Preparing Your Small Business for Government Tenders

| July 26, 2017

government tendersThe government is still the biggest purchaser of goods and services in the country. Last year alone, government purchases and public procurement accounted for more than 15% of the nation’s GDP. Over £8 billion was spent on goods and services, making the government one of the most lucrative clients in the market today.

Before you can start competing for government projects, however, there are a few things you need to prepare first. The Department of Finance has made meeting the requirements for government tenders a lot easier, so small and family businesses have equal access to tender opportunities.

Registering Your Business

First and foremost, you need to have a business with a valid D-U-N-S number in order to qualify for government tenders. A D-U-N-S, or data universal number system, is issued by Dun & Bradstreet, an independent auditor that has been validating businesses in the United States, Australia, the European Union, and other countries.

The number acts as your ID when setting up a business credit file, something that is required if you want to participate in government tenders in Northern Ireland. Also known as the D&B D-U-N-S Number, your nine-digit identifier is later used to determine the reliability and financial stability of your business.

Aside from having a valid D-U-N-S number, you also need to meet other requirements before you can start competing for government tenders. There is a very simple registration form on eTendersNI, so getting your company registered should not be a problem.

Competing for Tenders

There is a surprisingly large number of government projects you can pursue once you have a registered business. At the moment, there are more than 4,000 projects available on eTendersNI’s website. The site is run by the Department of Finance’s Central Procurement Directorate. The CPD classifies needs of every branch of government and runs tenders to meet those needs.

You can only compete for projects that are in line with your business’s core competencies. There are two ways to submit your offer. The first one is by using the provided online form. While this is the simplest way of entering different tenders, not all projects can be pursued this way.

If you have to submit your bids offline, you have to prepare a series of documents and follow the mandatory format to get the bid accepted by the CPD. Fortunately, there are third-party service providers that can help you with bid writing.

Opportunities to Explore

As stated at the beginning of the article, qualifying for government tenders means accessing a wealth of opportunities just waiting to be explored. There are thousands of projects you can bid for every term, plus there are smaller projects to pursue along the way.

There is one added benefit of working on government projects, and that is a substantial boost in credibility. The Department of Finance imposes a strict set of standards when it comes to procurement, so having experience in this field is a testament to your business’s utmost regard for quality and customer satisfaction. Do you think you have what it takes to pursue government contracts?

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