Government spending might be on the slide, but public sector contracts still represent a huge amount of potential business each year. The only problem is that many smaller firms simply get snowed under (or put off applying completely) by the number of hoops through which they must jump in order to tender for government work. To answer this, the Government has launched a series of measures aimed at making it easier for smaller firms to secure public sector contracts.
The need for businesses to complete pre-qualification questionnaires, some of which can run to over 50 pages, is to be dropped in cases where bidding is for contracts worth less than £100,000. Large public sector contracts are to be broken up into smaller elements so that SMEs can more viably pitch for them. And an online tool is to be set up called ‘Contracts Finder’, the purpose of which will be to help smaller enterprises track down government projects.
Recent research into small firms’ access to public procurement markets across the EU places the UK 24th out of the 27 member states, with only 24 per cent of contracts going to small firms, compared with 44 per cent in France.
John Walker, the national chairman of the Federation of Small Businesses (FSB), said: “The good thing is that the Government is going to publish figures on the amount of contracts going to SMEs so we will be able to measure its success and hold the Government to account if it is not working.”
When putting together a pitch for a major piece of work, it can help if there is someone on hand to offer an objective view of the finances involved. We are only a phone call away if you would like advice on the finances of business growth.