A few weeks ago I had the chance to share a couple of case studies that show how Bid Boss's retainer model has been applied to provide clients with flexible support and guaranteed availability over the past three years. Clients inquire about a wide range of challenges which can be supported by a retainer, so I'm back with a few more stories of how our retainer clients have used Bid Boss support!
Case Study - Building a Business Development System from the Ground Up
Bid Boss consultants have worked with Client B, a small business in the development sector, for over two years to support their transition to a more formal business development structure. When we first began working with Client B, they were not quite ready for a full-time business development person. We find this is often the case for clients, especially with smaller teams: adding another team member is a big stairstep up, but what is needed is a more gradual progression to match the speed of growth.
In the first year of the retainer, Bid Boss helped the Client to build their business development strategy and processes. As part of this, we worked with them to draft a position description for their first full-time business development staff member.
In the second year of the retainer and beyond, we’ve continued to support the build-out of Client B’s systems and processes in partnership with their staff business development lead. Bid Boss acts as the second member of the business development team, but whereas a single hire would be limited to a single person’s expertise and abilities, Bid Boss is able to cover a wide variety of functions. When Client B has live proposals, we provide surge support, including recently staffing a full proposal team of six people. The rest of the time, the dedicated Retainer Manager acts as a second member of the Client’s team, monitoring opportunities, maintaining a proposal inputs library, and supporting capture.
Case Study - Partnership for Solo & Small Teams
We know a lot about the challenges that small and solo business development teams face. In fact, we have a whole Boss-to-Boss Peer Support Network dedicated to their unique needs!
One challenge we hear from almost everyone in this situation is the difficulty of filling every business development role yourself. Additionally, solo and small teams often miss having a thought partner like they might have had previously on larger team. It is so valuable to have another person who understands your work who can help you strategize, or even serve as someone to bounce ideas off of.
This is exactly what we provide in our retainer with this client. In addition to thought and strategy partnership for their one-person business development team, we take smaller projects off the team lead’s plate (like writing capability statements or developing proposal tools and templates) so she can focus on the tasks where her leadership is most valuable. Then, when it came time for a major bid that our client had been preparing for in capture for months, our retainer manager was able to bring in a full proposal team to write, manage, and cost a winning bid. Our client confirmed that normally, she would be concerned that bringing on a mostly-consultant proposal team would be inefficient or chaotic. But in this case, she had been working with the Bid Boss retainer manager for over a year and the proposal team had been able to support throughout capture. The team’s familiarity with both the client and the opportunity allowed them to smoothly onboard and step into lead roles, even on a highly complex bid.
Is Our Next Retainer Client You?
As you can see from our case studies, Bid Boss retainers can support a wide variety of business development needs. We typically offer baselines of anywhere from 40 to 120 hours per month for a minimum of three months, which we have found is the minimum amount of time needed to onboard to a team and work effectively.
Your baseline is the amount of guaranteed availability we commit to each month, but we give preferential availability to our retainer clients for extra hours when they’re needed. Each retainer client has a dedicated retainer manger who is their primary point of contact and project manager. That way, even if we bring on additional consultants to support various work requests, the retainer manager manages their work and streamlines communication through a single channel.
I lead our retainer portfolio and would be happy to schedule a call with you if you’re interested in retainer-based support. Just shoot me an email at email@example.com.