Courtney Tender Services is led by Stuart Reed, Managing Partner of the Courtney Reed Group.
We are proud of our track record and long history of writing high quality and compelling tender documents for various employers. For 15 years, Stuart has enjoyed a successful career in national sales including new business development and managing multi-million pound accounts with some of the UK’s leading construction firms and public sector organisations.
After starting Courtney Tender Services in 2015, Stuart has been helping firms across the North West to find, complete and successfully secure a wide variety of lucrative bid processes including:
• Commercial Proposals
• Requests for Quotation
• Advanced Requests for Quotation
We help clients across a variety of industries. The experts at Courtney Tender Service also have an in-depth and specialised experience in:
• Social Care and Health Services
• Construction (including new build, refurbishment and maintenance)
• Web Design
A range of affordable options are available for all businesses, no matter what your requirements, so give us a call to discuss how we can help you!
Determine current compliance with standardised Selection Questionnaire, such as:
Everything contained in the Tender Ready Package plus….
Full writing package including:
*face to face meeting dependent upon client availability & location, plus timescales for submission
**where required, customer can submit personally if preferred
Are you running out of time?
Have you left those tender documents on your desk for too long?
Struggling to find time to put a compelling response together?
Deadline fast approaching and stuck for inspiration?
Call Courtney Tender Services NOW to see how we can take this off your hands and get your submission back on track!
(We aim to respond to all enquiries within 2 working hours of receipt)
This offer is strictly subject to availability and will require client input, often at short notice. We reserve the right to charge for work done in the event that tenders cannot be submitted due to lack of client availability or information.
Courtney Tender Services run regular training to provide businesses of all sizes with the tools and confidence that they need to be successful in all aspects of tenders and bids. From basic introductory courses explaining processes and procedures, right through to classroom style practical exercises, there is something for everyone within our range of courses.
We can also provide on-site training for companies with sales and bid teams to ensure that skills and knowledge are kept up-to-date at all times, so please let us know via the contact us form at the bottom of the page if you would like to discuss bespoke training for your organisation.
A recent tender opportunity brought us the chance to work with Opus Media, a local film and television production company. They had this to say about our work:
“I was delighted with the service I received from Courtney Tender Services.
Stuart took the time to learn about my business and the nature of the tender requirements, and then advised me explaining details of the direction we should take on the tender. The tender was written in great detail, with perfect attention to details, and was delivered well ahead of schedule despite the tight deadline.
I am delighted with the service and would recommend anybody looking for someone to work on their tender to look no further than Courtney Tender Services”
A recent proof-reading exercise was undertaken for Digital Config, a local provider of web and IT services:
“We recently needed to complete a Tender Application that had a very short deadline.
We had met Stuart and Elaine from Courtney Reed Group some time ago during our usual business networking events and watched their business grow from strength to strength – so we knew these were the guys to help. And we were right.
The support they provided from start to finish within such a short timescale was perfect and has opened a new avenue that our business can now pursue.
Highly recommended for their professionalism and expertise.”
Assistance was provided on recent tender opportunity to Danny Clarke Training:
“What I like about Stuart is his combination of professionalism based in speaking in real terms aka English that’s really beneficial. Stuart understands the language & terminology that tenders require, the ‘hoops needed to be jumped through’ and the key response elements that the marking panel is looking for.
His best point is that he doesn’t smooch i.e. flatters you that your original thoughts/comments will suffice for an application. He will politely challenge & question you on what you’re really trying to get across. He has been a strong support to me and I would highly recommend him to others”
A recent complex tender document prompted Maple Health Group Ltd to engage Courtney Tender Services in a proof-reading capacity:
“We asked you to provide consultancy allowing us to complete the work and gain knowledge. We found you very responsive and efficient, providing detailed and clear feedback on our submission. At one stage when tender fatigue set in you provided motivation to keep us on track. We cannot thank you enough for those words of encouragement.
The work that you provided was to a level of sophistication that gave us the confidence that we had made the right decision. You took our application to another level and gave us more confidence in our submission. We would highly recommend you and Courtney Tender Services to others wanting move into this arena.”
“Stuart, thank you for supporting our bid to win a significant piece of work to deliver Coaching & Mentoring Programmes to three Universities. Preparing a bid can be extremely daunting for businesses like ours, yet there’s often a reluctance to outsource to experts, feeling that ‘We can do this ourselves’. We may be reluctant to spend money on expertise with without knowing what the outcome of the bid will be.
I decided in this case I was tired of spending so much time on bids with diminishing returns and I made the decision to make a change, one that would give me the best chance of securing the work and freeing up my own time to run the business.
This has turned out to be a great decision. You made the process so much easier than in the past, I found the recording of our initial conversations, through various iterations to the presentation of the final document much, much easier and I had confidence that an expert eye was on the proceedings throughout. Nothing was too much trouble and you were keen to find out how it had been received.
I was delighted to get a phone call to say that we had won the contract, alongside some informal feedback to say our written submission was by far the best received in terms of quality. I have no hesitation in encouraging others to let go and outsource their bid/tender writing to Courtney Tender Services.”
“Stuart and I have been working together for around 2 years now and can honestly say it has been an easy, pleasant and amicable relationship. Stuart and his team work to a very professional standard which helps massively when tendering for high profile contracts. His knowledge on tenders is unbelievable.
Currently between Stuart and ourselves we have accomplished a 75% success rate on the tenders we have submitted and I firmly believe we would be nowhere near that mark if it was not for Stuart.
We look forward to continuing our relationship and hope for further contracts in the future.”
Tendering for public sector business can open up a world of opportunities for new start-ups and SME’s, in all of its various forms. The composition of documentation, from simple Requests for Quotation right through to multi-million-pound opportunities going through the full OJEU tender process, can have a profound effect on the ability of firms to tap into this market, in terms of resource, time and capability.
So what are the key factors holding companies back from getting involved within the public-sector market, and what are the key ways to combat them?
Even for large companies, there are always reasons not to go for a particular tender, but the key is to establish effective decision-making processes and ensure that you understand the likely requirements for a compelling bid within your industry.
For more information on any aspect of tender, call Courtney Tender Services on 0151 601 6263
With St. Valentine's Day fast approaching, we thought we'd take a look at how tendering can be such an emotive word!
The word tender can inspire many different emotions, from outright fear to absolute contempt, depending on an individual’s knowledge, experience and understanding of the process. This gets some people palpitating at the very mention of the word. So, what are the key facts that you need to know to get started in the world of tendering?
A tender is, in essence, nothing more than a bid. You will likely need to provide pricing and a proposal/qualitative response to be successful, and the structure is often quite rigid. Most public sector tenders are governed by European legislation (though this is likely to change following Brexit), and many opportunities are advertised via something called OJEU. This is the Official Journal of the European Union, and any public contracts anticipated to be worth in excess of certain thresholds must be advertised through this.
How do you even find tenders to go for? Well, there are a large number of websites these days that collate information on new tenders and detail how to obtain the tender documents. Some of the more common ones are:
There are many more sites, some location or industry specific, and some research is advised for those companies not sure where to go!
There are several stages of tendering under the OJEU process. Depending on the type and size of contract, any or all of the following could be used
This can look like a daunting process to some companies, leading to the fear factor mentioned earlier. It can take months to complete the tender process but effective planning and monitoring can smooth the path to success.
Finally, no matter how all of the above looks, remember that there are people standing ready to help! WE LOVE TENDERS!!!
Give us a call on 0151 601 6263 or 07958 566 154 to find out more about how we can make tendering easy!!
From politics to the weather you can’t fail to notice that we are in a state of widespread change now. Brexit, a new US president and even the size of Toblerones … change is inevitable and the fear of the unknown is a phenomenon that most of us can relate to. However, when it comes to business, it can be one of the main factors that can hinder growth and prosperity.
Through our tender -support services, we work with business owners and managers on a daily basis, who are applying for large-scale tenders for the first time. It fascinates us to discover the reasons why many successful businesses, who are so clearly capable of winning lucrative tenders, are not throwing their hat in the ring more.
Our experience would suggest that one issue that crops up over and over again is fear of failure. You may have to fill in forms, make a pitch, do a fancy presentation and people may snigger, right? What if you mess up and then don’t get it anyway? What’s more, you may not be sure if you can deliver the requirements for the entire lifetime of the contract.
As business owners, we are not particularly good at blowing our own trumpets, so an important activity to make sure that you do regularly, is reflect on and review your progress to understand how much you have accomplished and how far you have come. It is also time to let go of the idea that you always need to be 100% perfect. Sometimes, it is essential to take risks to reap the rewards.
Perhaps, you are busy enough? It Is hard to find enough time in the day to get through your ever-growing list, let alone find time for a work/life balance. Taking the time to build a winning team can be the difference, whether that be staff members or freelance delivery partners. The peace of mind that comes from knowing that you can pull a team together to pull off any project places you in a strong position and ready for take-off.
Another old chestnut – you don’t know where to start, or don’t know the difference between a poor tender and a good tender. A poor tender can often be caused by a business not having the correct guidance during the preparation. From errors to stating the benefits with supporting evidence, a few small tweaks and changes in your approach may be all that it takes. And rule number one – always read the documentation fully to understand what is required of you.
In short, when it comes to the things that are holding you back, we have seen and heard it all; every client needs our help for their own individual reasons. Initially, a friendly discussion will establish your development needs. At that point, we will walk you through a range of affordable options from ad-hoc support to our fully outsourced bid service. Ready to feel the fear and do it anyway? Contact us today on 0151 601 6263 for more details.
Courtney Tender Services clients are often finding that, when writing their own bids and tenders, the initial ‘buzz’ of starting the completion of documents can soon disappear and give way to the phenomenon of ‘Tender Fatigue’. This can have a serious impact on the ability of your submission to be successful since it often means that the vital final days prior to submission do not have sufficient concentration being devoted to the task at hand.
Tender fatigue is entirely understandable, and is borne of human nature. Most of us get bored when undertaking repetitive or drawn out tasks, and so the deterioration of effort that befalls the average tender throughout the completion window is entirely understandable.
This is particularly the case for those who have to take time out of their normal tasks to complete tender documentation, meaning a backlog for them once complete. The urge to rush through the writing process when you see a build-up of unread emails in your inbox is a difficult thing to resist!
So what can be done to avoid tender fatigue? The suggestions below may help:
Pre-planning of both the schedule and the content for completion of your submission is of critical importance. Whether you are an individual completing tenders for the first time, or the leader of an experienced bid team, having a well-constructed timeline to allow document submission within required deadlines will pay huge dividends. It will also help to combat tender fatigue by establishing deadlines for completion of first drafts, completion of initial proof reads, the review/amendment process plus the individuals involved and their responsibilities. A round table meeting is recommended upon receipt of documentation for those who are fortunate enough to have several people working on tender submissions.
Most people can write better quality answers when they understand the subject matter they are discussing, and tender fatigue is often reduced as people feel more confident in their own abilities when the content is highly familiar to them. For this reason, where a company producing a bid has different departments (for example HR, Legal, Operations, Sales, Account Management, Finance etc.), it is recommended that questions on these individual areas of expertise are completed by those who know the subject best.
Where ample time is available for completion of a tender, it is always a good idea to allow some rest time from bid duties, as this has several benefits:
If you would like to understand more about tender fatigue or think your processes could do with freshening up to help avoid it, give Courtney Tender Services a call on 0151 601 6263 and we’ll be happy to discuss your needs!
When we’re talking to companies, whether start-ups or established, small or large, about the potential for them to get involved in tendering for public sector business, we come across a wide variety of reasons why they haven’t yet, will do in future, or don’t think they’ll ever be involved in this area of potential business.
However, the three most common reasons we come across are:
This is an understandable reaction for the most part, given the level of misjudgements and misconceptions that people either hear from suppliers, colleagues and clients or make for themselves regarding the tendering process. It’s true that there is a very strict procedure by which public sector organisations have to abide when advertising for suppliers for the majority of the goods and services they need.
However, ask yourself the following question: how do people learn to ride a bike? The answer is that they practice, maybe needing stabilisers for a while before they are ready to go on two wheels for good. Tendering is not easy, but neither is it impossible, and Courtney Tender Services can act as your ‘stabilisers’ by assisting and guiding you through the process, either until you are ready to go it alone or on a continual basis.
We hear this comment a great deal every week, and as a small business ourselves, Courtney Tender Services understand the difficulties of making time for something which may not seem as though it is part of your core business. Think about things a slightly different way, however, and the problem takes on more of an ‘opportunity’ feel!
What if a potential client was to call you and say that they would like to begin detailed discussions regarding your products and/or services with a view to signing a long-term contract with you in the near future. Would you turn them down on the premise that the lead may not work out, or would you grasp the opportunity and try to secure the business? In essence, when tendering for public sector business, there is an investment in time but the potential rewards are great. Courtney Tender Services can write tenders for you to minimise the internal time spent on completing documents, effectively working on your behalf to generate compelling tenders and long term business.
This is an interesting point, given that there are now measures in place to prevent SME’s from being discriminated against in many tenders. These include:
There are of course, still factors that may influence public sector buyers towards larger companies, but in most cases nowadays the perceived gap can be closed considerably.
If you have any questions or doubts over getting involved with Public Sector tendering, call Courtney Tender Services on 0151 601 6263 to arrange a free consultation.
Brexit came as a shock to many business people, myself included, with the uncertainty surrounding both the process of exiting the EU and the British economy in the meantime dominating many people's thoughts.
Many British companies are now no doubt evaluating the likely impact of the decision on their business, whether it be trade with EU-base customers, procurement from EU-based suppliers, or industry specific nuances that may be affected. But how will leaving the EU affect procurement legislation within the UK once Article 50 has finally been invoked and the 2-year period expires?
The first thing to mention is that nothing will happen for some time yet, and so companies that have spent years coming to terms with OJEU processes and tendering methodologies need not worry in the short term.
The UK has, over the years of our membership of the EU, taken a leading role in development of the European procurement directives that have guided our own UK legislation. For this reason, it is unlikely that, after Brexit, we will experience much change anyway, given that we have agreed to and indeed proposed much of the content ourselves. Whilst there may be some changes to contracting thresholds, minimum turnover requirements, evaluation methods and the like, these are unlikely to be earth shattering in size.
Current contracts procured via the current Public Contracts Regulations 2015 will not cease to exist once any new legislation is eventually enacted, since the contracts are held between the purchasing authority and the provider. This includes contracts for goods and services with central government bodies such as the MoD and Crown Commercial Services. So long term arrangements in place now will remain so following Brexit (assuming they don't expire by the time this happens of course!) and extension periods can still be granted based on current contractual agreements. This last point is an important one, as it could bring extra reward in the form of certainty for the provision of service excellence.
Overall the message is one of 'Don't panic!' and carry doing what you're doing. Even when (and if) change does come within the UK public procurement landscape, it won't be huge, and it certainly won't be for some time yet.
If you’re unsure about where your business stands with regards to bids or current contracts, give us a call now on 0151 601 6263
0151 601 6263 | firstname.lastname@example.org
Suite 115, 1st Floor, No 1. Old Hall Street, Liverpool, L3 9HF
Courtney Reed Group
No 1 Old Hall Street