About Tendering

Is your business just starting out in public sector procurement?

Each year, everything in the public sector is bought – there are very few in-house services across Scotland – which adds up to an overall spend of £14.5 billion. While there is a regulated tender process to be a supplier to the public sector, it’s one process to sell across the wider public sector. These buyers have a duty to engage with local SME businesses to support local employment and retain wealth locally. Transparency is required for the procurement of goods, services and works, so public sector buyers are required to be open, fair and honest in the way they choose suppliers and in any dealings with them.

For owners of small or medium sized businesses, the public sector is the best customer to have because there is no debt risk: payment can be made on a received invoice within 10 days if there’s a cash flow need, and within 30 days as the legal maximum.

Stability for your business

Public sector contracts offer stability for your business. Regardless of the economic implications of things like Brexit or economic downturns, public services still need to be delivered. This provides suppliers with a relatively stable and durable customer base. There is also marketing mileage from having a large customer like a public body, which can then be used to promote your service to grow your business.

The Supplier Development Programme offers a myriad of training and events, as well as information, guidance, and customisable templates that your business can access for free.

Develop bid writing and tender writing skills free

Businesses that write winning proposals benefit from increased turnover, reduced costs and a greater market presence. No company is too small to bid for public sector contracts; even a sole trader can be successful with improved bid writing skills. Small and medium sized businesses have staff with the knowledge required to win a bid, but they may need additional skills to write a tender document. That is where the Supplier Development Programme's expert trainers can help!

If you're a Scottish SME, supported business or third sector organisation, you can learn how to apply best practice in planning, writing and submitting a tender bid in SDP's free tender training programme, where you'll learn how to consider the buyer perspective from all reader and scorer types, how to clarify the benefits of your offering, and what supporting evidence you need to prepare and submit. By putting the bid writing skills you learn through the Supplier Development Programme into practice, your finished document will likely be more compelling and concise - making it more likely that your bid will be successful.

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