Mixed, but positive news, for small business in Ireland
January 5, 2015
In this snapshot: Irish business not maximising tendering, small business growth trends up & government announces help for small business market listing
It can be a profitable venture for small businesses and start-ups - tender for contracts and hope for the best. Unfortunately data released in Ireland is showing that that business spent €25 million bidding for work that was never awarded. In the annual survey released by TenderScout the more alarming piece of data was that 30% of all procurement in Ireland (with an estimated value of more than €2.6 billion) is never publicly advertised because it falls below the threshold requiring it to made public. Those who responded to the organisations annual survey fell into the SME category with about 70% of respondents employing fewer than 49 people.
The survey also showed that the trend where incumbents of existing contracts would normally retain the business the opposite was happening - fewer firms were writing repeat business. Tony Corrigan of TenderScout indicated that are missing out by not being proactive enough when it comes to retention: "The fact that €2.7bn worth of contracts aren't advertised represents a big opportunity for Irish firms" and "They just need to establish relationships with buyers, proactively market their business and when the opportunity arises, demonstrate their value,"
There was also a suggestion that most companies who tender unsuccessfully for business never seek to have a debrief - which often leads to reasons why they lost the bid - a valuable tool for anyone wanting to improve. The survey did note that about 38% of tenders fell under the amount of €134,000 but even so CEO of Irish services business Col Murphy told EntreHub "that sort of money can mean the make or break of a balance sheet in small business."
Meanwhile there is support for small business on the way after the bourse announced a new package that will enable smoother listing on the local exchange. The new initiative will be open to Irish firms with revenue of at least €5m. The programme will provide support to firms wanting to raise capital, develop investor relations and develop the necessary management skills required pre and post listing. Called IPO read it will be launched in Dublin on January 15th.
It comes at a critical time for Irish small business with growth returning after several years of sector under performance. Data released out Monday shows that invoice finance for SME’s was also up during the third quarter of 2014 – up 50%.
Could small business be on the up in Ireland in 2015? Quite possibly!
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