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  • Writer's pictureSJ Baublitz

Fill in Your Gaps

Here at Bid Boss, we’ve been honing our retainer model over the past three years to provide flexible support and guaranteed availability to business development teams. Clients who inquire about this model are asking for a diverse range of needs – it’s not just for parenting leave coverage! If you’re wondering if a retainer might be helpful for your team, read a couple success stories below to see the different ways we can provide support.


If you want to learn more about retainer-based support, head over to our contact page to schedule a call.


Case Study A - Filling a Gap

This is the most common need from our retainer clients. In fact, it was also the inspiration for our retainer model before Bid Boss was formed! When I was in my old fulltime role and went out on parenting leave, Whitney (then an independent consultant) was brought in as my temporary coverage. I remember feeling so relieved at the time that I was able to have this support. Instead of coming back from leave to a heap of work that had piled up while I was gone, or stressing that my colleagues were having to do double duty while I was away, I was able to step back in to relative calm (by business development standards, anyway!).


We’ve seen this work for both parenting leave coverage and to cover a temporary gap while your recruit a new full-time member. Some ways gap coverage has worked well:

  • When a business development team lead was out, a more junior member of the team stepped up to serve as interim director. Bid Boss then provided a part-time retainer manager to take over some of the interim director’s former workload so she could focus on leadership rather than live bids.

  • Client A’s business development team was down one person going into their busy season. They were able to cover managing live with their in-house team, but they were stretched thin just to cover the most urgent tasks. A small retainer from Bid Boss helped keep capture, landscape research, and other small but important tasks from falling off the map.

  • And, of course, we have also done the classic model, which is full coverage for the open position. You might be surprised to discover that this doesn’t usually require 40 hours a week of coverage! Our flexible model guarantees a baseline of support, but in the most recent parenting leave coverage we offered a baseline of 80 hours a month and which surged up to as much as 180 hours in their busiest month. During busier times we added on a second dedicated proposal manager. And, in another full coverage retainer, we flexed from one to eight consultants simultaneously supporting various proposals as the client’s pipeline varied in intensity.


It can be easy to think that this kind of coverage only makes sense if you're covering for a senior level position, but I would encourage you to consider whether it would be useful to have coverage if you loose an associate level staff member. Extra hands to support back chapters and proposal packaging can be just as essential!


Case Study B - Busy Season Backstopping

Many of our clients have that one busy season of the year, and they know just when it’s coming. Even when you’re fully staffed, you probably need some extra hands!


When clients think of consultant support for busy seasons, the default is usually lead technical writers, or maybe cost proposal support or a technical advisor. Bringing in a proposal manager can be more difficult, since you might feel like it’s more work than it’s worth to temporarily orient a consultant to your systems and processes (though you might be surprised how quickly an experienced consultant can jump in!).


That’s why one genius busy season hack is to bring on a backstopping / back chapter retainer. One particular client has brought in Bid Boss support for three busy seasons now, and their business development director recently commented to us that this retainer is the safety net that allows her to sleep at night. And we know teams have enough real problems to worry about, without the back chapters being the thing that is keeping you up!


In this retainer, Bid Boss has backstopped multiple proposals at once by taking some of the smaller tasks that are easy to hand off. This has included:

  • Formatting and editing CVs

  • White glove reviews and packaging

  • Copy editing


We know these kinds of things can be tedious and time consuming! At the same time, they’re easy to hand off, especially to an experienced consultant.



 

If your team is anticipating the coming busy season or you have some upcoming staff leave, now is the time to reach out about what a retainer may look like!

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