NMD Tender for Growth - Platinum Recruitment
Are you curious about the NMD Tender for Growth Programme? We caught up with Deirdre Sharvin, Director at Platinum Recruitment, a local Downpatrick based business which provides recruitment services across a range of sectors. Deirdre spoke to us about the advice and support she received from our NMD Tender for Growth programme and explains why taking part in the programme has helped them win new business.
Hear what Deirdre had to say in our interview with her below.
Tell us about your business?
Platinum Recruitment is a local, unaffiliated recruitment company based in Downpatrick, which was established in 2006.
We work across a number of private and public sectors, servicing clients including local businesses, Councils and Health and Social Care Trusts. We currently have a team of six dedicated and experienced recruitment professionals.
How do you normally secure new business?
Business development involves networking, canvassing, social media, cold calling and often a lot of referrals. Of course, receiving positive testimonials and recommendations from existing clients is brilliant, but we cannot always rely on this alone.
What was your previous experience with tender submissions like?
We’ve always got involved and applied for tender opportunities, and have also been included on several frameworks. But that doesn’t mean you are guaranteed contracts.
With so much competition in our sector and as many of the bigger firms had dedicated professionals in-house to help them apply for important tenders, we found it more difficult. We felt we may have become a little stagnant when it came to tender success, so had focused our attention on other means of winning new business.
What made you join the NMD Tender for Growth Programme?
I spotted the information on the Tender for Growth Programme in the monthly NMD Business E-zine. It came at the perfect time for us, as we were actually working on a tender submission and felt we could definitely do with some additional help.
Up until then, we felt our tender writing had become very repetitive and lacked a lot of our new skills and experience. We thought a fresh eye and some new thinking would certainly help us become more successful in our applications. Due to stiff competition, it is important for us to stand out from the crowd - that’s why our tender writing skills are crucial.
What support did you receive from the Programme?
We were assigned a dedicated mentor called Gordon. Due to the circumstances at the time, most of our work together took place online over Zoom, which worked out well as we had a short timeframe to work towards. It meant we could get to work immediately on enhancing our current tender application with the support and watchful eye of our experienced new mentor.
How successful has the Programme been for your business?
The submission we received support with via the NMD Tender for Growth Programme was successful, and we now have a significant new public sector client who we are really excited to be working with.
There’s no doubt that Gordon’s fresh approach and an outsider’s perspective on how we drafted our applications was invaluable, which ultimately led to us scoring ‘Excellent’ on all of our responses.
What other ways did you benefit from the Programme?
Participating in the Programme has helped give us a boost in confidence. We know we are good at what we do, but the support has helped us demonstrate this when we put pen to paper and stop us overlooking some of our skills and past experiences.
It also encouraged us to look beyond our local markets, and explore opportunities that might be available to us in the Republic of Ireland. We are now already set up to provide our service to those in the Border counties. We hadn’t thought about preparing our business for this before.
What would you say to someone considering taking part in the NMD Tender for Growth Programme?
Take it on. Even if you think you are good at tender writing and have had some good successes, the chances are you could still improve.
If you’re small like us, then you’re probably writing the same stuff over and over again. Use this opportunity to review your application processes and refresh your content. Like many small businesses, you may not know just how good you are and what skills you have, so make sure you are not undervaluing yourself.