Whether you’re purchasing pens or a bulldozer, it’s almost impossible to do business or operate without buying goods and services. This necessity is as true for entrepreneurs and small business owners, as it is for institutions like the BC Government.
With 16 ministries and eight central agencies, the provincial government must purchase many different types of products and services to start and support their programs and services. And depending on the day and the current needs of people living in BC, what the government is in the market for can change dramatically.
But while working with the BC Government offers immense potential for profit, it’s essential to make sure you’re doing business with them properly.
Do Business with the BC Government
All individuals and businesses, including corporations, limited partnerships, co-operatives and not-for-profit societies, may respond to BC Government bid opportunities. These bid opportunities describe the goods or services that the province wishes to buy.
To bid on them, you may apply by yourself, or as a team by working with other individuals or businesses. In either case, one individual or business must be considered the lead, or prime, contractor legally responsible for the work.
You can find many bid opportunities on BC Bid®.
What is BC Bid®?
Because the BC Government is accountable for its spending, it uses BC Bid® to buy goods and services competitively to get the best value. The simple online tool makes it easy for businesses to bid on opportunities and find out the results. You can also use BC Bid® to find more than 600 other public sector buyers to sell to, including:
- Local governments
- Universities and colleges
- Health authorities
- Crown corporations
Bid opportunities and results can be sorted by type, such as goods, services or construction, or by commodity, organization or other criteria.
If you register as a supplier to sell to the province and other buyers, you can also choose to be emailed when you’re well-suited for a new bid opportunity, among other benefits.
There is no charge to use BC Bid®.
What Types of Bid Opportunities Are There?
The BC Government decides to buy products and services based on four main types of bid opportunities.
Invitation to Quote (ITQ)
ITQs are used to find suppliers meet the specific requirements, including quality and ability to meet delivery dates. You’re given the purchase order for the project if you meet these requirements at a lower price than your competition.
Request for Proposal (RFP)
RFPs are used when the decision to buy goods or services is based on more than price. Suppliers must meet the specific RFP requirements and criteria, such as skills, methodology and experience. If you provide the greatest overall value to the BC Government, you win the contract for the project.
Invitation to Tender (ITT)
ITTs are standard forms used to purchase construction services from businesses, and describe the project and price requests for different parts of the work. You win the contract if you meet technical standards with the lowest price.
Request for Qualifications (RFQ)
RFQs are used for suppliers to apply to be pre-qualified for future bids. These forms are similar to RFPs, except that submitting a success RFQ only makes you eligible to be invited to bid for a future project, instead of awarding you an actual contract.
Next Steps to Working with the Government of BC
If you think that working with the Government of BC is right for your business, take the next steps.
Learn your bid eligibility, access bids opportunities and gain more by visiting BC Bid®, or call the BC Bid® help desk at (250) 387-7301.
Find out more about working with the provincial government through the Government of BC’s Procurement Services.
Are you taking advantage of Small Business BC’s wide selection of seminars for entrepreneurs and small to medium-sized business owners? Space is limited, so don’t miss your chance to register today.
And if you want specific questions answered for your business, make an appointment to meet with a Small Business BC Business Advisor or Small Business BC Business Plan Advisor now.