I don’t know about you, but I’m starting to feel a real sense of urgency about 2016.

There’s so much opportunity coming down the line for the Yorkshire & Humber region, but if local businesses don’t grab it, it could soon be gone.

Many bosses I speak to are almost paralysed by fear and self-doubt. Because of their size, they question whether they can really do what’s required to convince the decision makers to give them a shot.

In my view, gearing up for a successful bid is just like training to win a race – commitment to making small, incremental improvements, every day, really does yield winning results.

Having your goal in mind

I don’t mean to sound twee, but you’ll never reach your destination if you don’t know where you’re going.

Only when you’ve made this fundamental decision, can you even begin to refer to a route map which will get you there.

One thing the big industrial players I’ve worked with over the years are very good at, is planning. As many of them have shareholders and Boards to pacify, they have to be.

Not only will most of them have planned ahead for this year already, they will probably have one eye looking over the horizon, to five years’ time and beyond.

This is why they often win work over the smaller players.

If that sounds like you, don’t despair. There are some simple steps you can take to get in the game, and have a realistic chance of taking the trophy.

Start with questions, not answers

Sometimes I find the most effective way of finding solutions, is to start by asking the right questions.

If yours is a small or medium sized business and you feel you should be doing more in 2016, but don’t know how, start by reflecting on the year just gone.

What bids did you win?
What went right and what went wrong?
Were there any bids you lost that you could have won?
What is your competition and market sector doing that you’re not?
Are you focusing on the right target market – should you be going national or keeping your focus in the region?

Once you’ve given some thought to these questions, the next step is to decide what you’re going to do about it.

Consider how you can create more certainty around your bidding.

For example, are your teams, systems and company attitudes right for the job? Do you have a handle on the new procurement legislation introduced in 2015, and can you meet its requirements?

There is growing momentum around schemes like the Northern Powerhouse, designed to devolve power and economic weight from London to city regions like Leeds, Sheffield and Manchester. Not to mention once-in-a-lifetime regeneration opportunities, such as Hull City of Culture 2017.

All of this means this is no time for SMEs to rest on their laurels.

Here to help

If this process has got you thinking, why not get in touch and find out how Bid Pro Quo could help?

With our wealth of experience across all sectors, my associates and I can support you in finding your answers to these vital questions.

You can contact us via This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or 0845 83 85441, and I promise we'll help you make 2016 a pivotal one for your business? Don't miss out on next month's blog, where I'll be exploring why it’s not enough to play the local card.

What's your view of the Northern Powerhouse, and the opportunities it heralds for the Yorkshire & Humber region? Do you think the North/South divide has reduced or become bigger as a result? Do you believe that too much of the newly generated work is going to more affluent areas? I'd love to hear your views via This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

Discover what went wrong

If the questions above have brought back all-too painful memories of bids you’ve fought for and lost, why not take advantage of our one hour, pro bono, ‘Bid Buster’ review service?

This could significantly improve your future chances by pinpointing what went wrong, and providing you with a plan of action to put it right.

Our expert panel will give you feedback you can turn into success.

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