Our tendering expert, Dewi Hughes, explains how your company can find bidding opportunities for contracts and projects that are right for your business.
You probably know that there is a requirement for public sector companies to put out to tender any project or contract that is over a particular value, which is normally £10,000. The opportunities are out there, but how do you make sure you are in the running, and that they are the right opportunities for your business?
This week, we share our tips and advice on how to identify tender opportunities, as well as how to decide if they are the right opportunity for your business.
1. Connect with your local authority
A few years ago I met with a head of procurement at a local authority to get their views on a number of tender writing issues. One of my questions was “How do small companies, with no track record working with the public sector, win work with the public sector?” Their advice was so good I have often referred to it when delivering tender writing courses.
This is it:
- Ask to meet with the head of the relevant service & procurement lead at your local authority.
- Explain you are a local company wanting to build up its track record working with local public sector organisations.
- Ask the procurement lead “what makes a good tender?” from their point of view.
- Ask the relevant service lead if they have any tenders coming up in your area of activity over the next 6 months. Ask what “ideal” looks like from their point of view when it comes to buying that service.
- Ask them to contact you if they have any small pieces of work below the procurement threshold (typically £10,000) where they might only have to contact 3 local suppliers for a proposal.
2. Sign up to tendering portals
There are several portals out there that are free to sign up to, that will send you notifications when tenders meeting the criteria that you set are uploaded.
All public sector bodies are required to upload their contract opportunities to the Contracts Finder portal, so this is a good place to start.
3. To bid or not to bid
I am a very optimistic person – but when it comes to bidding for tenders I have learnt the hard way that it is important to weigh up the pros and cons of bidding in an objective way.
You may think, “We have nothing to lose by bidding”. A trustee from the board of a charity expressed this thought to me. My response was that they actually had some 5-10 working days of a senior staff member`s time to lose. As the charity were fairly new to tendering, and were starting the bid writing process late in the competition, their likelihood of winning was extremely small.
Making a good, informed decision as to whether to bid for a tender is critical, and can save days of wasted effort – time that can be much better spent developing stronger material for future bids.
If you have identified a potential tender opportunity for your business, we can help you decide whether it’s the right one for you. Just call us on 0115 926 6477 or contact us via our online form.
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