Business Development

Tendering Advice for Small Businesses

By Hudson Procurement Group
September 2020

Tendering as a Small Business

Bid services offered by Hudson Succeed maintain many positive outputs for small businesses who are finding their feet when tendering. Tendering for small businesses can often be difficult and time-consuming, especially when you are first establishing yourself as a business. Responding to tenders can be an extremely beneficial avenue for growth for small businesses, and, if tackled strategically, can help you secure much-needed contracts to propel your business further. The government is currently seeking to provide 25% of public sector procurement spends to SMEs. As such, SMEs are given a real chance at winning business. Whether your tendering strategy involves outsourcing to external tender consultants (who offer a range of bid services) or working on your strategy internally, here at Hudson, we are on hand to provide you with that much-needed advice to hit the ground running in tendering. Below are some tips and advice on how your business can get started in the world of tendering and how our bid services can benefit you.

Define your specialities

Before branching out and exploring new areas of work, it is vital as a small business to establish what areas you specialise in.

What experience you have and evidence you can provide to back up what you are saying is also essential to achieving high marks when tendering. Buyers ultimately look for experience, and if you cannot provide this, you may well be wasting your time.

For example

Let’s say you are a company who specialises in tree surgery. You have experience providing tree surgery and can speak about your experience in detail and evidence where you have provided benefits for previous customers.

Now there may be a tender that comes up for landscaping to public gardens. Although the two services largely fall under the category of grounds maintenance, if you have only delivered one in the past, tendering for a contract to solely provide landscaping without the necessary previous experience is not a great idea.

Pretty much every tender you go for (especially in the public sector) will request that you display evidence of previous experience, of which 90% of the time will be in the form of three previous case studies. Spending time and effort developing responses to a tender without providing three relevant case studies can mean your tendering efforts go to waste.

Using bid services like ours will provide your company with bespoke opportunity tracking that helps you refine and streamline your tender approach. We take the headache out of sourcing opportunities for you through our dedicated tracking service and can provide you with daily opportunities that are suitable for you.

Spending precious business time sourcing opportunities and even developing responses to those that are not right for you is the time that can be spent focusing on other much-needed aspects of your company. Our bespoke bid services allow you to focus your precious time on your business’ fundamentals.

Company literature

Company literature can be key when tendering. Many buyers will request that you submit specific policies with your responses and if you fail to do so, this can mean you fall at the first hurdle when tendering.

Company literature consists of things like policies, case studies, CVs and organograms, and can be key in evidencing to buyers that you have in place what they are looking for.

Having as many of these in place before tackling tenders can mean that you do not waste time developing content only for it to be ignored as you do not have the necessary policy in place.

For example, whilst all companies should have a Health and Safety policy that is compliant with the Health and Safety at Work Act 1974, in some sectors, this will be a mandatory requirement to include in your tender responses. For example, if you operate in sectors like construction where you and your staff frequently operate large machinery, a detailed Health and Safety policy should be something which is highly developed and a failure to display this will be extremely off-putting to buyers and will result in your tender response being excluded from further evaluation.

Here at Hudson Succeed, we provide bid services that help you organise your company literature and get you in the best possible position to begin tendering. Our Tender Ready service is used by many SMEs nationally as an affordable, convenient method of ensuring policies, case studies and company statements are in place. If you would like to know more about this beneficial bid service, Tender Ready, then click here.

Research

Conducting thorough research before responding to tendering can be crucial in seeing success and outshining competitors.

One way of evidencing that you have conducted thorough research is through mirroring the goals and aims of the buyer you are submitting a response to. For example, is this buyer a council? If so, have a look at their aims and strategies for the following year. Look at their environmental and social aims. Look at what it is that they are looking for in a buyer, even if this is not specifically stated.

Take this information and think to yourself, ‘How can I evidence my capability of delivering to this, or better, going above and beyond their expectations?’. Through evidencing this kind of willingness in your responses, you can make a positive impact to the buyer and will display that you are the kind of organisation that they would want to work with.

For example

Let’s say you are given a question regarding what social benefits you will bring to the agreement. It will be worthwhile carrying out research regarding Local Enterprise Partnerships (LEPs) that are local to the area with which you are tendering for work in, ensuring your response mirrors the aims and strategies which are laid out.

Now we understand that this may be something which your company may not have time to do. With this in mind, we offer a wide array of bid services which help you in conducting the necessary research so that your responses are as detailed and informative as possible.

As we know, signing up to retained, ongoing agreements can be difficult for smaller businesses looking to tender, that’s why we provide ad-hoc Tender Writing services, of which gives you the possibility to tender without breaking the bank. Our bid services can be entirely bespoke to you and your needs, and our expert Tender Writers will work alongside your organisation to ensure that your responses go above and beyond the buyer’s expectations.

Further support

We at Hudson feel passionate about driving growth for SMEs through making public sector tendering more accessible. That is why we offer a wide range of bid services at varying costs, ranging from ad-hoc bid services, right the way up to monthly retained bid services. Not only this, but we have provided the world’s first free online virtual learning environment for all things tendering, Tender VLE. This provides free and accessible tips for business of all sizes on how to tackle the world of tendering, anytime, anywhere. Finally, should you require any further information regarding all things tendering, then our Tender Consultants are on hand to provide you with expert advice regarding all things tender related. Click here to get in touch.

For more information or to speak to a consultant about growing your business, please visit our website.

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