The Google Adopt A Startup programme has just come to an end and TenderScout was a proud participant this year.
The reality of running a tech start-up is far from the image words like “founder” and “entrepreneur” instil in people’s minds. While I wouldn’t change it for anything, guiding your business idea to fruition can be isolating at times, and challenges are par for the course nearly everyday.
As an SME owner, do you avoid applying for government tenders? Do you think that public procurement is the reserve of Fortune 500 companies, and, in any case, deciphering what a RFP means takes times that you just don’t have?
If you’re like the vast majority of small-medium-businesses (SMBs) you’ll have concluded that it’s not really worth the effort – it’s too resource intensive, too costly and the outcomes are too unpredictable to be considered worthy of investment.
Having participated in the qualification of thousands of RFPs, it’s clear that the norm is for SMEs to run headlong into seemingly attractive opportunities without considering whether it’s really for them - that’s not a recipe for sustained results. Winning contracts is a process that starts with baselining your capability and capacity to compete for opportunities. Once you recognise what your strengths are and you’ve a plan to rectify your weaknesses you’re ready to start finding, qualifying and competing for opportunities
There are two answers to this question:
Those are just some of the sentiments that I hear from bid managers and sales executive, when I ask them why they’re avoiding government contracts. To a large extent they’re right to. The average win rate for an SME is an appalling 26% according to PwC’s most recent report into European procurement Activity (Report).
Many small and medium businesses have the potential to compete and win government contract, but there are challenges to overcome. The first is figuring out just why all of these opportunities are hiding.
As I travel back from the SaaStr 2017, an annual orgy of all that is SaaS, held in San Francisco, I’m musing on what I’ve heard from the founders of leading companies like Facebook, Dumo and Zendesk. Many of the speakers, tell stories of their journey to Annual Recurring Revenues (ARR) to $100m within 5 to 8 year timeframes. They tell stories about cracking $1m in their first 18 months and the struggle to get to $5-6m ARR – when the “cavalry arrives” over the next 18 months.