What are government tenders, where can I find them and what are good tips for winning more government tenders?
Every year, about 250,000 public authorities in the EU spend around 14% of GDP, or about £2 trillion (yes £2000 billion), on public procurement. To create a level playing field, most of these procurements have to go via public tender.
Public procurement refers to the process by which public authorities, such as government departments or local authorities, purchase work, goods or services from companies.
To win more government tenders it is important to do your homework. The government and other public authorities have a legal responsibility to spend our tax money in a responsible and fair way. Often the process of winning government tenders can seem daunting, but there are some simple guidelines to remember that can increase your chances of winning government tenders.
Many government departments and local authorities hold procurement days or “get to know” meetings where prospective and existing suppliers can attend. These meetings are usually very worthwhile attending because you can learn of new opportunities that you had not previously been aware of. On the other hand, you can also sometimes learn information that means you do not want to tender for a particular piece of business and thus save you lots of work at an early stage.
Once you have found a government tender you want to respond to it is important to not only take the process serious and devote the necessary time to creating your proposal.
To level the playing field government tenders usually requires you to respond to detailed questionnaires and submit information about your business over and above what you may be used to when writing proposals to other businesses.
It is important not to be put off by not winning the initial opportunities. Remember that much of the work you put in to submitting your first proposal can be often be reused in future rounds when it comes to government tenders.
Being selective in relation to which government tenders you respond to is very important. It requires time and resources to submit any proposal and better concentrate on those that are just right for your organisation.
One overlooked element of government tenders is that many companies do not ask for feedback when they do not win a tender. Feedback on why you did not win a government tender can contain the relevant information to ensure you win the next government tender you respond to.