How to Respond to Government Contracts for Bid

30th June 2021

Where to find government contracts up for bid

Last updated: Dec 17, 2021 @ 9:44 am

You may be wondering how to respond to government contracts for bid, and you wouldn’t be the only one. The public sector spends roughly £290 billion annually through public procurement. From schools to hospitals, and from universities to the police force there are plenty of opportunities to tender. It’s not surprising that as an SME you’re wanting to get in on the action.

However, if you’re new to the game, government contracts up for bid can be a confusing field to navigate. Luckily for you, we’ve contained some helpful tips on how to succeed. We’ll also detail where you can find government contracts for bid.

Advantages of tendering for government contracts

There are many advantages when responding to government contracts for bid. If you’re unsure about whether it’s worth investing the time and effort, here are some points to consider:

  • Guaranteed pay

One of the most significant advantages of securing a government contract for bid is you are guaranteed payment. This is because the public sector is bound by rules and regulations to ensure a fair and transparent procurement process.

Upon winning a contract, you are guaranteed payment within 60 days of invoicing. This is because the Crown Commercial Service (CCS) has to comply with the Prompt Payment Code. This can give suppliers piece of mind when tendering for work in the public sector. The same can’t be said for tendering for the private sector. This is because they aren’t bound by the same rule and regulations.

  • Secure a pipeline of work for your business

Responding to government contracts for bid can help you secure a pipeline of work for your business. Particularly if you secure a place on a Dynamic Purchasing System (DPS) or framework agreement. A benefit of this is that they can run for years at a time with the possibility of extensions. It’s not unheard of some DPS’ running for 10+ years. These are two types of tender processes that are frequently used by public sector organisation. They are especially used within construction and healthcare.

  • Gain experience

Having a bank of experience is essential in order to secure government contracts for bid. This is because the buyer will usually ask you to prove 2 – 3 case studies of previous contracts you’ve fulfilled. They should be similar in scope and complexity to the contract you’re going for. The more case studies and experience you have, the bigger contracts you can go for. The bigger contracts you can go for, the more your business will grow. Securing a place on a DPS or framework for a government contract is a great place to start.

  • A third of all contracts must be awarded to SMEs

The government has a target to spend £1 in £3 with smaller businesses. This means they’re actively looking to award 23% of all government contracts for bid with SMEs. You may have thought that only bigger businesses could secure government contracts, but you’d be wrong. The government wants to invest in SMEs and secure a more local supply chain that can be relied upon.

Where to find government contracts up for bid

So, now you know some of the advantages of tendering for contracts. You now may be wondering where you can find them. There’s no shortage of websites offering multi-sector opportunities and lead. Ideally, you should be searching for a sector-specific portal.

If you’re just relying on CPV codes, you could be missing out on up to the third of relevant opportunities. This is because CPV codes are often mislabelled. Our sister company, Hudson Discover, hosts 11 sector-specific tendering portals. You are able to filter the search results by keyword, budget, location and more. This streamlines the process, making it easier to find government contracts for bid.

These sectors consist of;

3 Tips for winning government contracts for bid 

So, now you know where to find government contracts for bid and the advantages of securing one. Now, you might be wondering how to win a tender:

  1. Make it easy to read

Put yourself in the buyer shoes, if you have 50 tender responses to read through which would you favour: the one that’s clearly laid out and broken into subheadings with bullet points? Or a 30-page document of block text?

I think we can agree that you’d pick the nicely formatted, clearly laid out response. When writing bids clearly formatting your response will earn you bonus points with the reviewer. Break the question down into subheadings. This can allow you to ensure that you’ve answered every aspect of the question. Including bullet points can allow you to include more points without going over the word count.

An example question may state: “Please provide your strategy for sourcing and recruiting subcontractors and for ensuring that you can effectively monitor, measure, and exercise executive control.”

For this, you would break the question down and respond by providing your strategy for:

  • Sourcing subcontractors
  • Recruiting subcontractors
  • Ensuring effective monitoring
  • Ensuring effective measuring
  • Exercising executive control
  1. Stick to the word count

Word, page, or character counts are there for a reason. It levels out the playing field to all competitors. It also demonstrates the level of detail the buyer wants you to go into. If they are expecting a 1,000-word response, simply putting a couple of bullet points won’t suffice. They are there for a reason and it’s best to try and get as close to them as possible. Going over will not reflect well on you as you will be ignoring instructions.

  1. Avoid rambling and overly technical jargon

A strong response to government contracts for bid will avoid rambling and overly technical jargon. You shouldn’t assume that the buyer knows anything. Leaving room for assumptions and lead to the wrong assumptions being made. This could jeopardise your response as a buyer may not understand what you’re talking about leading to a misunderstanding. However, you should be persuasive in your bid response, demonstrating your business’ capabilities.

Need assistance with writing your next government contract bid response?

It can be daunting applying for government contracts; however, we can help. We understand that writing isn’t everyone’s strong suit. But this doesn’t mean you should miss out on work because of it.

Here at Hudson Succeed, we pride ourselves on being bid writing experts. We have over 60 years of bid writing experience and proudly hold an 87% success rate for our clients. We have four bid writing support packages to suit your needs. Whether you’re completely new to tendering, or simply need a response proofread – we can help. Our services include:

Tender Writing

Once you’ve found the perfect bid for your business, send it our way. Our Bid Writers can take care of the whole thing for you they’ll even submit it on your behalf. They’ll let you know what they need from you, providing you with a full Tender Writing breakdown.

Tender Ready

Our Tender Ready 4-week programme is perfect for businesses that have never tendered before. A Bid Writer will work with you to ensure you have everything in place to tender successfully. Tender Ready offers your business:

  • A 12-month subscription to one Hudson Discover
  • Access to Global Bid Directors and Senior Bidding Professionals.
  • An Organisation-wide Bid library, including 3 case studies, 5 CVs and policies.
  • Additional flexible benefits.

Tender Improvement

If you’ve been tendering but aren’t seeing success from your current efforts, our Tender Improvement package can help. Our Bid Team will assess your previous responses and tender documents. They will work with you to improve for future submissions. This package includes a 12-month subscription to a Hudson Discover portal and additional tendering development services.

Tender Mentor

If you’ve written your own tender response and need it double-checked for errors, Tender Mentor can help. A Bid Writer will proofread your work for any inconsistencies, grammar or spelling mistakes. They will also ensure it’s in line with the specification before you submit.

Discover Elite

Upgrading to Discover Elite can help optimise your tendering efforts – even when you’re busy. Our two new time-saving tools can improve your competitor awareness and success rate when bidding for a contract.

The Ultimate Time Saver package offers your business:

  • A maximum of five tender breakdowns per month.
  • An annual subscription to a maximum of two Hudson Discover sector-specific portals. This option can help businesses that overlap two industries such as Healthcare and Technology, for example.
  • Pre-market and award engagement notices monitored on your behalf.
  • Buyer portal management, including registration, password management, downloading documents and assessing viability based on your bid or no-bid strategy.
  • Weekly phone calls with your dedicated Account Manager to discuss viable tendering opportunities.

The Become a Pre-Bid Master package also includes:

  • All of the above.
  • Up to seven tender breakdowns per month.
  • Bid Strategy delivered by a Senior Bid Manager with a minimum of 5 years of experience. It will also be managed by our Global Bid Director.

Contact us to find out how we can help your business grow.

Find more helpful tips and advice in our blogs. We cover topics including:

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