How to win business at London 2012

Top tips on getting to grips with CompeteFor.com:

1. Before you start

Gather together data on staff numbers and turnover; a basic financial forecast for the year ahead; any big contracts you?ve won in the past; your insurance policies; and a summary of skills and capabilities.

2. Sign up

Visit the site and click on the ?register? tab. At this point it?s just basic contact and log-in details. Then click one of the links to ?complete and publish your full business profile?. From here on in, remember to hit the save button at each page.

3. Your business

The first page is basic information. The ?business categories? section is crucial, but it can be confusing. You pick up to ten descriptions that apply to your company by searching the set list for appropriate keywords. Tick the ones that apply on the results page, hit ?view selected? to see an updated list, then ?add to profile?.

4. Minimum requirements

Health and safety, quality management and equal opportunities policies are a must, as are any appropriate professional indemnity and public liability insurance policies. Your local Business Link can help you to draft policies if you don?t have them ? and get you preferential rates for ISO 9001 quality certification.

5. Your finances

Your forecast turnover has to be at least four times the value of any contract you bid on. Include work you?re expecting to come in, too.

6. Diversity

The next two screens are questions on sex, race, religion and sexual orientation. You don?t have to answer, and the diversity of your staff isn?t going to win you more business. But LOCOG wants to monitor the proportion of minority-run businesses getting work.

7. Sell yourself

The Marketing Information section is your pitch. But you only have 255 characters to outline core capabilities and 600 characters for a marketing message. You can include three images in your profile.

8. Publish

The summary page tells you whether your firm is ?business-ready?. If it isn?t, contact local agencies for help. If your details change (eg turnover rises), you can edit your profile accordingly.

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