Finding the right tendering opportunities for your business

Stop spending time bidding for tenders that are not a great fit for your business. Buyers will be able to see that you are not the most suitable supplier for the work and you will have wasted time that you could have spent more efficiently elsewhere.

Your time is valuable, and should only be spent bidding for work that you have a fair chance of winning and that your business actually wants. By following the guidance provided below you can improve your searches, identify relevant tenders, and get alerted to more opportunities.

Define your scope of work and the types of opportunities you will bid for

Before bidding for work, you should have a very clear idea of what you can and are willing to offer as a service. This will save you a lot of time in the long run by helping you to make ‘Go’ or ‘No go’ decisions when reviewing notices. Without a clearly defined scope of work, you could take on work outside of your capabilities or waste time writing bids for work that you are never going to be considered for. Use your scope of work to guide your tender searches and ensure you are not tempted to bid for work that your business is not suited to. 
To help you get started, we have hundreds of predefined keywords split across 24 industries that you can use to help outline your business’ scope of work. You can also click into each of these, adjust the filters to suit your business, and get an idea of how many related opportunities you could expect to find.


Partial view of the Administration Applications keywords under our Computing industry category

Keep up to date with public sector news

Following local and national news can give you a significant competitive advantage by revealing potential business opportunities.

Public sector plans and funding are frequently covered in the news and can be used by suppliers as prospecting leads. In one of the examples below the government announced £725m of funding to help communities across England and included details of each of the towns set to benefit. This information could be used to start conversations with the relevant authorities and develop a relationship before tenders have even been published.
The government also publishes any new or upcoming changes to procurement policy, and knowing about these can make a big difference to how you shape your bids. The other example is a change to procurement policy which at first glance is only relevant to contracting authorities, but on closer review, it contains useful information for suppliers.

Thirty towns to share £725 million to help communities build back better 

Funding announced for 30 towns in England to boost their local economies, create jobs, and help them build back better from the pandemic. 


Procurement Policy Note 05/21: National Procurement Policy Statement 

Sets out information and guidance for contracting authorities on the National Procurement Policy Statement. 


Familiarise yourself with public sector terminology

When considering bidding for work, you should be fully aware of what the buyer needs and the work you are bidding for. In public procurement there are some unique terms and even procedures that you may not be familiar with, so we have included some of the terms people commonly request definitions for below.

Framework Agreements
A framework agreement is a multi-supplier contract under which individual contracts (call-offs) can be made throughout the period of the agreement (normally a maximum of 4 years). It allows buyers to easily procure goods, works, or services from an approved list of suppliers. No other suppliers may enter the agreement during its term.

Procurement thresholds
For different types of public procurement, there are value thresholds that are used to determine if a contract is High-value (above threshold) or Low-value (below threshold). High-value tenders are published centrally on ‘Find a Tender’, while Low-value tenders are not centralised and can be published on any applicable portal – of which there are hundreds.

Find a Tender
The official UK portal for High-value tenders published in England, Scotland, Wales, and Northern Ireland. It does not however have Low-value tenders which make up over 70% of all UK tenders.

PIN (Prior Information Notice/ Periodic Indicative Notice)
A notice giving advance warning of a contract to be tendered at some point in the future. PINs can now also be used as a call for competition by sub-central Contracting Authorities when using the restricted procedure or competitive procedure with negotiation.

ITT (Invitation to Tender)
The paper or electronic documentation issued to organisations invited to tender for a contract. Typically, it includes a background, rules of tender, contract specification, questions or information required, and a draft contract.

A complete list of terms can be found in Tendering Terminology, and further information about the different tendering procedures can be found in ‘What is a Public tender

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