It’s been a busy start to the year, working on bids in various construction sectors, reviewing previous submissions with new clients, starting some mindset work (which is long overdue), writing a post a week for my blog and planning new areas of work. I’ve visited Birmingham, been to the theatre twice and done some nice winter walks. All good stuff, and getting to the end of January, it feels like the new year is in full swing, so here’s my round-up of the month.
Social value in bids
The issue of social value continues to feature in bids and we are either answering it really well or totally fudging it – it’s now generally worth around 20% of public sector submissions, so it will win or lose you the bid. I’m working with another freelance bid writer and independent social value consultants to look at how we can help clients to answer the bid questions while developing long-term plans to drive sustainable social value in the communities my clients work in.
I can’t stress to prospective bidders enough the importance of social value in bids – not just delivering the stuff that makes a difference, but also evidencing and communicating the quantified benefits.
How much social value does your business deliver? How do you evidence it? How are you finding responding to social value sections in bids? How can I help you to do this better?
Squaring the circle
I’ve also been thinking harder about how to square the many circles I come across in my bid work. For example, how to help clients develop robust policy statements for quality management, environment or health and safety while not being an expert in these areas. I’ll be able to provide an update on this over the coming months as I work with other experts.
What kind of support do you need freelance bid writers to provide in this area? Do you need signposting to other experts, for the writers to have specific knowledge, or would ready-made templates to purchase be useful?
Bid library technology
Another challenge I come across regularly is bid libraries – the content businesses capture for bids and how this is catalogued, stored and retrieved. The solution can be as complex or as simple as we want to make it – but a solution is imperative if companies want to see improvements in their bidding outcomes. I’ve seen a few good bid library solutions over the last couple of months – technology is really driving information management and it’s exciting.
Work-winning course for SMEs
I recently put a call out on social media asking what kind of content would be valuable in a work-winning and bidding course for SMEs working in construction. There’s still time to input into this, but the areas I’m going to focus on include evaluating opportunities, bid processes, developing a bid library, tackling questions and how to write collateral, including CVs and case studies. These courses will be delivered in a variety of formats to suit everyone, so if there’s something you’d like to learn about, please let me know. You can contact me via email, Twitter or LinkedIn.
This concept was shared on Twitter recently – have a coffee with someone online. This concept is perfect for someone often desk-bound, like me. For example, this week I have four deadlines to me and need to be close to my laptop, but having a chat with someone via Skype or Zoom for half an hour is perfect. As well as building relationships and finding out what other people do, it’s a good antidote to solo home working. If you’d like to have a #VirtualCoffeeBreak with me, get in touch! (NB – you don’t have to drink coffee).
Weekly bid power hour
I’m giving away a #BidPowerHour each week, for construction SMEs to discuss their work-winning challenges, so they are provided with tips and ideas that can be implemented immediately. Do you need advice on sourcing opportunities? Do you need to develop a bank of standard information? Do you want to develop your understanding of the bid process? Contact me via email and we can schedule some time.
Blog posts this month
It’s been a fairly prolific month for blog posts – you can catch up here:
- Keep me accountable throughout the year by reading about my goals for 2020
- This post will help you get bid ready in January, or at any other time of year
- If you’ve been shortlisted for an award recently, get some advice on maximising your shortlisting
- Freelancers now account for 5 million workers in the UK – if you want to join us, don’t make the leap before reading my list of 11 things to consider before becoming freelance (you’ll be glad you did)
- And lastly – here were the awards deadlines for January 2020 (probably a bit late in the day now – but my February list will be published soon)
I’m looking to be fully booked for February and March for bid work, but if you need anything, please get in touch and I will signpost you on to my network of really great bid writers.
I’ve got some great work and some exciting projects lined up for the next few months – it’s going to be a fun early spring. What have you been up to over the dark winter, and what plans do you have for the next few months?