12 Jul Why Searching for your own Tenders may not be working for you
Keen to find new opportunities for your business? Feel like your competitors are better at finding more contracts than you? Interested in bidding for (and winning!) Public Sector and Utilities contracts?
An effective Search needs to cover services such as ‘Contracts Finder’ (public sector contracts in England worth £10,000 plus), or ‘Find a Tender’ (for contracts worth more than £118,000), as well as industry specific services, such as the NHS or the Digital Marketplace. Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland also have their own contracts websites.
Step 1 – Finding a Contract Notice
The sheer volume of available contracts means that any Search effort is more limited by time than opportunity. To maximise results for your business, someone needs to do a daily or weekly search, across several sites. They need a good understanding of the types of tenders that make sense for your business, as well as the time to do the searches and look through the results.
Step 2 – Getting the Details
Finding a relevant opportunity is the first stage but the contract notice often links to a different procurement portal. You may already have the deadline but to access the contract details, you need to register an interest and access any related documents, or Selection Questionnaires (SQ). At this stage you can then see how good a match the opportunity is for your business, or if any Selection Questionnaire (SQ) rules you out before you even apply.
Step 3 – Sorting Out your Response
Having found an opportunity, you need to follow through and put together your best bid. This includes company policies, pricing, case studies, references and a winning proposition, all delivered to the tender deadline. You need time to track your Searches and Responses, to make the most of any opportunities.
It’s important to understand the true opportunity cost that a successful search and bid process takes. You may have dedicated resources but even this is likely to be more challenging during staff holiday times. Are Searches given priority / resources in the same way as sourcing new business leads? Again, lack of time/resources could be a key reason why your own Searches aren’t working.
Your Time Options
Sadly you can’t stop time, so what options are there if you want to maximise your Searches?
- You could abandon the time it takes to Search successfully but that means potentially missing out on thousands of pounds of Public Sector contracts.
- You could focus your resources and accept the true opportunity cost that a successful search and bid process takes.
- Or you can outsource some or all of the Search activities, so that someone else is responsible for tracking and managing opportunities for your business.
You can outsource the Search itself, we offer a full Search Service with all relevant notices sent direct to your in-box, including completing the Registration process on your behalf. It can take a lot of time to register an interest in a tender as a supplier, before you can even access the ITT documents. Once you’ve decided to bid for this opportunity, you can use our experienced bid writers to produce a professional tender and improve your chances of winning more business. Alternatively, you can have your written bids reviewed, to help improve your success rate.
If you would like to know how we can help support your Search Service needs, please contact us firstname.lastname@example.org