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Where do you fit in?
As a newcomer to public procurement you should always start with small bids. The location of the opportunity is another factor for you to take into account. Given the sustainability focus there is little point transporting goods or people hundreds of miles across the EU – so to start tendering:
- Start small
- Start local
- Build up a success ratio
- Obtain references
- Look for bigger opportunities when you feel comfortable with the smaller
References – are critical – no buyer wants to take a risk. They might love your carefully drafted, beautifully bound manicured bid document but:
“Can you do the work?”
The only way they can tell is to ring up someone you worked for before on a similar sized job and ask them.
Things you must have to be “bid ready”
Get your references in order – you can use references from similar private jobs if you do not have public sector jobs to use. Aim to have 5 ready – you will usually be asked for 3.
Finances – no one wants to see you go bankrupt before you finish the job. So make sure you have the finances in place and you have the accounts (2 to 3 years minimum) to demonstrate this. Show that you can cope with the cash flow needed to do the job – as a rule the job should be less than 20% of your turnover.
Insurances – again a risk adverse buyer wants to know you can take care of the risks. If they ask for €10 million of liability cover then get it or at least have a quotation from your broker so you can put it in force when requested.
Accreditation – make sure you have the correct standards for your business sector – usually ISO.
Staff skill set – keep records of the training, qualifications, education and achievements of your staff so you can demonstrate the technical ability to do the work.
Policies – you will need policies on Health and Safety, Quality Management System, Environmental Management System and Equal Opportunity policy. Many of these you will be doing anyway but you do need to document them. Help is available from business support organisations such as Chambers of Commerce in your country.
Are you bid ready?
Tip for success: Read the instructions carefully not once or twice but more
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