Daile Drevins Director at SALT Design recently spoke at a Queensland Small Business Month event called Our Fair Share, to share her firsthand experience and tips on how women owned and led businesses can participate in Government procurement.
What is an example of a process you went through to win contracts with larger organisations, and how long did that take?
SALT Design has vied for numerous government project RFQs. Normally it is a detailed process of answering multiple selection criteria, providing detailed project costings and supplying examples of similar design projects.
The process to gain a position as a preferred supplier on the Department of Education SOA took over 12 months. Changes in legislation required us to respond to additional rounds of questions and meet additional criteria (including increases in liability and indemnity insurance cover).
Throughout the whole time, I did everything possible to prove our suitability for the contract (and kept my fingers and toes crossed!).
What do small businesses need to do to prepare their business to work with bigger suppliers?
Understand the processes of procurement. Prepare information which are ‘standard’ requirements for large organisation contracts (e.g. insurances, codes of conduct, documenting quality and organisational processes). That way, when tenders are on offer, some of the hard work responding to selection criteria is already prepared.
How do you collaborate with other small businesses in your supply chain to win contracts with large organisations?
The adage “it’s not what you know, but who you know that leads to success” is only true to some extent.
I have built my business and professional ethic by ALWAYs treating everyone (clients, suppliers, staff and colleagues) with respect and recognition.
While knowing ‘who’s who’ provides connections and referrals, your professional capabilities, conduct and equitable approach to doing business with other suppliers is the real and better way to increase business success.
You are the female economy. Whether you are a female consumer, business owner or a woman in the workforce, you can create gender equality by choosing female led brands.
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