How Tendering Can Support Growth for SMEs

Feb 11, 2021General

There’s no doubt that while business as a whole has been taking the toll of the COVID pandemic, small business has been harder hit still: and at the current moment one in five small businesses don’t think they could survive another lockdown. This isn’t just the industries that have been most obviously hit such as hospitality or retail, but also the companies who supply and serve them: FM and Cleaning, Recruitment, Waste Management, Catering.

The good news for those businesses, and many others, is that there are alternative income streams available with clients who are financially stable and are guaranteed to pay within 30 days. These are opportunities with publicly funded organisations such as local authorities, schools, universities, and more; any organisation that gets more than 50% of its funding from the UK government – this includes many of the social housing providers, for example.

What is Tendering?

If you’ve not come across tendering before, you might think that it’s only for big companies; but that couldn’t be less true. In fact, the government has a commitment to spending £1 in every three with SMEs that it isn’t currently meeting, and we wouldn’t be surprised if that emphasis continues or even increases in a post-COVID landscape. Tendering allows you to win contracts, or a place on a Framework or Dynamic Purchasing System (DPS), where you are a pre-approved supplier for that organisation and will be either directly awarded or invited to quote for work in your sector as and when it is needed.

Because of the wide range of organisations that the government funds, there are opportunities for many different types of business. Here at Bid for Success, we support clients in Construction, Facilities Management, Planned Preventative Maintenance, Routine Servicing, Recruitment, IT, Training, Business Services and much more besides. If you’re not sure if there are tenders available for your business, our previous blog, ‘Where to Find Tenders’ might be useful.

How Can Tendering Support Growth?

Working with public sector organisations gives your company one important thing: stability. If you can win a contract, you will know that for the next three to five years you have that income coming in and that your invoices will be paid on time. That helps you with long-term planning, and with cashflow.

Even on a Framework or DPS where the income is less certain, being a pre-approved supplier puts you in a good position to quote for work as it comes up. Generally, when you apply for a Framework or DPS, the documentation will give you an indication of who much work they expect to put through it. If they don’t, ask for that information in a clarification question so you can make an informed decision on whether to invest in the application.

Winning a tender also gives you valuable experience in working with the public sector. You will then be able to provide references in the public sector when you apply for your next contract, Framework or DPS, giving you an advantage when tendering.

Building a PipelineTendering

Perhaps the most significant way in which tendering can help support your growth plans is by building a pipeline of tenders. You can look at which opportunities are coming up over the next three to five years, and include those in your long-term planning to meet your growth goals.

Researching those opportunities can be tricky, but a Bid for Success we have invested in technology that, together with our unique ‘deep dive’ approach to get to know your business, helps us build a long-term tendering plan for your business, helping you to stabilise and grow sustainably. To find out more about our pipeline building service, get in touch today.

Resources to Support You

No matter how small your business, or how ready you feel to start tendering, we have resources to help you. You could:

If you’re ready to take the next step and support your business growth through tendering, you can book an appointment with our Development team here.

Adrian Corcoran

Adrian Corcoran is Managing Director and Founder of Bid for Success. Passionate about working with great businesses to win them new work, she and the Bid for Success team are here to help you with your bidding and work winning needs.

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