Winning Government Business: The $18 Billion Opportunity event was held to educate small and medium businesses (SMBs) in Queensland about the benefits of partnering with the government, as government procures close to $18 billion worth of products and services from the private sector every year. The event was hosted by Thomas Pollock, the Founder of Gov Ready, who shared his almost 20 years of knowledge and experience on how small and medium businesses can win government contracts.
One of the key takeaways from the event was that businesses should not believe the myth that they are not big enough to partner with government (local, state or federal). In fact, 30% of everything that the Queensland government procures will be purchased from the small business sector. Additionally, 22% of SMBs won government business that was $60k in value or less, which makes up 67% of all contracts. The event also shed light on the fact that only 15% of what the government goes to market with is on QTenders, which means that 85% of government contracts are missed.
The event discussed various procurement processes such as Panels, SOA's, Prequalified Arrangements, and Select or Restricted Tenders, among others. The average time to award a contract is six weeks, and businesses need to ensure they tick the mandatory requirements to be considered. Businesses should also prioritise criteria such as pricing and resources that have higher percentages and focus on the criteria that have the highest weighting. If a criterion is weighted at 50% or more, at least half of the submission should address that criterion. The event also emphasised the importance of having a website that serves as a shopfront for the business. Government decision-makers will hit the website, and businesses should ensure that they have a clear message on the website. Additionally, businesses should attend occasional events such as the Government IQ, PiT Briefings, and various other events.
In conclusion, the event was informative and helpful for SMBs in Queensland, as it highlighted the huge opportunity available to them through partnering with government. The event provided insights on how to find government opportunities, what governments are looking for in their small business partners, and how to win government contracts. The event also provided valuable tips on how to prioritise criteria, engage with government decision-makers, and build trust with government.