BusinessPeople Daily

How small businesses can win lucrative contracts

Francis Muli

Most of the times you will hear people complain that tenders and business deals are given unfairly to individuals with connections, yet they never applied, or maybe only one firm did so.

They think that tenders and big business deals only belong to blue chip companies. However, that is not the case. Your small and medium enterprise (SME) could be one of the businesses getting tenders from the government and non-governmental organisations if you ensured the following:

1. A good financial record for your SME

This means you should have an account with a reputable bank that will build your creditworthiness. Ensure you have a steady cash flow. Also, remit your taxes in time and get an updated tax compliance certificate for your SME. No one will ever give you a tender without good tax record, as this could land them in problems.

2. Apply for tenders

Just like most jobs, no one will come looking for you to give you a tender. Apply and enquire wherever and whenever there is a chance for your SME. Even if you fail the first time you might make it in the second round.

3.Seek endorsements

Whenever you do a job for any client, however small they might look, get them to recommend your services and products. It is the best way up for your organisation, as no one will give you a “big” job without knowing your delivery history and ability.

Positive feedback from happy customers cultivates confidence and, ultimately, boosts sales. In this case, it increases your chances of getting a tender.

4. Create Partnerships

Sometimes your SME might not have the financial muscle to handle a certain task. In such times, you can have a consortium of SMEs coming together and applying for tenders and sharing the profits depending on the input of each SME. This strengthens your bargaining power in winning any tender or deal.

Paul Parisi, PayPal Canada president, says there is no better approach to solving challenges than the famous saying “two heads are better than one.”

Whether creating internal partnerships between colleagues or departments, to larger partnerships between businesses, he adds, harnessing the strengths and abilities of others from different corners of your ecosystem is one of the most strategic ways for businesses to scale their innovation and solve complex challenges.

“In today’s fast-paced environment, a ‘do-it-alone’ approach is not the best strategy for growth. Companies that initially grew organically need to look for new ways to drive collaborative innovation that delivers on what their customers need today – and in the future,” says Parisi.

5. Have connections

It is not a crime to know and befriend people in the right places. This is how you will know of upcoming tenders and opportunities. Make sure they know what you do.

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