PacPrint Forums: Funding Your Future
We’re constantly told that to succeed in a constantly changing market, businesses need to innovate – but how do you fund your future development? The PacPrint Forum Series tackles this important issue with sessions on Friday 26 May on competitive tenders, grants and other funding options.
In the first session at 1.30pm, Celia Jordaan will step businesses through the process of tendering.
Jordaan, who is the Principal Procurement Advisor for Ichiban Commercial Solutions, has 21 years international and corporate experience in the areas of procurement, tenders, supply chains, contract management, law and risk. In this session, she will outline strategies to make tendering easy – and to boost business performance and improve the bottom line.
“The session will look at why businesses might choose to tender for work, how to assess and prepare your business for the tendering process, what’s involved in putting together a successful tender, and how to get the most out of the process, win or lose,” she says.
“Tendering is big business, and an excellent way to establish solid, reliable revenue streams that can fund your business development and diversification, but many businesses are daunted by the prospect. Some people don’t know where to find tender opportunities, or think the process is too difficult or time-consuming. Others assume you have to meet exceptionally high external standards to even be considered.
“In fact, a lot of my clients are surprised to find just how low the barriers to participation are for many tenders, and how straightforward the process can be once you know how to approach it – and that’s what I’ll be sharing in this PacPrint forum session.”
Most importantly, Jordaan says that tendering can be a highly valuable exercise for businesses whether they win the work or not. “Tendering is an amazing opportunity to see where the market is, to benchmark your performance, and identify weaknesses in how you are communicating,” she says. “By getting feedback on unsuccessful tenders you can work towards the improvements that will deliver contracts in the future.”
This session will be followed by a presentation from John Macdonald, Assistant State Manager – Victoria for AusIndustry Business Services (the Department of Industry, Innovation & Science), who will outline a range of government initiatives and programs which may be of value to PacPrint visitors.
“Industries like print face great challenges, but also enormous opportunities,” Macdonald says. “The Government is keen to help businesses innovate and I’m looking forward to introducing some of the ways in which businesses can access assistance and clarifying who might be eligible.”
Established businesses, he says, may benefit from the Entrepreneurs Program which facilitates access to valuable services like professional business evaluations, specialist support to overcome barriers to growth and supply chain facilitation.
“Under this program, eligible businesses can access co-funded business growth grants of up to $20K to help them access external expertise to implement recommended improvements,” Macdonald explains. “This program also has an ‘Accelerating Commercialisation’ component, under which established or start-up businesses, entrepreneurs and researchers who own the IP for new products and services can access funding and co-funded grants of up to $1 million to bring those to market.”
Other initiatives which he believes could deliver benefits to future-focused businesses in the print sector include the Advanced Manufacturing Industry Growth Centre Initiative and the $653 million Cooperative Research Centres Program.
“The Advanced Manufacturing Industry Growth Centre aims to build capability and stronger industry systems through a collaborative, industry-led approach. The aim is to enhance the competitiveness of our advanced manufacturing sector, so that Australian business becomes – and remains – globally competitive.
“The CRC Program is also led by industry. It’s a merit-based grant program that supports collaborative partnerships between researchers and SMEs, and has a proven track record for developing important new technologies, products and services.”
For businesses already attempting to make or do something new, and already involved in R&D – like testing new or improved products, processes or services, Macdonald suggests the R&D Tax Incentive may also be worth investigating as it can provide tax offsets for eligible businesses.
The PacPrint Forum Series is completely free of charge to all registered PacPrint and Visual Impact visitors, but with limited seating available at each session, bookings are essential. To find out more, or to register for the sessions which interest you, go to www.pacprint.com.au/forum