Many organisations only apply or bid for tenders when they see one that they feel ‘is just right’ for them, or if they need to find new business fast.
Very rarely do we meet companies, charities or public sector organisations who actually have a contract strategy in place. A contract strategy can be a part of your wider growth or business plans and help provide focus and clarity when it comes to knowing which contracts to go for and where your skills and resources are particularly suited.
When you look at contract opportunities strategically and in line with your wider business plan, you can ‘see the wood for the trees’ and ascertain if a particular contract will fit in with the direction you want to take the business in. Do you actually want to grow your business in this particular area? Will you need to invest money in equipment or staff to deliver this contract? If so, could this investment be better spent elsewhere in the business to win other contracts that are more aligned to where you want to be and what you want to be known for?
Our Four Phase approach
When we work with clients, we work to a Four Phase process:
Phase 1 – Business and contract strategy
Phase 2 – Opportunity analysis
Phase 3 – Tender writing and management
Phase 4 – Implementation and contract analysis
Over the coming weeks and months we will explore the other three phases a bit more closely, but for the purpose of this blog, we want to discuss what is meant by a contract strategy and why they are so vital when it comes to tender success.
What is a contract strategy and why do you need one?
If you are a business with growth aspirations, chances are you have a business plan or growth strategy in place. This could be in the form of financial targets, growing the headcount of your team or expanding into new products or services. You may even have plans to take on new premises and grow geographically, or to acquire or merge with existing businesses to strengthen your position in the markets you operate in.
Having a cohesive contract strategy that sees you only tender for and take on contracts that are aligned to your business and growth strategy makes life so much simpler and allows you to focus on the opportunities that are right for your business at the right time, rather than being attracted by the ‘carrot’ of a big money contract that you can’t deliver effectively or that takes you down a road that you didn’t want the business to go down.
Developing your contract strategy
Finding and developing your strategy is a great exercise to carry out at the start of your tender journey, which is why it is Phase 1 of our approach.
Thanks to our many years of experience in this area, we can help our clients to create the most effective contract strategy for their business. We understand that every organisation is unique, so we offer a bespoke consultation service to form a business and contract strategy. This is not something we simply ‘go away and do’. It is very much a collaborative process that sees us get to know your organisation inside out. We also conduct in-depth research on potential competitors you may be bidding against, the contract commissioners and the local and national agenda.
Writing a winning tender bid requires more than just excellent writing skills. A great tender is backed by expert research and an acute understanding of your organisation now and where it wants to go. It also about being realistic and transparent. If there are any potential shortfalls, problems or challenges that may prevent you from delivering a contract, these will be highlighted and solutions worked towards before you even bid for the contract, and the work you have done will be evidenced as part of your bid.
Every bid we write is produced in alignment to best practice methodology developed from insight gained from overseeing – and winning – hundreds of bids. This learning has provided intimate knowledge of the time and complexity of every task required to produce a winning submission from our bid team, and that of our clients’ internal teams and their stakeholders.
A winning tender is much more than just the words on the page, it is the culmination of a team effort – strategic thinking, investigative research, clarity and focus.
If you are clear and confident in your business and contract strategy then you can make informed choices about future tender opportunities that best suit your organisation and will make it thrive and grow further.
Then you are ready for Phase 2 – Opportunity analysis…
If you would like help with developing a business and contract strategy for your organisation, get in touch with Krisja Low on 0330 1331 041 or firstname.lastname@example.org.