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Framework Agreements: Getting SMEs involved in public procurement

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Framework Agreements: Getting SMEs involved in public procurement

The annual conbined turnover of UK Small and Medium Sized Enterprises (SMEs) was over £1.8 trillion in 2016. Governments in recent years have committed more and more funding to them, since it is clear they are key to economic growth.

Following on from a previous blog (‘A Bidding Guide for Small Businesses’, 10/04/17), we want to discuss how else SMEs can get involved in public procurement. Framework agreements represent around 45% of procurements in the UK, and they are increasingly valuable for SMEs.

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A Bidding Guide for Small Businesses

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A Bidding Guide for Small Businesses

However small a business, there are always opportunities to enter the public sector procurement market. As a fellow Small and Medium Enterprise (SME), HealthBid loves working with the small and mighty businesses out there, and can help make sense of the processes that may appear daunting and unreachable at first.

This guide will hopefully show how big an impact SMEs can have by getting involved in the procurement process, and will highlight how we can further help you.

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Finding the right tender for you

Searching for tenders can be frustrating, and it can often seem that there is not something out there that fits your product or service. 

The first step to solving this is to make sure that you are searching in the right place. Before you spend money with an expensive service that finds tenders for you, make sure you have spent some time familiarising yourself with Contracts Finder, the Government's website that aggregates opportunities. It is much improved, and the search function is pretty granular to find relevant things. 

The second step is to go back to basics on your core strengths. Instead of thinking of yourselves as creating a specific product or service, think about the problems that it solves. Link this to your research into the health sectors pressure points. For example, your transport company isn't just a provider of patient transport, it is a way of improving flow around the hospital system.

If you think about opportunities in these terms, it makes it much easier to find things to solve.

The other thing that we always advise our customers is to look for subcontracting opportunities. The NHS has a tendency to put out very big tenders, then let potential bidders work out who they would need to partner with to make them happen. Look to see who has won work in your area, and see if there are opportunities to subcontract. This can save a lot of time, and open up a much broader set of opportunities.

As always, if you want some advice and support with finding the best opportunities for your business, then drop us a line, and we can have a chat.

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