How to win a tender from the public sector

businessCompanies will do everything they can to get more work. Want to win that bid? Large companies have their own team of bidders who can put together a working proposal that’s thorough and professional. SMEs, or smaller organizations will have a disadvantage because they may have not worked on a tender before, or they may have but with limited experience. The question is, how can you win a public sector tender?

How can a small business beat the larger organizations and get contracts?

Raise Your Visibility

It’s of the utmost importance that your company is exposed and out there. Don’t forget that one of the best ways to communicate is still via a phone call. Get a head start in upcoming work previews and procurement processes. Get involved! An SME should get an understanding of what the work entails and where these companies publish their tenders. Once a meeting is set you should make your presence memorable. A good first impression provides a great impact and sets you up for success with the right people.

Focus On Your Strengths

It’s better to start building up work from smaller local opportunities for a more robust portfolio. If a huge opportunity arises but it’s clear that your company isn’t a good fit or if it’s just too big a scale, then it will be a wise move to steer clear and find one that plays to your company’s strengths.

Maximize the benefits and display your product or service in a creative manner. Present your credentials or previous work differently. Make sure to highlight all the experiences you had with prior tenders. Don’t focus on features; instead, get the benefits across so they can see how you can fit in the overall picture.

Think Like The Customer

Get ready to answer common questions. Prepare for inquiries with the best possible answer. Start thinking like a customer and anticipate the questions from the client’s perspective. What will they want to know before they give you the work? Some examples include how you can defend against potential security breaches in order to protect both you and your client’s sensitive data.

Consider the contract size and the potential risks to the client. A public sector body with a 1M contract shouldn’t go with an organization that’s comprised of 2 members and a turnover of 100k. The public body has to be accountable to the taxpayers, after all.

Seek Expert Advice

Ask for assistance especially if you’re new to tenders. There are various firms and consultants who will be glad to help you understand how everything works and what you can do to get it. The most important aspects to focus on include procurement, proposal and managing your bids. Get references and inquire about the fees before you commit. A good consulting company will have a high success rate and will be transparent with you. They will deliver what it takes to get you up there.

Competitive bids will more than likely score more tenders. It’s also unlikely that you’ll win 100% of your bids so don’t take it seriously if you got rejected. Instead of chalking it up as a loss, consider it an opportunity to do better next time. Ask for feedback so you’ll know how you can improve on the next bid.


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