This toolkit is related to our training on Finding Opportunities for RFAs, RFPs, and RFQs available for all Aidpreneur members in the Training section. 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 multi-step process:
- You need identify new opportunities;
- You need to determine which opportunities you will pursue;
- You need to develop and submit proposals for the work you are most interested in;
- When you are selected for a particular piece of work, you need to successfully negotiate and execute a contract with a client.
The first step in the new business development process – finding and identifying new opportunities that are relevant to your practice or business – might seem like a no-brainer. Set up your practice or business, hang out your shingle on the street and let the contracts roll in! But the reality is that finding work relevant to your expertise (and, hopefully, your passion), and within your ability to actually perform, should be considered as carefully as any other part of your business. These considerations include:
- What is the geographic scope of your practice/business?
- What types of funding do you pursue?
- Where do you find sources of information about new procurement opportunities?
- How do you create a system to capture relevant opportunities?
- Are you prepared to hand over selected opportunities to the next step in your pipeline management process?
We’ve developed a template to help you consider these issues and, most importantly, provided you with a space to write them down so that you always know where to go when wondering how to find your next gig.