Tendering for Work in the Public Sector

Legal services tenders are increasingly getting posted onto the Supply2.gov.uk website. You need to sign-up to get started on the site and you can now search nationally for free in respect of contracts of less than £100,000. HOWEVER most councils have their own e-tendering/e-procurement portal so you may need to register several times in several places.
HOWEVER you will automatically be excluded from tenders if the value of the project you are bidding for would be more than 30% of your annual turnover.  For some projects this can be 20% of turnover.
As all work over £10k has to be tendered for, this means if you can’t show accounts that prove your turnover is more than £50k, you won’t be able to get the work.
1.  Look on the tender sites for notifications to tender to be part of a FRAMEWORK AGREEMENT,  Framework Agreements are when a public body knows it will need to put work out to tender, but generally for amounts less than the £10k ceiling.  What they will do is get a group of say printers, or graphic designers, or caterers together, and make them exclusively part of a framework agreement usually lasting for 3 to 4 years.  If you aren’t in the framework agreement, you can’t bid for the work.  if you are in the Framework you stand a good chance of getting one or more contracts.
2. Use http://www.skillfair.co.uk/ which is for small public and private sector contracts and tenders.  Its about £150 for a year’s subscription – you can have a month’s free trial too.
3.  Collaborate with other small businesses.  And if you can’t find anyone to collaborate with, join something like http://www.venmanagement.com/ to get your business involved.

As this becomes a more and more common way to do business, with tenders being put out online and bids placed without identifying the end company to the organisation, it is important not to miss out, particularly with all the government and EU money currently being put into the public sector..