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    How To Find Opportunities To Bid For Work: The DIY Vs. Outsourced Approach

    How To Find Opportunities To Bid For Work: The DIY Vs. Outsourced Approach


    Searching for tenders online can feel like a minefield.

    With a plethora of web portals offering thousands of different tendering opportunities for a wide range of sectors and regions, it’s easy to spend unnecessary time and money in your search for contracts.

    And if you end up applying for tenders that your company is not suitable for, you will end up wasting valuable resources which would have been far better spent working on bids that you were more likely to win.

    In this article, we will address how to find opportunities to bid for work – looking at both DIY and outsourced options – and outline how to choose contracts that are most appropriate for your business.


    Ensure You Select The Right Strategy

    Before you begin searching for contracts, you should have a clear idea of what type of opportunity is right for your business. Without a clear bidding strategy in place, you could end up wasting valuable time on applying for unsuitable contracts – or worse still, applying for contracts that lose your business money.

    At Bid And Tender Support, our professionals can work with you to develop a winning bid strategy.

    As part of our Bid Strategy service, we can review your existing bid plan and approach to submitting tenders, and put in place a realistic framework that will ensure your bid success rate is significantly increased.

    You can find out more about our Bid Strategy service here.


    The DIY Approach: Where To Find UK Tender Opportunities Online

    There are dozens of online tender portals that provide access to lucrative contract opportunities in both the public and private sectors which you can apply for.

    Here is a thorough (but non-exhaustive) list:


    UK Government Contract Portals

    Contracts Finder


    Public Contracts Scotland


    Digital Marketplace


    UK Government Agencies Contract Portals

    Home Office (see also Contracts Finder and TED)

    Crown Commercial Service

    Cabinet Office (see Contracts Finder and TED)

    Foreign & Commonwealth Office

    Ministry of Defence – Defence Contracts Online

    Supplier Intelligence Database (SID4gov) 


    NHS Contract Portals


    NHS Supply Chain

    East of England Collaborative NHS Procurement Hub

    NHS National Procurement for Scotland


    Housing Contract Portals

    Housing Procurement Portal


    Regional Contract Portals

    London: London Tenders Portal

    South West: Supplying the South West 

    Kent: Kent Business Portal

    Essex: PAE (Procurement Agency for Essex)

    Hertfordshire: Supply Hertfordshire

    East Anglia: ESPO (Eastern Shires Purchasing Organisation) 

    East Midlands: East Mids Tenders

    West Midlands: Find it in Birmingham

    Black Country: Find it in the Black Country 

    North East: NEPO (North East Procurement Organisation)

    North West: The Chest


    Doing DIY The Right Way

    If you choose the DIY route to finding contract opportunities to bid on, you should always save your search parameters on each tender portal and sign up for email alerts to prevent having to repeat the same searches over and over again.

    This simple trick allows you to spend more time on what really matters – applying for suitable contracts and growing your business.


    Registering As A Supplier

    When you sign up for alerts from an online contract portal, you will be sent a short description of the relevant contracts, known as a contract notice. Essentially, a contract notice is just an advertisement for the contract.

    To get all the information you require – and to be able to apply for the contract – you will need to register as a supplier with the contract portal. This involves answering a series of questions about your company, and once you have done so, you should be able to apply for your chosen opportunities.


    Alert Services: The Outsourced Option

    Accessing tender portals is usually free, and so is registering as a supplier on most of them.

    However, finding the right bidding opportunities is a very time-consuming task that often involves trawling through multiple web portals to find the right contracts for your business.

    If you have plenty of time on your hands, the DIY option might suit you. But, if like many other business owners, you have your hands full with the day-to-day running of your company, finding bidding opportunities manually will likely be a poor use of your time.

    This is where alert services can help.

    After providing details of what you are looking for, alert services will send you automated messages via your chosen methods (such as email, SMS, WhatsApp etc.) whenever a relevant opportunity becomes available on any contract portal. Then, you can review the terms of the contract(s) up for grabs and decide whether to go ahead with your bid.

    Many companies offer these kinds of alert services – but, as with most things, the quality varies, and you get what you pay for.

    At Bid And Tender Support, we offer a more comprehensive service where we’ll learn all about your business and the type of contracts you are looking for – including your target sector, desired contract value, relevant experience, specialisms, and growth strategy.

    Then, our industry-leading software will scan the entire UK market, process the results, and apply another level of sorting to ensure that only opportunities which perfectly meet your criteria are sent for your attention.

    More details can be found here.


    Want our experts to help you grow by creating better bids and winning more work? Get in touch!