Typically – following a brief Christmas/New Year lull – the period from January until the end of March is a boom time for tenders. Councils and many other public sector organisations are looking to spend the last of their current year’s budget, in part so that they can then show evidence of spending levels in support of their budget request(s) for the coming year.
While it’s true that the major spends often happen early in a budget year – essential and/or large projects get their budgets earmarked pretty early on – organisations often keep a certain amount back for the rest of the year for other potential projects that may or may not happen. What this means is that, around January, there is sometimes a budget pot left over, unspent, that now needs spending! Woohoo!
Why is this good for SMEs?
Alongside the big budget, big impact projects, most organisations have a bunch of smaller projects that they’d like to happen, that will certainly have some kind of positive impact but that may get deferred in favour of those bigger projects. With the caveat that – especially in these times of ‘austerity’ – most budget planners are pretty spot on with their forecasts, where there is unexpected extra budget to be spent, these smaller projects are just the place to spend it.
For SMEs looking to grow sustainably or maintain stability, such projects can be a great help. For example:
- Micro-SMEs, one-man-bands and partnerships being able to expand and take on employees
- Small businesses using the contract credibility gained from smaller projects to tender for larger contracts
- Medium sized businesses lowering/spreading their financial risks by developing a broader portfolio of small, medium and larger contracts
How do you find these contracts?
TED (Tenders Electronic Daily) will have details of many current opportunities and is well worth a look. Read my guide to TED to find out how to use it to find the right tenders for you. However, not all smaller value contracts are advertised on TED and so some sleuthing and a bit of legwork is the key. Register on local council and wider government websites as a supplier as well as regional procurement portals such as NEPO, SEBP and The Chest. Google can also be a surprisingly useful search, if you add ‘contract’, ‘tender’, ‘procurement’ etc. to the type of services or products you’re looking to provide.
Contact me for a chat
If that sounds like the least fun way to spend the first week of January, I can also help you:
- Find the right contracts for your business
- Decide whether or not to tender for them
- See if they fit into your overall growth plan
- Respond to and submit the tender
If you’d like to know more, contact me today.
Happy New Year!