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How to Bid and Win! presentation a Winner with Edinburgh Chamber members

Posted: 15th June 2016

The public sector in Scotland puts £11 billion of goods and services out to tender annually – yet, 75% of SMEs do not bid for the tendered work. It’s against this backdrop that the Edinburgh Chamber of Commerce invited me to speak at their prominent 60 Really Useful Minutes event and teach Chamber members ‘How to Bid and Win!’.

As a bid expert with over 11 years’ experience in leading bid teams to over £1 billion of contract wins, I fully understand that the process of bidding can be a mystifying for SME’s.

The beginner bidder can be derailed not only by the documents, but also by doubt and inertia which comes from not believing in themselves that they can do it. They ask themselves ‘What is the buyer looking for?’ and struggle to find the answers, they deflate themselves by saying things such as ‘Oh, this won’t be good enough, so why bother?’ or they scupper their chances of winning by leaving it to the last minute, making bid-critical mistakes which the buyer has no choice but to mark them down or fail them for.

However, there is good news…

In order to make bidding more inclusive, there have been key changes in public sector procurement legislation in Scotland. This has seen the minimum contract value put out to tender reduced to £50k, more contracts broken down into lots, minimum turnover reduced to 2x contract value, and a key focal point for bidders – detailed debrief information – so therefore they can improve and learn from the strong and weak points of their bid.

My presentation at 60 Really Useful Minutes was designed to help demystify the bidding process and equip bidders to plan for success by getting to the heart of what the buyer is looking for in their submitted bids.
The presentation was a winner with Chamber members with an interactive Q&A generating rich discussion.

One key question was:
Q: How do I get bid ready?
A: Encourage staff to Think Bid, develop a Bid Library, seek specialist external assistance

All eyes were also on the @AMBidServices Twitter Account with followers encouraging small businesses seeking tendering advice to get involved in our event whether during the event or remotely.

Whilst my presentation covered an extensive list of bid tips, the 3 key top tips I would leave with the delegates and bid interested parties are:
1) Relate your responses to each specific question and answer: Why Us? So What?
2) Ensure focus is on client ‘Hot Buttons
3) Review your bid in plenty of time before submission to eradicate mistakes”

My parting advice is:
Get yourself a bid coach. It worked for the GB Cycling team. On your marks, get set, Bid! We stand ready to help you Bid & Win!

For more information about AM Bid Services, please see our website:

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Business Comment is the Edinburgh Chamber of Commerce’s bi-monthly magazine. It provides insight on Edinburgh’s vibrant business community, with features on the city’s key sectors, interviews with leading figures and news on new business developments in the capital.
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