16 Jan Finding The Right Bid Opportunities For Your Business
If you’ve ever taken on a contract that has not been a good fit for your business, you may have run into issues while completing it.
For example, when trying to deliver on a contract that you might not be properly qualified for, you may experience poor results, unnecessary expenses, and unimpressed clients.
Often, this will reflect badly on your business, and unsatisfied clients may share their poor feedback with others in the industry – making it more difficult for you to win bids in future and causing you to develop a poor reputation in your field.
As such, it is essential to ensure that the opportunities you bid on are carefully selected, and that you spend your time wisely in order to guarantee a successful result.
Let’s now discuss some different methods of finding bidding opportunities, and outline how you can make sure that you’re applying for the correct contracts for your business.
Where To Find Tenders
Nowadays, the majority of tender opportunities are published online. However, keeping an eye on printed resources may help you to find some additional contracts to bid on that you may not have otherwise seen.
Here are some best places to check when looking for bidding opportunities – both online and offline.
E-tendering portals are one of the quickest and most effective ways of finding and applying for contracts that are out for tender.
These portals list the currently available contracts from companies within a specific sector – thereby making finding opportunities to bid on fast and convenient – and they also allow you to apply for these opportunities directly through the portal, using their software.
However, while most buyers will use an e-procurement provider to advertise their contracts, some larger organisations will host their own portals where all their open contracts are listed. Bidders can then look through these contracts, identify the ones that seem promising, and apply for them via the portal.
This means that signing up to multiple e-Tendering portals – both the ones that are self-hosted by the biggest fish in your target industries, and the ones that gather opportunities from many companies within a sector – is recommended.
And we must mention – if this all sounds like a lot of work, or something that you would struggle to do yourself, give us a call! We assist clients with this kind of job all the time.
Tender aggregator websites are another easy way to simplify the bidding process.
These websites collect tender opportunities from multiple sources, such as buyer websites, trade publications, press releases, and tendering portals. You can then choose which type of opportunity you are interested in, and receive an alert every time new opportunities that meet your criteria become available.
Tender aggregators can be specific to a particular sector, or may show opportunities from a wide variety of industries. However, be aware that while a few tender aggregators may provide some limited free information, most will require you to sign up for a subscription plan if you want to access all the necessary resources.
All public sector contracts are in the public domain though, and as such, they are listed on free websites such as Find A Tender and Contract Finder.
Online Trade Publications
Online trade publications are digital newsletters or magazines that are published on the internet, and which most often relate to specific industries and sectors.
They can contain the details of available opportunities within the sector that are open for tender, but be aware that many of these publications are only published monthly or quarterly, meaning that the list of open contracts may be out of date by the time you see it.
Many subscriptions to these online trade publications are free, but some may charge a fee to access the most valuable materials.
Some large industries have printed magazines and newsletters that companies advertise their open contracts in.
Due to the costs of producing a printed publication, there is usually a subscription fee for bidders to access this information. However, subscribing to industry publications can also give bidders an advantage in the bidding process, as they can learn how the industry functions, who the major buyers in it are, and how their tendering process usually works.
Newspapers are the traditional method of finding contracts, but an ever-increasing number of organisations have started to advertise their contract opportunities online due to the high costs of print advertising and the greater accessibility of digital platforms.
However, a few businesses still use newspapers to advertise their contracts, and these can be a hidden goldmine of opportunities that are not easily found online and which will not be as competitive as other tenders.
6 Steps To Finding The Right Contracts
1. Make Use Of The Websites’ Search Functions
The search functionality on online bid portals and tender aggregators can help you narrow down your contract search to only those contracts that are appropriate for your business.
Start by targeting as closely as possible those contracts which are relevant to your company’s specialism – you can always broaden your search later.
2. Use Specific Search Terms
Make sure that you use the search terms that are most appropriate for your industry and sector. By using industry-specific terms and corporate language, you can ensure that your search finds contracts which relate to your industry, while other sectors are filtered out.
Make a note of any terms that bring up relevant opportunities – you can use these again in later searches.
3. Check The Dates
You will need to ensure that you allow yourself enough time to complete an Invitation To Tender (ITT) to the best of your ability.
Rushing an ITT will likely lead to you being unsuccessful in winning the bid, so try to target contract opportunities that have only recently been made public – ideally within the past week.
4. Carefully Evaluate The Opportunities
When you have narrowed down your search to a list of contracts for potential bids, you can take the time to read the specifics of the contract in more detail.
At this point, you may find that a contract which you thought may not be all that appropriate for your business based on the contract title is in fact an ideal fit.
Conversely, you may find that something which you thought was a perfect opportunity may be anything but. You may also find that some ‘Lots’ in the tender are suitable for your company, while others may not be.
5. Review The Contract In Detail
Here’s a quick checklist to identify whether a contract is a good fit for your business:
- Have you worked for the buyer or a similar organisation before?
- Can you realistically fulfil the brief? Do you have the experience and capability to meet the requirements of the contract?
- Is the location close to your base, and does your proximity offer any benefits to the buyer that you can use in your ITT?
- Is your business financially stable enough to meet the size of the contract? Your turnover should be approximately twice the annual value of the contract.
- Is the contract achievable within the timeframe? Can your business meet all the contract requirements within the specified timescale?
- Can your business meet the conditions for participation? i.e. Do you have all the required licences, registrations, and qualifications etc.?
- Can you meet the bid submission deadline without rushing?
6. Repeat The Process
Repeat steps 1-5 as needed, using any key terms you have identified in previous searches. The more you repeat this process, the quicker and easier it will become.
Also, make sure that you keep a note of any relevant information from both successful and unsuccessful bids so that you can easily find lucrative contract opportunities in future.
Why Not Hire An Expert?
Finding appropriate bid opportunities for your business can be a time-consuming and expensive process, and many business owners may struggle to find the resources to stay on top of the bidding process.
At Bid And Tender Support, we are highly experienced in finding appropriate contracts across a wide range of industries, saving our many satisfied clients valuable time and money each and every month.
Our services can help you to complete Invitation To Tenders quickly, efficiently, and to a high professional standard – thereby improving your chances of finding an appropriate contract and winning the bids that are crucial to your business’ development.
In particular, our monthly Bid Search Service has been proven to save clients time and improve their win rates by identifying the most suitable opportunities for their business. Our system scans the entirety of the UK market, taking computer-generated results and shortlisting only the most relevant opportunities.
We also offer a Strategy and Training service to help your business develop a winning bid strategy, which will help to ensure your success for years to come.
Want to win more work by optimising your bid creation process? Give our expert team a call!