How to Secure Government Contracts Without a Huge Bid Team

14th September 2022

How to secure government contracts if you don’t have unlimited resources

Wondering how to secure government contracts without the resources of Amazon, Capita or Deloitte?  Well, we have good news! You don’t need endless resources to win government contracts. You just need to be:

  • Smart with your bid or no-bid decisions
  • Resourceful with your team
  • Knowledgeable about the tendering process.

In this blog, we’ll take a look at:

  • How to be smart with your decisions, using a bid or no-bid checklist
  • What you can do to prepare before you bid for work
  • How to break down the question
  • How to get the evaluator on your side with your writing
  • Where you can find support.

So, let’s get started!

5 boxes to tick for smarter bid decisions

Before bidding for work, you should set out a list of questions to ask yourself before diving in. These questions will form your bid or no-bid questionnaire. They will help you make quick and smart decisions and keep you on the right path.

By making better decisions, you’ll save yourself from wasting resources further down the line. You don’t want to write 10,000 words, then realise you’re not eligible because of an accreditation requirement on page 50.

Can you tick ‘yes’ to the following?  
Do you turnover more than half the contract’s value?  
Is the contract deliverable in your location/can you travel to the location?  
Is the contract going to be profitable?  
Do you have experience with delivering the services/goods required and can you evidence this?  
Can you demonstrate how you will add value to the buyer?  

There are plenty of questions to consider but these five are a good starting point.

If you tick ‘no’ to even one of these questions, you need to seriously consider whether you can win. Essentially, we’re saying don’t waste your time and resources on bids you can’t win.

4 things you can prepare before you bid on government contracts

  1. Assign roles in your team

With a smaller team, it’s important that everyone understands the role they play in the wider project. We recommend assigning:

  • Someone who makes the bid or no-bid decisions
  • The project manager
  • Someone who designs the solutions
  • Someone who will write the bid responses
  • The person who will compile the pricing document
  • The person who will sign off the final bid.
  1. Compile your policies and procedures

Even before you start bidding for work, you can pre-empt the policies you are likely to be asked for. For example, in the healthcare industry, it’s sensible to assume you will be asked to provide:

  • A safeguarding policy
  • A whistleblowing policy
  • Your business continuity plans
  • A risk management policy
  • And an infection control plan/policy.

You can see here how we have made this assumption based on the industry. You and your team can do the same.

  1. Create consistent, branded company CVs

In the public sector, buyers often ask to see the CVs of the team who will be delivering the contract. We advise spending some time on preparing these CVs and trying to keep the design consistent. It’s easier for buyers to read and digest the information if they’re all formatted the same way. Take this opportunity to shine a spotlight on each member of your team and demonstrate their capabilities.

  1. Create/compile case studies 

And more importantly…relevant case studies! When tendering for work in the public sector, you need to evidence your previous experience. This is usually done through providing two or three case studies from the last five years. The projects in the case studies should be similar in size and scope to the tender at hand.

How to break down the question

So, you’ve found a tender, it passes your checklist and you’ve prepared your documents. How do you now breakdown the questions and answer them effectively?

Firstly, don’t just jump straight in and start writing…as tempting as it might be. Sit back and examine the question. Let’s look at an example question:

Please explain your risk management procedures, including what risks you feel are vital to overcome as part of this contract, as well as monitoring and mitigation approaches you would use. Please detail who will manage said risks and provide examples of where you have overcome similar risks.

Does it seem like there’s a lot to answer within this one question? There is! We would tackle it bit by bit, breaking the question down into subheadings, such as:

  • General risk management procedures – this would include risks, monitoring and mitigation.
  • Risk lead – risk management experience.

Under each subheading, you can address that section of the question.

How to get the evaluator on your side

When considering how to secure government contracts, it’s not just about what you’re saying, it’s how. Here are our top 5 tips for getting the buyer on your side:

  • Be definitive. Swap phrases like ‘we aspire to’ with ‘we have’ and ‘we could’ for ‘we will’
  • Stay positive, focusing on the benefits of your service/solution/goods and the advantages
  • Back up all your claims with indisputable evidence
  • Be confident in your writing and write with conviction
  • Keep your language simple and sentences short. For example, instead of ‘has been proven to be’ use ‘is’.

It might seem like these tips are too simple…what’s the catch?  There really isn’t one.

Empathise with the evaluator. You’re reviewing 30 submissions; they all contain very similar information, but they’re written differently. The simple, definitive answers will stand out because they are easy to follow and understand.

Also consider that the evaluator is likely not an expert in your industry or service/goods. Therefore, avoiding the use of too much technical jargon will go a long way. The evaluator needs to understand why they should award you the contract. If they don’t follow your explanations, you’re unlikely to win.

Where can you find government contracts?

Hopefully, you now have a better idea of how to secure government contracts. So where can you find the opportunities in the first place?

There are hundreds of websites across the UK that are updated daily with opportunities. The government has its own tender tracking website called Contracts Finder. The website is free to use but be prepared to spend a long time scrolling through irrelevant tenders.

That’s because the website uses CPV codes to categorise the opportunities which are often incorrectly used.

To speed up the process and make opportunity tracking more efficient, we created our Hudson Discover portals.

Hudson Discover houses our 11 sector-specific tendering portals. As well as being dedicated to one sector each, they’re manually updated by our Opportunity Trackers. They scour over 600 sources to identify new tendering opportunities and tag them with industry-driven keywords.

Visit your industry’s portal to book a free live demo:

In summary…

So, we’re at the end of our blog on how to secure government contracts. Hopefully you’ll take something away with you that you can apply to your next bid. If you need a quick recap, here you go:

  • We provided a list of five questions to help you form a bid or no-bid questionnaire. This will help you make more informed, smarter decisions and mitigate wasted resources. We understand that smaller businesses need to be smart with their resources. Assessing the bids before diving in will help you do just that.
  • We provided our top four tips for bid preparation:
    1. Assigning roles to your team
    2. Pre-empting the policies and procedures you’ll likely be asked to provide
    3. Creating company CVs for everyone in your team who will be delivering the contract
    4. Compiling three case studies from the last five years that will be relevant to the contracts you bid for.
  • Together, we looked at a sample question and thought about how we could break it down. We made sure to split the answer into subheadings so that we addressed every part of the question.
  • We provided five tips to help you get the evaluator on side with your writing:
    1. Be definitive with your language
    2. Stay positive, focusing on the benefits and advantages
    3. Provide evidence to back up your claims
    4. Write with confidence and conviction
    5. Keep it simple! Short sentences and simple language will go down well with the buyer when they’re reviewing multiple bids at once.
  • We provided guidance for finding government contracts and recommended our Hudson Discover portals.

Still wondering how to secure government contracts?

Our team of consultants are here to help you. They have a thorough understanding of the tender process and government contracts, knowing exactly how to respond.

By outsourcing to professionals, you can improve your chances of winning contracts.

We have over 60 years of bid writing experience and an 87% success rate. Whether you’re completely new to tendering or aren’t seeing results – we can help. There are four bid writing packages available:

Tender Writing

Once you’ve found a government tender, send it over to us. One of our Bid Writers will write the tender response for you. We’ll provide a full Tender Writing break down and even submit the bid on your behalf.

Tender Mentor

Tender Mentor can give your tender response a once-over before you submit it. Our Bid Writing Team will analyse your response, notifying you of any errors and opportunities for improvements prior to submission.

Tender Ready

During the Tender Ready service, our team will create professional policies, procedures, and case studies in your company branding. If you already have this content, we will review everything carefully to ensure that nothing is missed. Once the programme is complete, you’ll have access to three days’ worth of bid consultancy. This can be used for bid writing, tender reviews, or general advice and guidance.

Tender Improvement

The Tender Improvement package can help those who have tendered before but aren’t seeing results. Our Bid Writers will assess your previous responses and work with you to develop improved content.

Get in touch to find out how we can help your business grow.

Need help with searching for government tenders?

A subscription to one of our sector-specific portals will include:

  • Unlimited portal access. You can browse your industry’s portal to your heart’s content. See all the opportunities that are available, intuitively categorised, and easily accessible.
  • A daily email bulletin. When you sign up to a portal, you’ll receive an email alert when new tenders are uploaded.
  • A free 20-minute phone consultation with a Bid Writer every month. Our expert Bid Consultants will chat with you about anything tender related.

Upgrade to Discover Elite

If you want to streamline the process even further, you can sign up to Discover Elite via your chosen portal. With this service, a dedicated Account Manager will find live bids on your behalf. They’ll speak with you weekly to discuss opportunities that may interest you. This is especially helpful for those with little time to spare due to busy schedules.

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

Share This Insight

A Bid Writer


Similar Insights

Tendering Process for Technology Contracts
Latest Insights 29th June 2023

Tendering Process for Technology Contracts

Tendering Process for Technology Contracts  Winning technology contracts relies on a combination of experience in…

Read More
Win Tenders in the Hospitality Sector: Laundry, Catering and more!
Latest Insights 12th June 2023

Win Tenders in the Hospitality Sector: Laundry, Catering and more!

Win Tenders in the Hospitality Sector: Laundry, Catering and more! Winning hospitality tenders relies on…

Read More
Tender VLE: Our Virtual Bid Learning Environment
Latest Insights 5th June 2023

Tender VLE: Our Virtual Bid Learning Environment

Tender VLE It’s simple — to win contracts, you must have the necessary skills of…

Read More
How to Win Healthcare Tenders: Our 10 Top Tips!
Latest Insights 23rd May 2023

How to Win Healthcare Tenders: Our 10 Top Tips!

How to Win Healthcare Tenders: Our 10 Top Tips! Winning healthcare tenders is a skill…

Read More
How to Become a Tender Expert
Latest Insights 10th May 2023

How to Become a Tender Expert

How to Become a Tender Expert Becoming a tender expert is a surefire way to…

Read More
Top 10 Tendering Secrets
Latest Insights 3rd May 2023

Top 10 Tendering Secrets

Top 10 Tendering Secrets It is no secret that the tendering process can be complex…

Read More

Let’s get started.

Call for a FREE consultation with our Tender Writing Consultants or simply send us an email and a team member will contact you.

Request a Callback