In the past 12 months in my role as SME Rep, I’ve been keen to ensure that smaller businesses do not overlook government as a customer or wrongly fear it will be too difficult to access that market. Online webinars, regional events, supplier guides and contract advice have all been aimed at encouraging SMEs to consider supplying the public sector and government buyers to look at SMEs as new and reliable suppliers.
But which smaller suppliers have been successful? Without knowing anything about the businesses that have been successful, there has been a slight air of mystery. Well not anymore, a list of the top 100 SME suppliers to central government has been published.
Not only that, but several are now sharing their stories and offering top tips for suppliers considering bidding.
These stories show how with some understanding of the public sector process - which we look at on our Government is Open for Business site and especially in the supplier guide - SMEs can successfully bid for, and win, public sector contracts.
Moving forward we have a renewed focus on connecting small businesses with government’s largest suppliers so SMEs can win government work, without being the lead bidder. This work will also consider how large contractors can quickly identify a quality supply chain that can help them fulfil contracts.
I hope this will inspire new businesses to ‘go for government’ and existing suppliers to keep aiming high, even if they haven’t yet had the successes they’d hoped for - the opportunities are there.
Don’t forget… I’m hosting a ‘Meet the Buyer’ event in Leeds, at the Town Hall on the 24th November - an opportunity for small businesses to hear direct from government buyers as to what they’re after, and an insight into future pipelines.
Plus, we continue the programme of regular webinars where guests are government buyers or entrepreneurs who have successfully sold to the public sector, and small businesses, from anywhere, can tune in for free.
So much is happening but there is still plenty to do!