Each year the UK public sector tenders out £290 billion on buying goods and services from organisations of all sizes. Contract values and durations vary from short contracts worth tens of thousands of pounds to multi-million-pound contracts lasting several years.
The UK Government is focused on opening this up to a wider range of smaller businesses and aim to increase the SME share of the public procurement spend by 21% by 2022 which equates to over £96 billion.
This opportunity could be transformational for many small businesses, now more than ever – winning contracts from clients that provide sustainable revenue streams, fast payment and guaranteed work.
However, SMEs need support to gain the skills and knowledge needed to compete effectively for their share of this massive market.
AM Bid set out to explore how they could react to this market need. We commissioned nationwide research, across a diverse range of sectors and services, looking into the challenges faced by small businesses when it comes to bidding successfully in the public sector.
Our research, detailed in the report Navigating the Public Procurement Minefield (embed link to UTC report on UTC website), reveals that over 90 percent of UK SMEs surveyed think the public sector should be more accommodating and do more to remove the tendering barriers they face when bidding for public sector contracts.
Among the barriers cited by SMEs were the overall complexity of the procurement process (44%), over a third were dissuaded either by finding the process too time consuming (37%), difficulty meeting mandatory qualifying criteria (35%) or by finding the process too costly based on being unsuccessful in the past (34%).
David Gray, AM Bid managing director, said: “We know the SMEs need more support when it comes to bidding for public contracts, as it’s not easy to do well, and they’re not easy to win. Improving their knowledge and bid skills will help them identify, write and develop winning bids to the UK public sector.”
AM Bid Founder & Business Development Director – Andrew Morrison, Managing Director – David Gray and Bid Development Director – Philip Thomson combined their 40+ years public sector bidding experience to provide a solution giving SMEs the tools and expertise to create more effective tender responses.
Over the last year they created Ultimate Tender Coach, an online modular coaching programme that unlocks the secrets of successful UK public tender writing. It is aimed at SMEs that are currently bidding for public contracts and not winning them, or not winning enough of them, or those that want to bid for them but don’t understand the process or what it takes to develop a winning tender. It can also be used as in inhouse training for entry level bid writers and those starting out in the industry.
David Gray, explains: “We’ve created a flexible learning programme that people can work through at their own pace, fitting their learning around the demands of running their business. It is also much more than just training, we’re offering weekly coaching calls and a private members group, to build a community of SMEs committed to winning more public contracts.”
Ultimate Tender Coach shows SMEs how to improve their bid writing and how to develop winning bids; it also explains how they can identify suitable contract opportunities – the ones with the highest win probabilities for their business. The programme covers the end-to-end bid process. It goes beyond the tender submission, covering identifying lessons learned, driving marginal gains and continually improving each bid in turn, to build a consistently successful bidding function.
David adds: “There is an opportunity for SMEs to transform their businesses and Ultimate Tender Coach covers everything they need to know, but more importantly, the programme provides them with the knowledge they need to navigate the process and to develop compelling tender responses that will help them win more business.”
Ultimate Tender Coach is perfect for businesses who are ready to raise their bidding ambition by taking action and committing to a coaching programme that delivers results. Business transformation is not something many can wait around for – the opportunities in the public sector exist now and are there to be won. Find out more about Ultimate Tender Coach at www.ultimatetendercoach.com