Top tips for winning government tenders

Every year, the UK government spends around £284 billion acquiring goods, works and services from suppliers. The public sector procurement market is an attractive market to supply in, because not only is work constantly required, but the government has specific initiatives in place to support SMEs to win business. If you want to win government tenders, Supply2Gov can help.

If you haven’t done so already, read our blog on ‘5 reasons you should bid for UK government tenders’ to give you a wider context on government tenders, then come back here for top tips to help you structure your bid and get ready to tender.

Introduce your organisation and what you do

It has never been easier to become a government supplier, and we are not just saying that. The government is continually striving to make the application process quicker and easier so that public sector procurement is more accessible and fairer for everyone. Your chances of winning government tenders are slim if government buyers do not know who you are. Introduce your organisation and your goods, works or services to potential government buyers as early as you can. Then, conduct market research in your field to understand what your competitors are doing and pinpoint what sets you apart from them. Your first point of call when starting your research should be signing up to Supply2Gov’s tender alerts and filtering government tender opportunities based on the geographical location you want to supply in.

Offer innovative solutions to buyers’ problems

The main difference between SMEs and larger organisations is their size. Therefore, smaller organisations should play to the strengths their size gives them – the ability to be innovative, sustainable and offer intelligent solutions to complex problems government suppliers have. The government is always looking for buyers that can add more than just cost-effective procurement. Give evidence showing how your organisation has used technology to reduce waste. Show how you have helped wider communities by giving apprenticeship or training opportunities to young people. Do all of this for the most cost-effective price and your organisation will have a great chance of winning the contract.

Look for sub-contracting opportunities

Many SMEs win government work through another larger contractor via the supply chain. A large organisation may win the contract, but that does not mean they will deliver all aspects of it. SMEs can contact the main supplier to find out whether there are sub-contracting opportunities available. This is seen as a valuable way for smaller businesses to establish relationships, win public sector business and build credentials.

Start low, aim high

The quickest way to build a government customer base is to aim for government tender opportunities that are below £100,000. For these low value contracts, the government has removed the requirement for Pre-Qualification Questionnaires (PQQs). This simplifies the application process, which works in SMEs’ favour. Use smaller contracts to build up your experience working for government and set yourself in a good position for winning bigger contracts in the future.

Ask for feedback

Any tenderer, whether successful or unsuccessful is entitled to ask for feedback, which can be very helpful for bidders looking to learn what they could do better in future. The Crown Commercial Service encourages unsuccessful applicants to ask for feedback. This is to ensure potential suppliers, especially SMEs, get the information they need to improve their bid responses and have a better chance of winning business next time. Ask the government buyer to outline your strengths and weaknesses and use this to improve your next pitch. Remember, even if you win the bid, it is still good practice to seek feedback – there is always room for improvement.

How Supply2Gov can help you win government tenders

Supply2Gov helps SMEs and first-time tenderers win business in public sector procurement. With a free tender alert service for one geographical location, plus the option to upgrade to a wider range of tender alerts for just £25, Supply2Gov is an absolute essential service to win government tenders in the near future. Why not see how we can help you?

Sign up for government tenders