Although the general process of tendering in the private sector is like that in the public sector, i.e. has a specification, a response and an assessment, there are some key differences:
Tenders for Private Sector Contracts
Private sector tenders are a fantastic opportunity to develop your business in a different way from the traditional sales and marketing channels. They also offer scope to supply a far greater range of products and services that don’t fit into the public sector market.
Private sector tenders are similar to public sector tenders but with some key differences and challenges due to differing priorities and regulations. Our team of senior tender writing consultants has extensive experience in winning private sector contracts and can supply your business with everything it needs to prepare an outstanding tender. Make sure your business competes successfully and wins more private sector tenders.
Challenges of tendering for private sector contracts
- There is no legal requirement to publish private sector tenders on a central noticeboard or make the opportunity public. As a result, private sector buyers can choose who to send their tender invitations to. It is usually down to their own procurement policy as to whether they go to the whole of the market or select a representative proportion of suppliers to tender.
- As there is no central notification system, there is more work to do to find relevant private sector tender opportunities. This can be advantageous as not everyone will be aware.
- Private sector tenders won’t follow the same formula as public sector tenders, e.g. the standard SQ (Selection Questionnaire) or ESPD (European Single Procurement Document) familiar to regular public sector tenderers is unlikely to be used. However, most diligent private sector businesses will want suppliers to meet similar requirements and meet at least some minimum criteria, e.g. financial stability.
- Evaluation and scoring schemes in the private sector may not be as robust or as strict as those in the public sector, nor do they have to be disclosed in advance. The buyer is usually at liberty to assess potential bids however they want (this is often in the small print!) so its critical to understand exactly where the buyer is coming from.
- As requirements may not be as rigorous, private sector tenders may be easier for smaller businesses to comply with.
- Private sector tenders may be more exacting and less altruistic in their requirements as they are not bound by the underlying ethos of public-mindedness. It may therefore be easier to get to the heart of their buying motivation.
- Pricing can hold more weight in the private sector as private sector organisations are naturally more commercially minded and focused on increasing returns for their owners or shareholders. There may also be price negotiations and blatant requests to revise fee proposals between buyer and potential supplier(s).
- Private sector organisations are not bound by the same fairness and transparency directives as the public sector. As such, it is up to each buyer to be as fair and transparent as they like when issuing any feedback on your bid. The better organisations will recognise the value of lessons learnt and provide a good level of detail.
- There is no requirement in the private sector to publish contract award notifications, so it is more difficult to use this process to approach winning bidders for sub-contracting opportunities.
Once these differences are understood and considered when preparing a tender, winning a private sector contract can be very financially rewarding. Private sector contracts are just that, they are down to the buyer and supplier coming to a mutually beneficial arrangement. Unlike the public sector, long-term relationships can be formed, without the threat of having to re-issue, re-tender and re-win your contract regularly.
Top tips for winning private sector contracts:
”Our Company first used Complete Tenders in May 2018 where I was struggling to finish a tender due to the complexities of the finances. I called Complete tenders and Matthew dropped everything he was doing to assist and pulled the figures together in a short space of time which I then submitted on time. As a result of Matthew's intervention, we were awarded the contract in June 2018. I am confident that Complete tenders will help us grow our business significantly over the foreseeable future and look forward to what can be achieved. I would not hesitate in recommending Complete Tenders to any organisation that has growth at the heart of their business strategy.Andy PearmanUnited Cleaning Solutions
Tailored support throughout the entire tendering process
At Complete Tenders we believe in helping small companies win contracts. However, few small businesses have the in-house expertise in bid management and tender writing to enable them to compete with larger organisations. Added to which, the process is a time-consuming activity that is often underestimated.
Speak to our senior tender writing specialists
Let our experts do the work for you! Our talented team can product contract-winning responses for your business.Tender Writing Services