Every business owner has experienced the challenge of generating sales.
If you’re a small to medium enterprises (SME) business owner, you’re even more dependent on any increase in business sales, since this is what sustains cash flow for immediate expenses and new projects. And the challenge is double if you’re in the business-to-business (B2B) industry. Generating leads and finding projects becomes harder due to the following reasons:
- B2B lead generation campaigns take longer and need more dedicated resources than B2C campaigns;
- Higher transaction and business costs than large enterprises, leaving little to no budget for lead generation;
- You may not have a large enough network, which can also lead to a lack of business knowledge and/or exposure to domestic and international markets;
- You have robust market competition, especially large enterprises with more budget and resources
In short, the struggle for SMEs to find new business is real — and something the government has been trying to improve. Through agencies like Department of Trade and Technology (DTI) and Philippine Government Electronic Procurement System (PhilGEPS), SMEs can have another avenue for business growth: B2G, or business-to-government transactions.
PhilGEPS, the online portal that publishes government contracts, promises efficiency and transparency in all B2G transactions by overseeing government bidding. To access PhilGEPS notices, business owners must sign up as a merchant on the PhilGEPS website. However, this presents another set of problems, as PhilGEPS requirements — especially for PhilGEPS Platinum Membership — can take time to collect. PhilGEPS registrations also take time to get validated, turning off many interested business owners. Even PhilGEPS Platinum members have a tricky time finding bids. PhilGEPS doesn't have an alert system for relevant notices, so members have to check the PhilGEPS portal often to search for matching bidding notices.
To ease the issues mentioned above and bring opportunities faster to growing SMEs, First Circle created Project Finder.
What is Project Finder?
Project Finder is a free database that collects government bidding notices from PhilGEPS and local government unit (LGU) websites into a neat and searchable page. With a desktop or mobile browser, you can view opportunities to potentially bid on, even without a PhilGEPS or First Circle account.
Even better, Project Finder lets you set daily and weekly email alerts. Simply set your preferred keywords, so you don’t miss new government bidding notices from PhilGEPS and LGUs that are relevant to your business.
How to use Project Finder
On your browser, visit https://my.firstcircle.ph/project-finder. The bidding categories show the following details per project:
- Project name
- Amount. The estimated budget of the government agency that created the contract
- Location. The region, city, or town where the project must be delivered
- Procuring entity. The government agency or unit that created the contract
- Closing date. The final date by which business owners can submit their bid
Learn more about a project by clicking ‘Details’. This will lead you to the original government website that published the bid.
To narrow down your search for relevant projects, use the search fields on top of the Project Finder website, then click ‘Apply’. Project Finder has 4 search options available:
- Keyword. Search by your industry name, products and services, clients you supply for (hospital, bank, library, etc) and other general terms related to your business.
- Minimum Amount
- Maximum Amount
How to set email alerts in Project Finder
Set daily or weekly email alerts for new PhilGEPS and LGU bidding notices that are relevant to your business. Just follow the steps below:
- On your browser, visit https://my.firstcircle.ph/project-finder.
- Enter your preferred keywords and filters, then click Apply.
- After getting your search results, click the Get Alerts for This Search button.
- Enter your email address, choose between Daily or Weekly frequency, and click Create Alert.
Do you need a PhilGEPS membership to bid on Project Finder listings?
Yes. You can register for free under Red membership, or pay PHP 5,000 annually to register under Platinum membership. Click here to learn how to register for both memberships.
The main difference between PhilGEPS Red membership and PhilGEPS Platinum membership is that the latter lets you bid directly on the portal. The Platinum Membership also provides you a Certificate of PhilGEPS Registration, which is one of the requirements of procuring entities whenever you enter into a bid.
How does Project Finder help my business?
Use Project Finder to immediately filter relevant projects in your industry, projects that fit your budget for new business, or projects in locations where you can deliver goods and services. You'll also find future bidding notices faster through Project Finder by setting up daily or weekly email alerts. They will send you updates whenever a new bidding notice matching your business keywords are posted.
For business owners without a PhilGEPS account, you can also use Project Finder to gauge if there are enough projects in your industry to justify the cost of a PhilGEPS Platinum membership.
With Project Finder, finding new opportunities for your business is one quick search away, and even faster when you set PhilGEPS alerts daily or weekly. Paired with First Circle’s Revolving Credit Line, you can also increase business capital and ensure that you’ll have enough budget for any new projects — helping you focus better on bidding and fulfilling your project obligations.
Need business financing? Apply with First Circle today!