Finding available contracts and being invited to tender involves a combination of research and networking.

Opportunities for contracting with the public sector may be advertised in a wide variety of places:

  • Advertisements in local, regional or national newspapers and trade journals.
  • Sell 2 Wales allows organisations to register and receive notification of contract opportunities www.sell2wales.co.uk
  • Local authorities now tend to advertise their contract opportunities on their own websites.
  • Local authorities also frequently organise 'Meet the buyer' events which aim to bring purchasers and suppliers together.
  • Public sector contacts - identify an appropriate individual involved in procurement and make sure you are kept informed of contract opportunities.
  • Official Journal of the European Union (OJEU) publishes all public sector contracts over a specified EU threshold.

Make the connection

To stand a chance of winning contracts you need to get connected and network. You need to reach out to your potential purchasers - the local authorities, health bodies and other public sector bodies. You also need to be able to form close partnerships with otherthird sector organisations, so that you can work with them in consortia for large-value contracts. Smaller organisations might want to think about sub-contracting with larger organisations so that they can take on just those aspects of service delivery that they are experts at, without overstretching.