Winning a government tender is a big achievement and makes all the hard work worth it. But are there other government-based contract opportunities for your business out there? And if you’re not winning the tender, who is? Even more important, where can you look to find out?
One of the best things you can do to keep up with what’s on offer is to register your interest. And the good news is that it’s entirely free to do. Key federal, state and local government websites allow you to create a company profile for your business so you can be in the know when new tenders are listed. There are also a number of private providers who specialise in matching contracts with suppliers. Here’s a quick snapshot of just a few.
The Australian Government website (www.australia.gov.au) allows you to register for AusTender procurement information system. AusTender is where all information regarding Australian government business opportunities, annual procurement plans and multi-use lists and contracts awarded is displayed.
AusTender utilises a system called Approach to Market (ATM), which refers to any business opportunity advertised by Australian government agencies, so it’s really useful for companies wanting to keep abreast of what’s happening. When you register and create a business profile, you’ll automatically be notified of the latest opportunities as soon as they’re published.
Another excellent source of information is ICN. An independent organisation, it’s supported by Australian, state and territory governments and works by matching project owners with the best locally sourced suppliers. It’s been around for over 30 years and has helped local suppliers find $30 billion worth of contracts. You can find out more at www.icn.org.au.
Businesses in NSW may also wish to visit www.tenders.nsw.gov.au, home of NSW eTendering. Here, you’ll find loads of information about upcoming, current and closed opportunities listed by NSW government agencies which utilise the site. It also details awarded contracts over $150,000 in value; useful information for those businesses who may wish to sub-contract.
Most state governments operate sites similar to eTendering. For example, the Queensland Government uses www.lgtenderbox.com.au, an online tendering portal for local government, statutory bodies and other public sector entities. You can lodge tender applications electronically as well as participate in tender forums, which can be a good way of making business connections with others in your industry.
If you’re serious about getting ahead of the game, do your market research and see who’s winning tenders. Many government sites publish awarded contracts with values of $10,000 or more, although local councils only have an obligation to declare those above $100,000.
Keeping a close eye on who’s winning tenders means you can realistically assess your business against your direct competitors. Where are they stronger than you? What can you offer that they can’t? Above all, it’s a valuable exercise because it gives you a focal point from which to improve your offering and get you in with a much improved chance next time round.