15 Jun Top 5 reasons why the Public Sector is a great client to have in your portfolio
What makes the Public Sector such an attractive client for business? Total Public Sector spend accounted for £886.0 billion in 2019-20, including £799.1 billion spent on services alone.1
The Public Sector covers a whole spectrum of buyers, not just Central Government but Local Government and the Health Sector. These includes Departments with vast sending power, such as Transport, Education, Energy, Defence, Housing, Digital and Environment. All with buying needs as varied as construction, facilities management, IT, recruitment, marketing, security and waste management.
1. Contract information is freely available, the trick is knowing where to find it.Public Sector buyers have a legal requirement to publish tender opportunities and assess fairly on the basis of ‘value for money’. Free services such as Contracts Finder, Find A Tender, or MOD Contracts let you search for contract opportunities across all sectors, as well as tender opportunities that might be coming up in the future.
2. Not sure where to start? Get free advice- There is plenty of Government help online, on how to sell to the Public Sector 3. Tender websites such as Digital Marketplace offer free guidance, as well as opportunities. You can also use Contracts Finder to look up details of previous tenders and contracts, to see what sort of suppliers win. There is also free help and advice from professional associations such the CBI 5, or the Federation of Small Businesses (FSB) 6.
3. A choice of local, national, or international contracts. The sheer size of the Public Sector means that Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland have their own dedicated public sector procurement websites.EU and High Value tender opportunities (typically £122,976 plus) are found under the Find a Tender service.
4. Backed by Government money.One of the best things about Public Sector clients is that they won’t go out of business and have vast amounts of Government finance behind them. Published contract details mean that suppliers can see what payments and the length of contract will be, up-front. Public Sector clients are held to legal policies and accountability standards, which include advantages such as payments to Subcontractors within 30 days of invoices. 8
5. You can target different sectors, as well as locations. It is easy to make the mistake of treating the Public Sector as one big client. Their size and their spending power mean that there are likely to be some common needs across clients but Health service contracts have different legal obligations and guidance to Housing. What all of this means is that your business has the opportunity to really target what you have to offer one or more of the different sectors, as well as deciding which locations you want to focus on.