Sunday, March 13, 2011

What's your most important project?

We are at a time in the world of austerity where the businesses that have survived so far may well be well positioned for the future..if you've survived this far then the chances are that you have a business that can carry on surviving in lean times.

But what is it that is helping you manage now? 

Is it one client or service? Or maybe you have a business that actually benefits from the recession? Yes, there are some (debt collection agencies are having their best years right now).

So what is your most important project? Is it the one that is keeping your business going? Is it taking all your energy and time? Survival is key of course...but does suvivability have a shelf-life? What happens when that project comes to an end? What happens if circumstances change?

At what stage should you think about moving from surviving to growth and comfort? Do those opportunities exist for you?

Is it time to think that your most important project is the next one?

When you are spending 100% of your time on your current business commitments, looking for and developing new opportunities may not get to the top of your immediate priorities. How to write a proposal when you have no time> But it is vital to the long-term success of your business.

That's why if you want your business to be in position to continue to survive the next project is vital. If you are smoving towards the end of your current commitments the next project is the most important thing you should be working on in your business.

And a quality proposal is one of the key tools that you can use to generate new business. Think about the Learn to Write Proposals persuasion formula:

solution + evidence + value = persuasion

Those current projects should help you define your current solution capability as well as providing evidnce of your ability to deliver. If your business is surviving, then let's assume you offer good value. So you should have a persuasive offering to new and existing clients when you write a business proposal.

Learn to Write Proposals helps you identify key proposal elements, structure your proposal and demonstrate value. We can help you and your team learn how to develop compelling written sales messages. And importantly our tools help you save time so that you can create powerful proposals that help you win new business without losing compromise your current project deliverables. 


Sunday, February 27, 2011

New UK Government Guidelines on SME Procurement

The recent changes in Government procurement have been designed to enable small and medium sized enterprises tp get more access to goverment contracts.

Traditionally, the procurement process in the public sector has been one that's dififcult to crack for smaller business - the complex procurement complex and the size of contracts available have often been off-putting to SMEs. 

That's changing with a new contracts finder website - giving everyone access to public sector contracts over £10,000 but lower that the OJEU threshold.

Another benefit is allowing businesses to pre-qualify once, rather than for each opportunity. This alone will save businesses time and money. In some instances for projects under £100,000 pre-qualification may disappear entirely.

But changing the procurement processes means that businesses have to be prepared to understand new processes and pitch for business. Having procurements that require only proposals and presentations means that the quality of your message, proposal and persuasion needs to be at an even higher level as the opportunities have been opened up to more potentially suppliers.

The new policy also says "Departments will be required to adopt greater use outcome based specifications as much as possible and not to over specify."

Outcome based specifications means that understanding needs and describing client benefits become the essential tools of persuasion - it's not good enough to give details about your's all about what your business can do to deliver the desired outcome.

Businesses need to get close to opportunities - and one danger of these changes is that more contracts will have someone's name on them before the procurement is undertaken - but also any proposals submitted need to be highly persuasive and offer clear benefits statements related to the desired outcomes.

Learn to Write Proposals has developed a methodology for persuasive proposals and this has been deisnged for small and medium businesses - easy to use tools that enhance the sales and proposal capability of businesses that traditionally may not have had to write proposals. But with these new opportunties being publicised, less money being spent in the public sector and a highly competetive environment it means that proposal skills need to be better than ever before. That's why Learn to Write Proposals gives you the tools and resources to respond successfully to opportunities, improving your chances of winning business.