Ahead of The Government Exchange event in Swindon on May 6, an event to match small businesses with buyers from government, Emma Jones founder of Enterprise Nation outlines four steps to make sales to the public sector, and help government reach its target of spending £1 in every £3 with small business.
A big opportunity
Selling to government is one of the biggest sales opportunities for small business in 2016. Minister for Cabinet Office, Matthew Hancock, has publicly committed the government to spending £1 in every £3 with SMEs; this equates to £billions worth of deals for the entrepreneurial community.
Steps to making sales
To sell to government, follow these steps:
Have a plan
Determine if you want to sell direct to government or via tier one suppliers. If direct, register your details on procurement portals such as ContractsFinder and Supplying South West to be first to hear about the opportunities coming up in your sector. Selling via tier one suppliers is another approach. These are the large companies that oversee £multi million contracts for government and they are actively on the look-out for small businesses to complete their own supply chains. Research the tier one suppliers in your sector and approach them direct with your offer.
Meet the buyers
Government departments are increasingly attending events and promoting the opportunities available to small business. Crossrail have hosted webinars for potential suppliers, G-Cloud has toured the UK with ‘meet the buyer’ roadshows, and tier one suppliers such as Sodexo and Microsoft are keen to connect with potential partners. Follow the buyers on twitter, watch the webinars, and head to the events to get your company known!
Get tender ready
Whilst approaching buyers and researching the opportunities, get your business tender ready by having the required documents in place that are requested on most ‘invitations to tender.’ This includes documents such as policies on health and safety and equal opportunities, as well as insurance policy documents and financial accounts. Having these documents to hand makes the bidding process more efficient.
As you increase sales to government, consider hiring the services of a professional bid writer so you can focus on what you do best and outsource the task of bid writing to the experts. Find professionals on the Enterprise Nation marketplace, such as John Fernau and Denise O’Leary, or via the Association of Bid and Proposal Management Professionals.
To meet buyers and get tender ready, attend The Government Exchange on Friday 6 May, at Excalibur offices in Swindon. You’ll hear from procurement and sales experts, meet buyers from the public sector, learn of development plans for Swindon that could lead to contracts, and hear from an entrepreneur who has successfully sold to the public sector. The event is free to attend. Book your place by clicking here.