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January 25,2017

5 Top Tips for Bidding for Public Sector Contracts


I am the Events Officer with Supplier Development Programme, a role I have enjoyed for 18 months. I specialise in events management and business training, and coordinate the 100+ events SDP hosts throughout the year. I also oversee all the marketing for the Programme at a national and regional level, and manage

Top tips:

The public sector is a lucrative marketplace which offers huge potential for business growth, but the tendering process can often seem overwhelming to small businesses. Follow our top tips to avoid the pitfalls and write a clear and compelling bid.

  1. Get registered on Public Contracts Scotland (PCS)
    Public Contracts Scotland is Scotland’s national portal for contract opportunities. All public sector organisations must use it to advertise contracts above a certain value. If you haven’t done so already, register your business and set up email alerts to find out when a contract becomes available.
  2. Do a “Bid or No Bid” analysis – every time
    Identifying if the contract is right for you can be half the battle. Bidding for a contract which you have little or no chance of winning is a waste of your valuable time and resources; choose your target carefully, then give it all you’ve got.
  3. Ask questions
    Not sure what the jargon means? Think there’s a mistake on the contract? Ask the question! Buyers will be happy to clarify anything within the contract, and it won’t impact your bid score in any way.
  4. Re-read your submission (or get someone else to do it)
    When completing a bid or a PQQ it can be easy to miss things. Make sure you leave plenty of time to re-read your answers before the submission deadline. You may find you have forgotten to upload a document, uploaded the wrong one or even missed a question entirely! All of which can cost you points or lead to disqualification.
  5. Get free support from the Supplier Development Programme (SDP)
    SDP workshops will tell you all you need to know about bidding in the public sector, and if you’re an SME based in Scotland it’s all completely free. Visit to find out more.