Supplier-Connection: The Supplier Spotlight Contest
There are times when a small business cannot fulfill all of the requirements of a large RFP, especially for larger corporations. Some SBEs might not have the resources or financial ability to expand. Other times you’ll get asked to bid on an RFP in your core industry but you don’t have the expertise to handle a small percentage of the requirements.
Do you attempt to close on the business first and then expand your products/services to fulfill the requirement? Do you invest time in lining up the required skills before you have the business? Or do you wait? Since we must be extremely conservative in an economic downturn, we have to be creative in our approach to business development.
One way to improve your chances on an RFP/RFQ is to establish strategic partners. Here’s a quick overview of how:
- Determine if there’s enough of your core business products/services included in the RFP to make it worth your investment in time.
- Identify the products and services you cannot provide
- Source a strategic partner to fill or exceed all requirements by connecting with your business friends and contacts, perform online searches, and/or search online databases like Supplier-Connection’s (they have a Small Business Profile you can search).
- You must be able to deliver world-class service in all areas to have a fighting chance. Make sure, if you don’t know the potential partner, get and check references.
- You must be flexible and willing to adapt in order to increase your success rate.
The strategic advantage to the customer is you providing a “one-source solution” that will streamline the process and provide world-class service.
You won’t win every RFP but your ability to adapt will increase your winning percentage and help grow your business.