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 is an experienced, well organised and professional consultant who you can always rely on to do her best, she is hard working and passionate about what she does, I would highly recommend Rachel she is a important member of our business strategy team and a brilliant asset to First Steps.

Cathy Cleary, CEO & Founder

First Steps Derbyshire

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

…we have recently started to work with Rachel on a Queens Award submission. Our first meeting put us straight to the point and Rachel has shown confidence and assurance which makes us feel very positive about our chances. Something we are elated by as we operate in a sector that is not typically recognised by mainstream audiences.

Paul Wilson

Rock Fall Safety Boots

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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