Five ways to win government contracts

The Government recently announced the launch of an online portal to enable businesses to easily view and bid for contracts advertised by Government buyers at both local and national levels.

If you are looking to win Government contracts, where is the best place to start? Be aware that some contracts can take up to two years from when you first pitch to when the contract is signed, so you need to invest time and think ahead.

It is very hard for a small company to compete with bigger players for public sector contracts. Such organisations tend be risk-averse. A lot of small companies have innovative products, but big companies don’t want to change. They have a programme and a way of doing things. It is time-consuming and not easy to get a foot through the door – but persevere – once you have won a Government contract, it’s a way of opening doors,’ believes Nic Birtles, executive chairman of PTC Software, a provider of software to local government.

He offers the following five tips to help you through the tender process and win a government contract.

  • Network around your chosen market as much as possible and do not underestimate the time it will take from when you start the tender, to completing it
  • Research your market and put faces to the names of the IT staff at local government
  • Find out exactly what their priorities and problems are. Then you can ascertain whether you have a good value proposition and whether the price you are charging is right
  • Bear in mind that the value proposition that you present to a local company will be very different to one for the Government
  • Hunt out prospective partners who are already in the market, with the aim of getting them to resell your product. You will add to their proposition, and reduce their margins and your costs.

See also: Doing business with the government has been made easier

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