How SMEs can win more government contracts

How SMEs can win more government contracts

Posted by James Piggott Picture of James Piggott on 24 May 2023

For SMEs, entering the public sector arena can be pretty daunting.

Complicated procurement processes, well-entrenched competition, and tight deadlines mean many small businesses aren't performing as well as they could when bidding on public sector tenders.

Fear not! AutogenAI - the AI-infused bid writing experts - have consulted their in-house language engine, Genny, to come up with 10 top tips on how SMEs can start winning more work with government.



About AutogenAI:

AutogenAI gives your sales teams a significant competitive advantage. We are the fastest-growing AI company in the UK. Our enterprise-level solution is being used by clients across three continents as we continue to grow at an explosive rate and meet the needs of our end users. Our cutting-edge natural language processing solutions make a company's language work for them, saving time, and money while improving the quality of their bids, tenders, and proposals.


Genny's 10 tips to win more government contracts

πŸŽ“ 1. Take advantage of the free training and support services available from the Crown Commercial Service.

This includes advice on how to write effective tenders, guidance on the procurement process, and access to a wide range of online resources. The CCS also provides support for businesses looking to become suppliers to the public sector, with a dedicated team of advisors available to help you understand relevant frameworks, pipelines and resources. 

πŸ“š 2. Develop a strong understanding of the UK government procurement process.

To ensure success in the UK government procurement process, it is essential to develop a strong understanding of the rules and regulations. This includes understanding the different stages of the procurement process, the criteria used to assess tenders, and the legal requirements that apply to public contracts. It is also important to have an understanding of the different types of contracts available, like open or restricted tenders, and different routes-to-market, like framework agreements and dynamic purchasing systems. Finally, it is important to understand the timescales involved, as there are strict deadlines for submitting bids and responding to queries. 

πŸ’ͺ 3. Ensure you have a clear and concise bid that outlines your company’s strengths and capabilities.

When submitting any bid, ensure that it is clear and concise. Demonstrate why your company is the best choice for the job; highlight its strengths and capabilities. Showcase any relevant experience and qualifications, as well as any awards or accolades that you have earned. Make sure that you explain why your bid is the best solution for their needs. By presenting a compelling bid, you will give yourself the best chance of being selected.

βœ”οΈ 4. Demonstrate that you have a history of successful contract delivery.

Show that you have a proven track record of successfully delivering similar contracts to the one that you are looking to win. Evidence this with case studies, references and a description of outcomes.

🀝 5. Consider forming partnerships with other SMEs to increase your chances of winning larger contracts.

To increase your chances of winning larger contracts, consider forming partnerships with other small and medium enterprises (SMEs). By pooling resources and expertise, SMEs are able to offer more competitive bids than they could on their own. 


πŸ—£οΈ 6. Focus on developing relationships with key decision makers in the public sector.

Focusing on developing relationships with key decision makers in the public sector is essential for success. By engaging with these decision makers, you can build trust and understanding. Furthermore, engaging with decision makers can also help to identify opportunities that would otherwise be missed. 

πŸš€ 7. Take advantage of any available government-sponsored initiatives that could help you win contracts.

Government-sponsored initiatives can be a great way to win contracts and help your business succeed. These initiatives can provide access to resources and funding that can help you with marketing, research and development, and even recruitment. Government-sponsored initiatives may also provide access to networking opportunities, giving you the chance to meet potential clients, partners, and other businesses that could help you secure contracts.

πŸ’¬ 8. Utilise social media and digital marketing to increase your visibility in the marketplace.

Social media and digital marketing can help you increase your visibility in the marketplace. By creating and promoting content on social media platforms, you can reach a wider audience and attract more potential customers. Social media marketing can also help you build brand awareness and establish yourself as an expert in your field. 

πŸ’Ό 9. Look to partner with or subcontract to larger companies.

Contracts that look far too large for you will often be attractive to a Prime provider who needs your specialism in their supply chain. Cultivate relationships with these Primes. Show how you can add value. They are always keen to have SME delivery as it enhances their Prime bid. 

πŸ’» 10. Make use of the latest bidtech.

This may include setting up regular alerts on Contracts Finder, subscribing to Tussell for data, insights and analytics on Government procurement, exploring bid compliance technologies, and - critically - adopting the latest advances in generative AI (see to enable you to generate compelling, high quality bid copy.

Do more business with government - try Tussell


Winning work in the public sector isn't easy, especially for SMEs.

What can be done? Genny's got to the crux of it: invest time in understanding the procurement process; understand the core principles of effective bid writing, and evaluate which routes to market will put you in the best position to breach into your target accounts.

Harnessing the right tools can also play a crucial role in your public sector journey.

With Tussell, you gain access to the market's trusted source of insight into UK contracting, spending and frameworks. With Tussell at your disposal, you'll have the data-led insights to build your public sector strategy, and target the accounts and markets that will really earn you revenue.

Once you've identified the right opportunities with Tussell, you can turn to tools like AutogenAI to compile your bid in mere minutes, cutting out hours of work for your team.

If you're looking for more tips & tricks on how to get ahead as an SME in the public sector marketplace, check out our full SME Public Sector Guide.