Welcome to this training from Aidpreneur on finding opportunities for RFAs, RFPs and RFQs. I’m Stephen Ladek, Host of the Terms of Reference podcast and Principal of International Solutions Group.
I’m sure you’re aware that winning new business or finding new sources of funds is a critical factor in your success as an independent professional or small company. Without a regular and consistent flow of new business or funds, running your company becomes increasingly difficult – it hampers your ability to think long-term, it creates difficult situations and conversations when you have to pay bills and, ultimately, is the deciding factor regarding whether or not you remain solvent.
Acquiring new business is a multistep process. First you need identify new opportunities, second, you need to determine which opportunities you will pursue, third, you need to develop and submit proposals for the work you are most interested in, and finally, when you are selected for a particular piece of work, you need to successfully negotiate and execute a contract with a client.
In this training, I will be focusing on the first step in the new business development process: finding and identifying new opportunities that are relevant to your practice or business.
By the end of this training you should be able to determine the geographic scope of where you will look for business, determine the type of funding you will pursue, identify relevant sources for tenders you can respond to, set up a system to ensure that opportunities consistently flow to you, create a process to capture those opportunities effectively, and finally, be able to pass those opportunities efficiently to the next step of the business development process: the “go / no go” meeting.
Importantly, this training is focused on the business development process related to RFAs, RFPs and RFQs. This training will not cover other types of business development through consolidated sales, acquiring donations or other processes. These are covered in other trainings here at Aidpreneur, and I hope you will take the time to review those trainings as well.
Before diving into the other modules in this training, there are four prerequisites that are important for you to have completed so you can take immediate action on the skills and processes described here.
First, you should have already established your practice or your business. While this may seem like a no-brainer, our goal here at Aidpreneur is to help you create a successful practice or small company. If you have not already taken the steps and “made the leap”, I encourage you to take a step back and get this done.
Second, you should be clear on your business model. When I say ‘business model’, it’s just another way of saying, “How will you earn money or acquire new funding?” Will you sell products? Are you selling a service or services? Is there some other value that you will be exchanging with your clients or customers for the money that they provide you?
Third, I strongly encourage you to take the time to define your niche, or your specific area of expertise. You should be able to answer the question: what specific product or service do I offer for sale to my client or the organization providing me with funding? By clearly defining your niche, your ability to identify appropriate opportunities be greatly improved.
Finally, you should be able to be specific about how you or your company can “add value” for your client or the organization providing you with funding. Sometimes people call this your “special sauce” and it should relate to the unique experience, skills, tools or products and services that you offer that sets you apart from other professionals or companies. Again, much like your niche, this will be incredibly important when thinking about how you can identify new opportunities.
As a final closing thought, as I have delivered this and other trainings to individuals and companies over the years, it has not been uncommon for people to say to me that business development, and in particular the identification of new opportunities “seems like a fairly simple and straightforward process.” And that is true.
But what I’ve also found over the last decade is that an incredibly small percentage of individuals and companies have created a process they follow regularly, and an even smaller percentage of individuals and companies actually execute on that process with any reliability.
Your goal as a member of Aidpreneur should be to take these processes for building your business for managing projects and for administering your practice or your company and use them to create systems that you execute on every single day without fail.
Thank you for choosing to participate in this training on finding opportunities for RFAs, RFPs and RFQs. If you have any questions at all, please remember to contact us at training@Aidpreneur.com.