February has been another busy month, starting off with two extended bids and finishing with TEDxManchester, with multiple deadlines and a significant win in between. I also wrote a couple of project case studies on very interesting pieces of work. The weather has been pretty terrible and on days like that, I’m grateful to work from home, although I did pop to Edinburgh this month for a flying visit.
Social value update
I’ve had some great conversations this month about social value and its place within bids. A lot of these have centred around the importance of developing a strategy that can be delivered and measuring the outcomes of this, so that there is compelling evidence to include in bids. Put the social value strategy in place before the bid comes to market though.
Evidence, evidence, evidence
The importance of evidence in bids and is only increasing. I’m seeing bid questions developing into requesting information provided within the context of a previous experience. The formula up until now has been more about describing your process or approach and evidencing this with a short example. I am writing about the importance of evidence as this month’s #bidtips post, so keep your eyes peeled. It’s no longer enough to allude to a project or experience – you need to demonstrate specific, detailed experience with quantified outcomes and client benefits.
Red Review podcast
A recent Red Review podcast discusses what makes good executive summaries – Jeremy hits the nail on the head when he says it’s a summary of the offer (rather than the bid). So many bidders misinterpret the purpose of the executive summary, so if you want to brush up your exec sums, take a listen here.
I’ve had some great conversations with all sorts of people over the past month, with more planned for March and April. It’s a great way to network, even if you work from home, like I do. Conversations include social value, construction marketing, freelancing, procurement frameworks, writing bid libraries and a potential collaboration on a product to help other freelance bid writers. If you’d like to join me for a #VirtualCoffeeBreak, I’d love to hear from you.
Awards this month
There is a slew of awards submissions this month, then a break until June.
National Recycling Awards – submission 6 March
Constructing Excellence Awards Wales – submission extended to 16 March
LABC Northern – submission extended to 6 March
Northern Housing Awards – submission 5 March
LABC West Midlands – submission 20 March
LABC West of England – submission 20 March
Blog posts this month
I didn’t quite hit my target of writing one blog post a week, but I did kick off my guest blogging series with a great post, with some more really informative guest pieces planned.
- My January round-up got the year off to a flying start
- I wrote a whole blog on sources of public sector opportunities – this is definitely one to bookmark because it comes up in conversation a lot
- And last, but definitely not least, my guest blogging series was kicked off by the wonderful Alice Hollis, who wrote about storytelling. There are some amazing contributors lined up for this series this year, so keep your eyes peeled.
I am available from April for knowledge management, bid content and research projects. So get in touch if you would like to work together.
Although the weather has been mostly miserable, I did spend a lovely Sunday over in Matlock and Bakewell a few weeks ago and saw the first hints that spring is finally around the corner. I’ve also got a few daffodils in the garden. Spring is my favourite season of the year, and think that new green leaves and pink blossom is the best colour combination in the world.