What is Consortium Building
Many tenders, even quite small ones, require a wide range of skills and experience to deliver the services properly. If you normally work alone that may prevent you from going for work that would be interesting and profitable. One option that many consultants use is to team up with other like minded people to put together a consortium bid, either with other individuals or with a larger services organisation.
The first step is to find the right person to team up with - you may already know someone but if you don't one very effective option is to post an Opportunity on Skillfair. Opportunities work just like Projects in that we email everyone with the appropriate skills and then put them in touch with you. The difference is that an opportunity clearly signals that this is not a definite piece of work and that some up front work will be needed to get things moving.
Having advertised your opportunity you can use the contact management facilities in Skillfair to work your way to a short list.
Before starting work on a joint bid there are a number of things you need to get sorted out so that all parties are clear how things will work.
Clients tend not to like complicated arrangements so you need to decide which company is going to bid for the contract so that you can present a simple, unified approach to the client.
You should have a formal agreement with everyone who is going to bid with you, dealing with issues like confidentiality, intellectual property etc
You should also have an agreement setting out the commercial arrangements both before and after the contract is awarded. This doesn't have to be complicated - take a look at our resource centre for some example documents.
You need a plan setting out who's doing what towards the bid and what deadline you're working to.
The first time you do a joint bid that should cover it, but if you find the approach works and want to keep on then it may be worth investing in a separate identity for your consortium with business cards, website etc.
This helps when talking to clients as you need to make sure that everyone you work with approaches clients in the same way, it's fine for people to say that they work as associates for your company but if they start handing out different business cards clients will just get confused!