Rachel Hayward

Rachel Hayward Managing Director

We have secured contracts and grant funding totalling:

£34,500,000

We aim to deliver high quality bid writing and consultancy services that get results at a cost-effective price

Ask the Chameleon is accessible to businesses of all sizes. Whether your business needs assistance with a one-off commercial bid application, researching available procurement or funding opportunities, writing a specific business award you want to enter or something longer term, we can help you. Our lead consultant is Rachel Hayward. Following an exceptional career in HR, organisational development, new service development, bid writing and delivery, in the private, voluntary and public sectors, Rachel has gone on to secure £34.5m in funding for Ask the Chameleon clients since 2015. Rachel particularly believes in the power of networking and connections, which has seen her nominated for awards including Female Entrepreneur of the Year – East Midlands Chamber of Commerce Enterprising Women 2021 and 2020. Ask the Chameleon itself was chosen as one of the Small Business Saturday SmallBiz100 in 2018 and Federation of Small Business (West Midlands) Micro Business of the Year 2020. In 2021 Rachel received an Unsung Hero recognition from the Lord Lieutenant of Derbyshire and became one of the #ialso f:entrepreneurs for her creation of Derby Swap Shop during the pandemic, to help small businesses and charities swap skills with each other to survive during lockdown.

Rachel is the Area Lead for the FSB and a small business representative on the D2N2 Business Advisory Group.

The Queen's Award for Voluntary Service
Family Business Awards
Burton Mail Business Awards 2018
Derby Telegraph Business Awards
GSK IMPACT Awards
HSJ Partnership Awards

Frequently Asked
Questions

We know where there are opportunities for contracts and tenders, which your business could deliver. We know how Local Authorities buy (procure) their services, how they advertise and what they look for. We know the different systems that are used and how to use them appropriately (there is rarely a human being to ask these days!). By working with us, we can offer you a fast track to submission, avoiding common pitfalls and frustrations with the systems. We also understand and can translate their terminology!

Usually we meet and discuss what you are looking for, how you operate and what you have done in the past.  We then look at available opportunities and discuss how you meet the buyer’s requirements. If you don’t currently meet them, we can talk about how you can achieve this in the future. We then begin to draft, sharing updates as agreed, to ensure you are 100% happy with our submissions. We can even come and work in your premises. You press the button to submit – it is vital to us that you are confident with the proposal and you can deliver it in your way.

We normally need copies of your policies, insurance details, staffing organisational chart, company background to make a start. We then concentrate on fulfilling the specification – the technical part of the bid.  If you have never ventured into tendering before, we can work with you to get you tender ready.

Don’t worry! that’s why we are here. We can research what is out there, what systems and portals to use, what words to apply etc so that you can receive regular alerts about available opportunities. Or we can handle that for you. Whatever you need, we can create a tailored solution, that fits your business.

Rachel helped me with the start up of my business. I had no previous business experience so a lot of the information I was given prior to Rachel was confusing. However, she was able to explain each aspect of the roles I was expected to do, approaching each situation in a friendly, professional manner, offering advice when needed.

Sean Garavan

I went to Rachel for support with writing my application to be one of the Small Business 100 this year. With her help, I was successful in being chosen. As a Small Business 100 Alumni herself, her advice and support with the application and the whole experience has been much appreciated. It’s a great opportunity to be part of something with such a national profile.

Thanks Rachel, this is just the beginning!

Sarah Gatford

Sarah Gatford Ltd

I have been working with Rachel reviewing a charity’s systems processes and governance structures. I found her both systematic and insightful as well as someone with an excellent way with words. Her ability to work in both the commercial and charity sectors equally effectively have been amply illustrated…

Elliot Harris

Strategy & Governance

Latest Blog Articles
& Podcasts

F Entrepreneur
It's pretty simple, an individual, business or charity from across the UK is looking for something. In return they will provide a swap offering services or goods in return.
Small Business Saturday
Federation of Small Businesses
East Midlands Chamber Member
Marketing Derby

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