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Public contracts should be easier for small firms to win

The Small Firms Association (SFA) recently hosted a special event, bringing hundreds of small and larger businesses together at Dublin’s Aviva Stadium to discuss the issue of public procurement and what small firms need to do win more work from larger companies.

SFA’s Business Connect event was designed to give all delegates a “window into the decision making and purchasing processes of Ireland’s leading companies”.

Small firms often feel daunted by the prospect of pitching for contracts with larger companies and positioning themselves in the best way possible to offer value services.

According to recent research with buyers, the public procurement market in Ireland is thought to be worth up to €19 billion. With such a huge pot of revenue to tap into, it’s more important than ever for small businesses to get it right when pitching to national and multinational companies for work.

That’s why the Business Connect event was separated into three specific sections – the first being discussion on how small firms can behave more like multinationals in a post-Brexit world. Secondly, small business delegates received hints and tips on how to prepare their elevator pitch and stand out from the crowd in highly competitive industries.

Finally, there were a string of case studies discussed throughout the day, highlighting best practice examples of collaboration between large and small companies.

Procurement experts from large firms, state agencies and the financial sector all sought to provide eye-opening advice to small firms, helping more start-ups to better articulate the benefits of larger companies working with them.

Graham Byrne, chairman, SFA, said: “Multinationals currently source €4.5 billion of goods and €5.7 billion of services from indigenous businesses.

“It amounts to 18% of their total spend on goods and 7.3% of their total spend on services.

“There are huge opportunities for small business to collectively increase that spend, by looking at how we pitch our services, understand how both large and small business operate and strive to bring real innovation into our businesses and into what we offer.”

 

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