A contract is a legal and enforceable agreement often between two parties — while taking cognizance of certain rules and due process to be followed.
For some industries like construction industry, securing contract at regular intervals is important for constant income, expansion and firms relevance. It couldn’t be denied that foreign firms are awarded the chunk of the contracts notwithstanding, there is provision for indigenous small firms. Many firms, most especially the upcoming ones do find it difficult to bid and win contracts because, they’ve not learnt the rope. This shows that some vital steps which ought to be incorporated are missing. It is essential to figure out the steps.
It is advisable to start bidding for smaller projects which you are fully capable of implementing without hassles. This will open door for bigger contracts in the future — your firm will win the bidding based on the quality of work that you render.
In an effort for government to fulfil his electoral promises; contracts for construction of houses, roads and bridges, delivery of services, facilitators in training and empowerment programmes — are issued out.
In Nigeria, contracts could be thrown open by private sectors, government and even religious institutions. The federal government unarguably issue out huge contracts on yearly basis — yearly budget is a testament to that. Government contracts are highly competitive and needless to say that it is the survival of the fittest and those that know how to package their applications. The contract nature could be — supply of goods and service rendering, construction among others. The contract has a benefit of boosting your firm’s profile and experience thereby expanding your customers base. There are certain rules and regulations guiding the award of contracts, it is important that your firm gets familiar with the contract awarding terms and procedures
At the completion stage, you are paid and issued certificate of completion.
Warning!!! Don’t rush, painstakingly read the contents and specifications of a contract then, only submit your bidding when you have known the pricing, financial implications and your capability in executing the project. Don’t bite more than you can chew. In protecting the integrity of your firm, only bid for contracts that you have technical expertise for effective execution.
It is important to take the following steps in order to have brighter chances of winning the contracts.
(1 Get Your Firm Registered
It is pertinent to get your firm registered with relevant regulatory bodies — in line with your profession or services being rendered; because only registered companies of solid base qualifications and working teams are granted access in bidding for contracts. Before getting registered, you need to decide on the form and kind of services you intend to render — which could be consultancy, management or sevice delivery.
(2 Get Acquainted With Government Agencies
Contracts are often issued out through government agencies, it is worthy to maintain mutual relationships with the agencies you wish to work with. Don’t shy away from getting their contacts and contacting them from time to time in order to get acquainted and know when calls for bidding will be issued out. Seminars, conferences and workshops related to your area of interest are great avenues for socializing — in meeting the right people that could be of help in bidding and winning contracts.
Try crafting sending a well drafted project proposals to the agencies you are targeting — citing what the services you render and how it would benefit the populace. If there is a demo, try showing them.
It can’t be disputed that “connections” that is — who you know often matters a lot in clinching the contract. In Nigeria of today, having possessed the relevant qualifications and necessary tools, the power of who you know and who knows you couldn’t be underestimated. It should be noted that a call for contract may not gain wide popularity atimes. It is those that are closer to the inner circles of the agencies that would get access to privy discussions and decisions concerning the not popular bidding. Do proper research on the agencies you are interested in and align with them.
(3 Seek Small Contracts First
It is always advisable for an upcoming firm to start from small contracts, these would increase the chances of getting a bigger contract because, when it comes to bidding, government doesn’t acknowledge firms without any experiences.
Your firm’s track records and competence go a long way in fetching you that contract. Being certified and surrounded with qualified personnel who are up to the task — coupled with successful small projects that you have executed are a plus for the reputation of your firm. This is an important consideration being taken by contract selection committee. Involvement in successful past projects of similar work is an added boost in making your firm irresistible landing you that big project you always dreamt of.
Needless to say that Government projects often require a huge capital. Depending on the nature of contract agreement, there are times the contractor will have to spend his money in executing the project, with the hope that government will pay you back. The contractor often resort to raising money from banks or bond in executing such projects. While executing projects, some companies can wait for to issue payment invoice while some can’t wait — depending on firm’s financial strength.
Once the supposedly time of payment has climaxed, getting paid as at when due seems to be delayed most times — owing to bureaucracies. It is essential to weigh the options.