Sunday, February 27, 2011

New UK Government Guidelines on SME Procurement

The recent changes in Government procurement have been designed to enable small and medium sized enterprises tp get more access to goverment contracts.

Traditionally, the procurement process in the public sector has been one that's dififcult to crack for smaller business - the complex procurement complex and the size of contracts available have often been off-putting to SMEs. 

That's changing with a new contracts finder website - giving everyone access to public sector contracts over £10,000 but lower that the OJEU threshold.

Another benefit is allowing businesses to pre-qualify once, rather than for each opportunity. This alone will save businesses time and money. In some instances for projects under £100,000 pre-qualification may disappear entirely.

But changing the procurement processes means that businesses have to be prepared to understand new processes and pitch for business. Having procurements that require only proposals and presentations means that the quality of your message, proposal and persuasion needs to be at an even higher level as the opportunities have been opened up to more potentially suppliers.

The new policy also says "Departments will be required to adopt greater use outcome based specifications as much as possible and not to over specify."

Outcome based specifications means that understanding needs and describing client benefits become the essential tools of persuasion - it's not good enough to give details about your's all about what your business can do to deliver the desired outcome.

Businesses need to get close to opportunities - and one danger of these changes is that more contracts will have someone's name on them before the procurement is undertaken - but also any proposals submitted need to be highly persuasive and offer clear benefits statements related to the desired outcomes.

Learn to Write Proposals has developed a methodology for persuasive proposals and this has been deisnged for small and medium businesses - easy to use tools that enhance the sales and proposal capability of businesses that traditionally may not have had to write proposals. But with these new opportunties being publicised, less money being spent in the public sector and a highly competetive environment it means that proposal skills need to be better than ever before. That's why Learn to Write Proposals gives you the tools and resources to respond successfully to opportunities, improving your chances of winning business.