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Expert Proposals is 5!

Birthdays are a great time to pause and reflect. A time to look back and a time to plan.

Looking back

It’s a little hard to believe that Expert Proposals is 5 today. 9 May 2017 is the date that the business name was first registered. During that time we have assisted hundreds of clients and well over a thousand proposals.

We are very grateful to the entire Expert Proposals team, our clients, and our network.

Here’s a very quick look back on how the business has grown:

The Team

When Doug Rutter started the business in 2017 it was just him. In 2018 Rebecca Skagestad joined the team as our chief bid writer. In 2019 the team grew again with the addition of Danina Dy who provided admin and client support services. In 2020 we started to work with copywriters and graphic designers for our social media activities. In 2021 Ruth Mackenzie joined the team as an additional bid writer. And also in 2021 Suz O’Callaghan joined the team as our Project Coordinator.

Software

One of our core values is innovation and as part of that focus, we are always on the lookout for the best tools to help us work efficiently and make it easy to collaborate with clients.

  • Microsoft Office – We have used Office365 from the very beginning and still do today.
  • Microsoft Teams – We started using this as our client collaboration platform in 2019. Prior to that we used OneDrive and Dropbox.
  • Trello was our first project management tool. It’s a great tool but we quickly outgrew it.
  • Zenkit – We stepped up from Trello to Zenkit in 2018.
  • ClickUp – Due to its advanced features and flexible views we have used ClickUp since 2019.
  • Zoho One suite – We have used the CRM and a range of the other tools in the suite since 2019

Industries

One of the things we love is the variety of clients we work with. We have worked with clients in hundreds of different industry sectors and helped them prepare proposals to the private sector and all levels of government.

Looking forward

It’s nice to look back, but we prefer to look forward! What’s on the roadmap for Expert Proposals in the years ahead?

Here are some thoughts in no particular order. There’s no guarantee that all of these will happen, but they might!

  • Systemisation. As many of you might now, we love systems. And the biggest goal we have for 2022 is to ensure that all of our business systems are fully documented. This ensures that our clients continue to receive the high level of service they are used to receiving from us, we remain an efficient team and we can scale. We have had robust client project systems in place for many years and these are very mature. It’s the balance of systems, many of which are internal that also need some love to.
  • A Quarterly or Monthly Newsletter. We haven’t prioritised this at all. We have managed to get an end-of-year Christmas message out though. For some time now we have wanted to start a Quarterly newsletter and if we had enough to share we would increase the frequency.
  • A Community Forum. Over the years we have also wanted to create a forum for our clients to be able to interact – not only with us but also amongst themselves. A couple of things have held us back on this:
    • We treat client confidentiality very seriously. We have an NDA with some of our clients however we act as if we had an NDA with every single one of them. What this means is that none of our clients know about our other clients. We have some ideas on how to manage this.
    • Which platform to choose? Linkedin seems to be a popular business networking platform, but the groups/forums are not very good and are largely unused. Facebook Groups are much better managed however a lot of people are turning away from Facebook and Meta. And there are other platforms like Discord and Slack which could have potential. However we are not very comfortable hosting our client communityforums on someone else’s platform. If we are going to do it, we will probably host it on our own website using one of many leading software forum tools.
    • Would our clients be interested in this? What would we talk about? Well that remains to be seen and we’re happy to just build it and see if they come!
  • Additional Service Offerings. We don’t want to say too much on this however there is work in progress!

That’s it for now. Again a big thanks to our team, our clients and the friends of Expert Proposals! It’s been a great adventure so far and we now look forward to the next five years!