In public procurement, SMEs and emerging businesses are increasingly sought after.
As a result of the large number of low-value tender opportunities available in the public sector, the UK Government is now opening up more opportunities to micro and small companies than ever before.
The procurement tendering process should not be feared by small business owners, but embraced as an opportunity for new revenue and business partnerships.
How have things changed?
Public sector contracts have become easier to win for small firms because of several key reforms.
In 2015, the then coalition government removed a number of barriers to allow SMEs to compete for public sector work, including getting rid of the pre-qualification questionnaire stage for lower-value projects.
Being able to stand out from the crowd is the key.
A successful bid concentrates on providing the prospective customer with what you can offer and why you are a better solution than the competition.
How are low-value tenders defined?
There are specific thresholds applied to low value tenders as a preventative measure against discriminatory procurement practices. The current thresholds that most tender values must fall below if buyers wish to reserve low value tenders are:
- Supplies & Services – less than £213,477
- Works – less than £5,336,937
If the value is low, the competition is low
Your competitors may not have considered bidding for low-value tenders, so your business stands a better chance of winning them.
In most cases, multinational companies do not bid for low-value tenders, opening up these opportunities to sole traders and SMEs.
Additionally, the Official Journal of the European Union (OJEU) does not publish tenders below the public procurement thresholds. This reduces the number of potential companies aware of it.
Public sector marketing using a specialist
More Than Words Marketing is a full-service marketing agency staffed by a marketing and sales team with extensive experience.
With a focus on B2B, schools, and the public sector, we manage the lead generation process for small businesses and entrepreneurs.
These are our top 4 tips for winning a low-value public sector contract.
Understand public sector buyers
Throughout the year, you should engage with the public sector as part of your business plan. It will be much easier to write bids if you can build trust and learn more about the public sector organization’s policies, development plans, and ongoing projects.
To succeed as a supplier in the sector, you must first understand your target customer’s problems.
Public sector marketing strategies do just that – they clearly outline the buyer and the problem your product solves.
Assess the quality of your leads
There is a temptation to find a list of required projects and just apply for them all.
This is not recommended, since writing a successful bid takes a lot of time and effort.
The most successful marketers spend their time developing pitches for a small number of bids that have a high chance of winning.
A UK public sector database can be purchased to identify good potential contracts.
This will include key decision makers across the public sector, so you can contact them directly.
Provide value to gain trust
In the public sector, buyers do not buy supplies by looking at a listing alone.
Government procurement often relies on trusted suppliers that are already familiar to the organization.
Nevertheless, how did those suppliers earn their trust?
Content and networking play a big role.
If potential buyers are not familiar with a company, they will carry out due diligence which can include research online or on social media,
Suppliers can capture attention by ensuring their website has information that is relevant to public sector buyers.
Share via email valuable research and articles frequently to potential customers, have news stories that are picked up by public sector media, and so on.
Consult the experts
Owning and operating a small business is a hard task in itself. It takes time and effort to develop public sector messaging, prepare bids and carry out lead generation.
In the event that you’re managing too many things, none of them will receive your full attention.
The key to success is to focus on one goal at a time. With this in mind, we recommend that you partner with a marketing agency to help.
By outsourcing your marketing communications you will free up time to focus on the running of your business.
Getting in touch with public sector organizations is easy when you work with More Than Words Marketing.
Call us at 0330 010 8300 to discuss how we can help your business