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Top 5 Tips: Introduction to Public Procurement Tendering

Even after this week’s budget, the Irish Government will spend over €11 billion next year. This is a massive opportunity for SME’s due to the current Government focus to engage more with Irish SME’s. Additionally, public contracts are usually long-term, they lead to other opportunities and they come with a low credit risk.

Listed below are 5 simple tips to get you started and winning Public Procurement Tenders. Essentially, it all boils down to good sales practice which you employ in the Private Sector already;

1. Listen:
Engage with Buyers early. Identify who is buying – get the Public Administration Yearbook. When are they buying? How much? If you are waiting for an eTender, you have probably lost already…

2. Watch:
Be informed. Register with eTenders and LAQuotes to ensure you are alerted to suitable opportunities in your industry. Study the Specifications, understanding every last detail, ensuring you meet Minimum/Selection/Award Criteria, as required.

3. Ask:
Clarify all the Requirements exactly. If you have a query/concern, ask for clarity before investing in an eTender. The buyer is usually not as knowledgeable about the product/service as you are so ensure any gaps in the Specification are identified/corrected, prior to responding.

4. Touch:
Don’t touch the buyer! What I mean here is make the solution real. Public Sector Buyers are risk averse. Make the buying decision easy. Demonstrate similar projects, solutions or working prototypes of a proposed solution. Highlight capability, sustainability and reliability…

5. Partner:
Once again, Public Sector Buyers are risk averse. As an SME, your capability, sustainability and reliability may be a concern especially if you are a new business or do not have a track record selling to the public-sector. The answer is partnering. Partner with a suitable organisation to jointly respond – this could be another SME or a larger complimentary business.

Have you any other comments/insights?

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