John Bilcliffe is a Bid Writer with years of experience securing public sector contracts. He has a degree in business with economics from the University of Northumbria and is a self proclaimed ‘tender writer extraordinaire’. His years of experience in the field means he knows how to handle pressure and always meets the necessary deadlines. In his spare time he walks dogs and is a season ticket holder at Newcastle United (and has been for over a decade!). He may also be the worlds biggest Nicolas Cage fan.
Lydia has a degree in History from the University of York and joined the team in 2018 as a Graduate. Lydia provides the team with an extensive skill set that supports the writing of tenders for our clients through her proactive and positive approach. She thrives under pressure and always plans effectively to meet every deadline. She consistently has the cleanest desk in the office and is a lover of all things George Michael.
A BA (Hons) Geography graduate from Lancaster University, Nick has been a valued member of the team since 2018. He provides yet more talent and enthusiasm for our bid-writing team, using the experience from his degree to help continue our growth. Nick is a self-motivated and goal-driven individual, fitting into our values and helping us drive for excellence. When not writing Bids, he can be found at the gym or watching Messi highlights.
Its old news that the UK Government set ambitious targets of awarding 33% of all public sector contracts to SMEs by 2020.
That 33% equates to over £21.3 BILLION worth of contracts each year awarded to SMEs in the UK alone. This presents a huge opportunity for aspiring Entrepreneurs to secure long term sustainable public sector contracts which can act as a foundation for significant organisational growth.
A lot of companies think they are too niche or too small to tender but this isn’t true. As long as you are established, have a good track record of delivery and a solid set of accounts (typically 2 years worth) you are in a strong position to tender.
Opportunities are hugely varied with services and products of all kinds procured. We have selected a few of the weird and wonderful ones below:
- Supply of an inflatable boat if anyone has one spare click this link
- Supply of Milk and bread anybody… You will need a big Milk float to supply Wolverhampton Hospital. click for detail
- Supply of over £6m worth of ‘Premium Colouring Pens’ this is not a joke- have a look click this link
- Conservation of Maritime Paintings??? for Hull City Council. Surely a real skill but rather niche click for details
- Weight Management and Personal Training in the East Midlands. click for detail
- Wigs and Associated products- over £9.5m worth! for the NHS. check this link
- An opportunity for communities to bid for funds to purchase their local pub!
More than a Pub is a unique three year programme established to help support community ownership of pubs in England and grow the range of services they offer to help local people. Its value is £3.85 million and is jointly funded by the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government and Power to Change.… So who’s buying a pub with me? https://www.plunkett.co.uk/more-than-a-pub
Whatever you are supplying, someone will be buying (if there are not you may need to give your business plan serious consideration e.g. chocolate fire guards are not fit for purpose)
Often the more niche the better as you have less competition in comparison to highly competitive markets such as cleaning, low value website design, security etc.
If you would like to explore opportunities in your sector please just get in touch and we will happily help you look for appropriate opportunities free of charge.
Thanks for reading
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Luck is a complex issue and one that is hard/impossible to quantify, but it is also something that is so commonly misquoted. Hardly anyone ever achieves anything of significance without a huge amount of hard work and sacrifice, yet the successful are so often referred to as lucky. In our latest video we address the issue of luck and explain how you can actively become more lucky.
Have a watch. If you like what you see please subscribe by clicking the link below and if there is anything you would like us to cover in future please just get in touch. We are busy working away developing a series of bid writing videos. These teach you everything you could want to know about bids/tenders so keep watching. For the time being lets all be a bit more lucky…
Thanks for reading/watching
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Across the UK public sector organisations run approximately 1,400 individual tender portals which causes a little confusion about where to find bid and tender opportunities!
Public Sector contracts offer a huge opportunity to UK businesses with over £65 Billion worth of contracts advertised each year in the UK. With Government targets to hit, public sector organisations have to ensure that £21.3 Billion of that is awarded to SMEs each year- there is a very real opportunity for aspirational Entrepreneurs.
Hopefully we can provide a little clarity, many of the opportunities are listed on numerous tender portals. We have listed the key portals below which cover the majority of public sector tenders. Just hit the highlighted links below and explore a world of opportunity…
Contracts Finder– typically contains around 80% of Local Authority opportunities across England with an inconsistent range of opportunities from Housing Associations, NHS etc. it can be useful to find contract award notifications and contract renewal dates.
Pro contract due north is a great resource. Over 400 different portals across England were consolidated in to one tender portal covering Local Authorities, Some Housing Associations, some NHS trusts and an assortment of other organisation
Wales and Scotland have made things a little easier. The two Welsh portals- etender Wales and sell2wales should cover every public sector opportunity and Public Contracts Scotland covers every opportunity all in one portal.
TED (Tenders Electronic Daily) is where you will find OJEU (Official Journal of the European Union) notifications. This is a list of all high value public contracts from across Europe. Once an opportunity reaches a certain value/threshold (which varies by sector) the opportunity must be advertised in the journal.
Two other key resources are the portals which advertise MoD Contracts although they are quite strict on who can sign up and what you can view with a lot of their opportunities quite sensitive in nature. The emergency services portal- Blue Light is also a useful resource.
We couldn’t include everything but this a good selection. If you have a particular sector or type of organisation that you are targeting get in touch and we are happy to point you in the right direction to find suitable opportunities. If you do find what seems to be the right opportunity why not read our blog which provides practical tips to help you pursue the best opportunities- Picking the perfect tender
Thanks for reading and thing else you would like us to cover just let us know.
Best of luck finding your own bid and tender opportunities!
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Picking the perfect tender.
This is a question we are asked time and time again.
“How do you pick an opportunity which you have a good chance of winning?”
So we have decided to share some of our top practical tips which are easy to follow. We believe that picking the perfect tender in many cases is the first of three key steps to increasing you bidding success (we will save the others for another day).
Read the questions- this might sound too simple. but before you even read the specification in detail read the questions. look for trends and patterns. So what does this mean? if all of the questions are fairly generic that’s fine no problem, we have learned very little. However, maybe there is a constant theme within the questions such as Question 1. How will you deliver the contract and report against delivery. Question 2. How will you manage implementation and report progress. You see where this is going. If there is something consistently highlighted then you know that they have potentially had an issue with the reporting from a previous supplier and through emphasising your expertise in this area you can set yourself apart.
Also look out for a question which really stands out. If every question is generic but one question is very specific or highly technical. This is a red flag. Unfortunately in some cases existing supplier or even future supplier can convince procurement teams that they absolutely must have some absurd capability which in turn gives that supplier an advantage. It doesn’t happen often but when it does you can be pretty sure that the supplier who has had that influence will win the contract.
Contract value. Recent regulations removed the restriction on public sector organisations which restricted the value of contracts which can be awarded to SME organisations. Previous legislation allowed public sector organisations to award contracts to companies worth up to 50% of their turnover (e.g. company with £100k turnover could win a 3 year contract worth a total of £150k) despite the removal of the restriction and the previous rule you will very rarely see an organisation awarded a contract worth over 40% of their annual turnover (e.g. company with £100k turnover awarded a contract worth £120k). Regardless of the legislation public sector organisations are still risk averse and rightly so. They have a duty to spend public money responsibly. Giving a £1m turnover company a £10m contract would be madness regardless of legislation. So select realistic opportunities.
You are often better to focus all focus all of your attention on one opportunity rather than lots of different ones. Just having a go is not an option. No one ever one a contract by just having a go because someone out there will be putting in a lot of time and effort.
Research the service and the current provider. Its amazing the news stories that can pop up of poor service or price increases or public complaints. Its definitely worth 15 minutes of google searching. If it is a regulated industry you can even read some rather official external reports and audits which often highlight strengths and weaknesses of the competition which at worst is useful for developing your response through knowing what you are up against. If you find something truly shocking why not even be a little mischievous and send it to the local newspaper (However this is not something we actively encourage).
Other factors should of course be considered such as deliverability and ability to achieve commercial success through delivery but that would be just stating the obvious.
I hope this has been useful. If you are doing anything different that has been helpful or successful when picking the perfect tender, please share we are always looking to learn from the experiences of others.
Thanks for reading
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Hello everyone! We have created a Facebook Community.
This is a group where we hope to build an online community supporting people with all things bid and tender related. This is not a place to sell your wears, it is merely a place to ask questions and learn from one another. This group is for those aspiring to write better bids and we have a number of other bid writers in the group- even those from competing organisations (just to prove we aren’t there to sell to you).
So far we have shared links to free bid training events, links to opportunities, we did a live video to demonstrate how to use a postal and whole lot more.
Please feel free to request to join our facebook community, the more the merrier as they say!
If you would like to learn more just get in touch here.
Thanks for reading and hope you join us soon.
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Following on from the success of our initial video we developed a practical video which outlines the 90 | 90 | 1 rule. This is a practical tool which if used consistently can help you to achieve massive business growth or can support progression towards personal goals and objectives.
Maybe your goal is to secure longer term contracts with a public sector client. We can help with that of course but whatever it is give this a go and please share any results with us. We will be providing regular updates of our progress through our social media stories on Facebook, Instagram and snap chat so please follow our progress and if you like this video don’t forget to subscribe as we have more content coming soon.
Thanks for reading/watching, we hope you achieve massive business growth soon!
If you would like to learn more, get in touch here.
07877 700 701
Decisions are the foundation of all activity. We make thousands of decisions every day without even thinking about it. But some decisions take a little more consideration. We have made a practical video showing you a tool which can support you to make better fact based decisions for the bigger things in your life.
This is the first in a series of videos that we are developing. We will be covering practical business tips, hints and ideas and we are also developing our bid training in a series of videos which we will be publishing for free to show you how to complete a bid/tender/proposal document from start to finish. So please have a watch of our first video, if you like what you see please subscribe and if you have any feedback or if there is anything you would like us to cover please just get in touch. Video number 2 is coming very soon…
Thanks for reading/watching. If you would like to discuss this in more detail, get in touch here.
07877 700 701