Public Sector Tendering
The current and previous UK governments have both expressed a strong wish that SMEs should get a bigger slice of the cake when it comes to doing business with the public sector. This is a laudable objective, and for SMEs the rewards could be huge, as the public sector continues to place substantial contracts for services such as: Internet information services, email services, IT Support, software development, business consultancy, coaching/training, security services, debt advisory services, printing, accounting, auditing, building & facilities management… the list goes on.
However, doing business with the public sector is not on the radar of many, if not most, SMEs – this is a shame, because a £50K or £100K contract is nice business to have, not to mention the extra kudos which comes from having a public sector client.
Why is there this reluctance? In Fenbrook Consulting’s experience, owners and managers of SMEs are hard pressed for time, and they think twice about the investment in time required to bid successfully to the public sector. The process is perceived to be administratively burdensome and complicated, with successful bidders having been chosen in advance. So they don’t bother.
Yes, there are usually forms to complete, and the public sector wants to see answers to certain questions given in a way that makes it easy to compare competitive bids. But businesses that have gone to the trouble of learning how to do this can move up the learning curve and, like anything, practice makes perfect. Being realistic, a business might not win the first or second public sector tender it replies to, but eventually the process will be honed, and this valuable extra revenue stream can begin to flow.
Fenbrook Consulting has many years experience in bidding for public sector contracts – successfully and unsuccessfully. We have learned the hard way what works and what doesn’t.