Many small enterprises assume that penetrating the public sector is the most challenging element of the bid process. However, government policies are geared towards encouraging competition from small businesses, leading to around sixty percent of local authority contracts going to small and medium sized businesses. Sixteen percent of all businesses that have won EU contracts are micros (consisting of ten or fewer employees).
One of the most difficult elements of bidding to local authorities lies in actively seeking out opportunities. Bid managers need to keep abreast of the various mechanisms available for identifying invitations to bid. The following resources support bid managers to locate, and bid for, viable opportunities across the public sector.
Information on contracts below the value set in the EU procurement directives is available on this site. Launched in 2006, Supply to Government is a government-backed internet site with access to lower-value contracts, typically under £100,000. All public-sector organisations, including central and local government, are encouraged to publicise their contracts on the site.
Trade journals, national and regional newspapers
A number of opportunities are available through advertisements placed ine published in the daily supplement to OJEU. This provides bid managers with informati trade journals and newspapers, so bid managers should subscribe to a range of publications in order to identify these possible leads.
Approaching organisations directly
Some public-sector organisations may not advertise lower-value contracts at all. You may benefit from identifying the appropriate person in an organisation and start by giving them information about your business.
Official Journal of the European Union (OJEU, previously called OJEC)
Almost all public-sector contracts worth more than the value set in the EU procurement directives must bon on the current requirements and invites suppliers to express an interest, or to tender directly in some cases, depending on the contract procedure.
Tenders Electronic Daily (TED)
The online version of OJEU. It uses subject and country codes to give direct access to notices that may interest bid managers.
Tender alert services
Tender alerts are provided by Supply2.gov, Business Link, Euro Info Centres or through commercial organisations.
Euro Info Centres (EIC)
The European Commission has set the EIC up throughout the UK to provide information and services for businesses. These include a full library service of OJEU and an alerting service for Tenders Electronic Daily (TED). Most centres work in conjunction with other organisations including business development agencies (such as Business Link), university libraries and regional Chambers of Commerce.
Small Business Research Initiative (SBRI)
This initiative is designed to encourage and increase the demand for research and development from small businesses. The Chancellor has instructed government departments to take part in this initiative, and aims to buy in at least 2.5% of their research and development requirements from smaller businesses.
If you are new to tendering you many not be familiar with the concept of the PQQ, or Pre-Qualification Questionnaire. The PQQ is a document designed to let your potential customer know all about your organisation, before making a decision to formally invite you to bid for a project as service provider.Read More >>
Considering the act of competitor research in a PQQ process may bring to mind images of espionage and underhand tactics, but the truth is that any informed organisation will take time to understand their competitors’ strengths and weaknesses, prior to deciding to a bid for a contract.Read More >>
Making space and time for dealing with a huge influx of bids is essential for busy proposal writers looking to manage their workload and get everything in on time. Even the most basic template for your document can support you to save time and get things produced to a professional standard, regardless of how tight your deadlines may be.Read More >>
Many small enterprises assume that penetrating the public sector is the most challenging element of the bid process. However, government policies are geared towards encouraging competition from small businesses, leading to around sixty percent of local authority contracts going to small and medium sized businesses. Sixteen percent of all businesses that have won EU contracts are micros (consisting of ten or fewer employees).Read More >>
When you’re in the midst of bid writing a new project, sometimes it can seem as if there are so many things to consider, it’s impossible for the bid manager to keep track of it all. With content coming through from subject experts sporadically, questions to the client going unanswered for days on end, and an ever-approaching deadline, it can sometimes seem as if the range of considerations which go in to securing a completed bid document are endless.Read More >>
Tender writing is challenging at the best of times, without the bid writing team wasting their time on the development of needless bids. Writing proposals for tenders which are not viable or have no chance of securing business for the organisation can create a resource shortfall, wasting valuable time, effort and energy on the creation of documents which won’t result in a successful bid.Read More >>
When faced with a large number of bids to write, every organisation at some point considers whether or not to outsource their proposal writing activity to a skilled proposal writer. There are a number of factors involved with deciding if outsourcing is the best solution for your company, including the resource you have, the size of the bid and the time you can spend upon proposal writing.Read More >>
When the average writer develops material for a response, the most natural thing to do is answer the questions within the RFQ or RFP, enabling the customer’s own structure to determine the way in which our responses will be organised. While this is usually an outstanding way of providing material, there are also further questions which every bid writer needs to include in their response, whether it is solicited or not.Read More >>
The writing process is usually one which involves a number of attributes. Creativity, discipline, focus and commitment are just a few of the words which can describe bid writing, mixed in with a heady dose of self-discipline, organisation and best practice. If all this seems a little too good to be true, it’s worth thinking about the last time you sat down in your role as bid writer, and produced some great compliant copy. The likelihood is, you managed to somehow shut out the rest of the world and focus intently upon what you were writing. You produced the copy in a kind of haze of intent, without allowing the rest of the world to intrude upon what you were doing.Read More >>