How to Find and Win Government Contracts Up for Bid

11th August 2021

Government contracts up for bid: how to succeed

Securing government contracts up for bid can be a great way to grow your business. The public sector spends over £285 billion annually through public procurement. They procure a wide range of goods and services across a variety of sectors.

This means there’s plenty of opportunities for your business to become a supplier to the government. The government often outsources their needs resulting in government contracts up for bid. So, if this is something you’re interested in, here’s how to find and win government contracts up for bid.

How to find government contracts up for bid

Half the battle before you even start applying for government contracts up for bid is where to find them. There are hundreds of websites posting multi-sector contract opportunities. Filtering them out can be a challenge and relying simply on CPV codes can lead to missed opportunities.

Ideally, you should be looking for a sector-specific portal that posts all tendering leads from your industry. Our sister company, Hudson Discover, hosts 11 sector-specific tendering portals. You’re able to filter the search results by location, keyword, budget and more. This helps you find the perfect bid for your business – streamlining the process and saving you time.

Our portals cover the following industries:

Once you’ve found the right bid for your business, you should ask yourself the following before you progress:

  • Am I eligible?
  • Do I have the necessary qualifications/accreditations?
  • Can I actually deliver the work?
  • Do I have the necessary experience?
  • Do I meet the economic financial standing?
  • Can I write a winning bid by the submission deadline?

Assessing your bid or no-bid strategy is good to do if you want to bid on government contracts. This can help you see if a tender opportunity is right for your business. Just because you are eligible for a bid doesn’t always mean you should go for it.

 5 tips on how to win government contracts up for bid

  1. Be the MEAT

Government contracts up for bid are always awarded to the most economically advantageous tender (MEAT). This means that buyers are looking for the tenders that provide the most value for money. The buyer is looking at more than just price. A buyer could be considering a range of factors including:

  • Quality
  • Technical ability
  • Price
  • Sustainability
  • Innovation
  • Customer service
  • Ability to deliver on time
  • Accessibility.

Each contract awarding body will be seeking something different depending on their needs. Therefore, you should read the specification thoroughly as what they require will be noted here. This can help you tailor your response to their specific needs. It can really help strengthen your response.

  1. Demonstrate added value

Carrying on from the MEAT, public sector organisations will be looking for tender responses that demonstrate added value. This is because the government wants to get as much for the taxpayer’s money as possible. If you can demonstrate added value, it can give you an edge over your competitors.

For example, say you are the buyer, and you are looking at two high-scoring bids. One includes added value, and one doesn’t. You would choose the one that is offering more for the same price.

When tendering for contracts, continuously ask yourself how you’re going to add value to the buyer. It’s not enough just to say how you meet the requirements. You need to state how your services/goods will benefit the buyer. This can help you write a winning bid.

  1. Remember social value

There’s a mandatory minimum weighting of 10% on social value for government contracts up for bid. We have even seen some with a weighting of up to 30%. This means it is not something to leave as an afterthought when writing your bid response.

Social value is the economic, social and environmental aspects that should be considered when fulfilling the contract. There are five key themes that should be addressed where possible. These are:

  • Supporting COVID-19 recovery
  • Fighting climate change
  • Improving equal opportunities
  • Tackling economic inequality
  • Showing commitment to health and wellbeing.

This is a chance for SMEs to shine over bigger businesses and from their competitors.

  1. Have contract experience

Government contracts that are up for bid will require you to have a bank of contract experience. Buyers will require you to provide 2 – 3 case studies of past contracts you have delivered. These will likely need to be within the last 3 – 5 years. They should be similar in scope and complexity to the contract you’re going for.

You should include in your contract examples any challenges you encountered. Detailing how you overcame these will demonstrate your problem-solving skills and flexibility. Both of these qualities are key when going for government contacts up for bid.

You want to note the contracts that you complete on time and within budget. This will greatly strengthen your bid. It will also help instil trust in the buyer that you know what you’re doing.

  1. Address what’s being asked in the specification

One of the main reasons businesses miss out on bids is that they don’t give the buyer what they’re asking for. Reading the specification is essential. It will detail specifically what the buyer is looking for.

A lot of businesses will go off on a tangent and just note why they are good for the job. This is useless unless you are relating it to what they are required. Stay focused on your responses. Address what they are asking for specifically.

Break the questions down and address each point within the question. Use subheadings and bullet points to ensure you are covering all bases. The buyer will want you to demonstrate in your response that you:

  • Understand what they’re asking for
  • Hold evidence of a good track record in delivering similar goods/services to a similar standard
  • Have a qualified and professional team to deliver the contract.

You now know where to find and how to win government contracts up for bid. If you follow this advice, you will be one step closer to securing government contracts that are up for bid. A technical Bid Writer can help you with this. They know how to coney the information that buyers want to see.

Need assistance when writing your next government contracts up for bid?

Although you’re a bit more familiar with what’s required, you might still be looking for some bid writing support. Writing isn’t everyone’s strong suit and that’s ok. Outsourcing a bid you’ve found to bid writing specialists can help you secure that next contract.

Here at Hudson Succeed, we pride ourselves on being bid writing experts. We hold an 87% success rate and have over 60 years of collective bid writing experience. We offer four levels of bid writing support to suit every business need. You may not need the whole bid written for you; you may simply need it proofread before you submit. We can help with that. 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. They can also help you better understand the tendering process. 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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