Do you know that the government and its various agencies is the biggest spender in the country? There are more than 10,000 contract opportunities in various sectors at any given time. These contracts represent a large chunk of the market, so it is easy to see how not pursuing them means missing out on great opportunities to grow.
Winning your first public sector contract is both easy and challenging. On one end, you have the straightforward, now digital process that can be completed easily. On the other hand, you also have standards to meet and regulations to follow. If you are serious about winning your first public sector contract, here are the tips and tricks to follow.
Before you can work towards qualifying for a public sector contract, you need to first find contracts to pursue. This is an incredibly easy task to complete now that we have the government contract finder. The Contract Finder website of the government lists all contracts worth more than £10,000.
However, don’t jump on the first opportunity you come across. You still need to think about the nature of the project, whether you have the capacity to fulfil the contract, and if your business is in the right field. The requirements for each contract are listed in detail on the site.
Making a Bid
Unless stated otherwise, the way to apply for the contract is by submitting a written bid. Your bid will then be ranked accordingly using a scoring system. The challenge is understanding how bids are scored; different departments have different scoring standards.
In larger tenders, scoring is done on different parts of the contract. This allows for fair review of every bid. If you are experienced in one area, you can leverage that expertise to rank higher among other bids.
The entire process is done transparently, and you always know the status of every bid you submit. You still need to craft a bid that captures the attention of procurement officers. That brings us to our next tip, which is….
Lower Is Not Always Better
The tempting thing to do is to pursue projects with low bids; there is nothing wrong with this approach either. Lower bids tend to get more attention and are more likely to win the project, simply because the bid will be seen as more valuable.
That said, you have to be careful when submitting a low bid. You need to leave enough margin for errors. Substandard delivery is simply not an option. The procurement officers review this aspect of your bid too, and bids that are deemed too low will not be accepted.
Another approach you can take is focusing on value. Your bid may not be the lowest, but you can still win the project if you deliver more value to taxpayers. Even details such as the financial state of your business and credibility are taken into account.
Meet the Standards
Don’t wait until you are actually working on government projects to follow the required standards. It is much better to meet those standards – and to show that you do – before bidding on projects. The officers will also take this into consideration when reviewing your bids.
The G-Cloud 10 is a good example. It is a standardised cloud service for the public sector, but the standards are suitable for the private sector as well. By using G-Cloud 10 from reputable providers such as UKCloud, you are opening more doors to government projects and increasing the value of your business. Using G-Cloud 10 can be the perfect first step to winning more government contracts.
That brings us back to the first tip we discussed in this article: using the contract finder. Now that you know how to approach public sector contracts, it is time to start reviewing available projects, finding the ones that your business can handle, and working towards winning those projects.