To read Kathryn’s full response, click here: https://bidsolutions.co.uk/questions/are-bid-content-libraries-really-worth-it/

To ask Kathryn (or any one of our 20 Experts) a question, click here: https://bidsolutions.co.uk/bid-hub/ask-the-expert/

Bidding Quarterly Issue 5 Out Now

Bid Writer News – Bidding Quarterly

At the time of writing, 2019 has significant uncertainty surrounding it. Thankfully, our experts are adept at dealing with such ambiguity. They’ve provided a fantastic set of articles in Issue 5 of Bidding Quarterly, full of great ideas for any bid writer and suggestions to evolve our profession in 2019.

Click here to download your copy.

Articles included cover topics such as hopes for the future of the APMP, our representative body. Will changes to its structure bring more support for bid writers working in the UK? We also look at how the bid writing process could evolve, ensuring that our teams get the support they need to win. Is the process becoming more seller-led? If so, how do we respond to that?

We discuss the important question of certification. With no formal educational route into bid writing, how do we assess the quality of candidates? Bid Writing courses are on offer, but should we be holding out for APMP certification?

Psychologist Rob Stewart offers his insights into the stresses of the bid and tender writing industry. He gives suggestions on how we can take better care of ourselves and each other.  We also look at bid writer recruitment, and how that has changed over recent years. If you’re looking to recruit a bid writer or to find new challenges in 2019 that’s the article to start with.

Whether you’re a freelance bid writer or have a permanent role there is something in the newsletter for everyone to read. We hope it inspires you to think about the future of our industry as we come to the close of 2018 and look forward to next year.

If thinking about 2019 has you considering making a change in your career, then get in touch. We’d be happy to help connect you with the next great opportunity in this fast-paced, fascinating and challenging industry.

Ask the Expert – Andy Haigh

Our public sector expert, Andy Haigh, has been asked for advice on how someone new to bidding can justify the need for attending bid writing courses. 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 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/

Bid Writing Courses

To learn more about our bid writing courses, click here.

SMSW Media – The Ad Agency for Bids

In the drive to write a winning bid, have you ever stopped to think how different your proposal documents would look if you treated them like adverts?

If the honest answer is no, don’t worry – not many have. 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.

How SMSW Craft a Winning Bid

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 winning bid campaigns.

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

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 Bidding Quarterly‘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 creativity 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).

If you enjoyed this content, then you might also get something from our, ‘Ask the Expert‘ series of articles where industry leaders share their knowledge and answer your questions.

 

 

News & Jobs From Bid Solutions

Senior Bid Manager

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

 

More Bid Manager Vacancies

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

News & Jobs from Bid Solutions

How the Best Win – Advice from Strategic Proposals on how to write a winning bid

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 a competitive advantage in the bid process. It’s 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/

For more expert opinion and useful resources to help you craft a winning bid, visit our Bid Hub.

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

More Bid Writer Jobs

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

New & Jobs from Bid Solutions

Scroll down for our Bid Writer Vacancies.

Managing Expectations for Well-being

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 Bid Hub is a great source of information including more advice from experts, industry news and other free resources to help improve your bid or proposal process. Our articles cover all aspects of the bid writing process, to keep you at the top of your game.

Our latest Bid Writer Vacancies and more 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 bid writer vacancies, and other bid & proposal 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