The Hidden Treasure-Trove of Qualified Leads
Getting a contract with a Government department or a big corporate is almost always a game-changer for a Small Business. It’s the one step that kick-starts rapid growth, and finally gets the business out of the struggle zone.
But where do you start? Where do you find them? How do you know what they need, and what work is on offer?
A treasure-trove of information
Actually, there is a place that is full of exactly this kind of information, and surprisingly, most Small Businesses never check it out. That place is online tender sites.
Government departments, Councils and many big companies find the goods and services they need by using a process called Tendering.
Sadly, too many small business owners believe that tendering is only for the “big guys”.
So, what is a Tender?
A Tender is a process whereby a buyer specifies what goods and/or services it needs, and then asks potential suppliers to submit a proposal that meets their requirements.
The Tender document is an invitation to qualified and interested suppliers. It contains all the conditions and requirements that the supplier must satisfy, as well as a closing date – when all the proposals must be submitted.
The buyer then chooses its preferred supplier from all the proposals received, based on price, delivery terms, value, delivery times and a host of other possible criteria.
Related: Here’s Why Passive Income Is a Myth
(I’m not going to cover the entire tender process in this post. I’ll leave that for another follow-up article).
In this article, I want to assure all Small Business owners that tenders are most definitely not just for big business, and that they could be missing out on huge opportunities by ignoring the tender process. Tenders used to scare me to death, but once I learned how to search for them, and write good submissions, they are now a firm part of my marketing plan.
How many billion did you say?
To illustrate the potential market available through tenders, I have looked up the latest Australian Federal Government statistics.
During 2014-2015 (the latest figures published), the Federal Government alone purchased $59.5 billion worth of goods and services by tender, and issued 69,236 contracts.
More importantly, 67% of these were for work under $80,000 – well within the reach of most Small Businesses.
Another 18% were valued at $80,000 to $250,000. Again, not impossible for many small businesses.
How many did we get?
But how many of these actually went to a small business? (According to the Government definition of small being less than 20 employees).
A full 34% of all Federal Government contracts, worth $5.8 billion, went to small businesses.
And this is only the Australian Commonwealth Government. Once we start looking at State and Local Government contracts as well, the available pie just gets bigger and bigger. It’s not just governments that use the tender process though. Hundreds of large companies also use the tender process to find their goods and services, and these amount to billions of dollars every year.
Where to search?
I know I said at the beginning of this post that there was a place where all this tender information resides. Unfortunately, it’s not exactly all in just the one place.
Different States, Government departments and agencies advertise their tenders on their own websites, so you will need to check several sites for tenders of interest. There are also commercial tender sites which, for a fee, will allow you to search ALL the sites, and narrow your search down by category or type of product/service. These commercial sites will also give you access to tenders by private companies.
In future Smallville posts, I will follow up with some more information on successful tendering.
Tendering is a huge subject, and doing it well does require a deal of work – as does everything that goes into making a successful small business. But omitting tender sites from your marketing strategy because you think it’s only for big business may be costing you a lot more than you ever imagined.
“The opinions expressed by Smallville Contributors are their own, not those of www.smallville.com.au"
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