PUBLIC’s Head of Platform Mark Lazar provides his top tips for completing a G-Cloud application stress-free.
G-Cloud 11 applications are currently open (until 23rd May) – and we highly encourage all startups looking to work with government to apply. This article is a quick ‘How-To’ guide, teaching you the A,B,C when it comes to G-Cloud, how to make an application and what to look out for.
What is G-Cloud?
G-Cloud is an important framework for companies hoping to work with the public sector.
Frameworks, like G-Cloud, are essentially approved supplier lists. Government bodies are much more likely to buy technology from suppliers on approved supplier lists, as they are (in theory) pre-vetted. G-Cloud is one of the easiest frameworks to get on and procure through – we therefore highly recommend startups in the GovTech space to apply.
(Joining frameworks can also be a helpful way of legitimising your startup to government bodies who may want to procure your services or product through other pathways.)
We’ve put together a starter-kit to help you get started with your application. Begin your application now.
How To Apply
Applications can be made through the gov.uk Digital Marketplace website. You can begin your application through this link.
– Pre-Qualification Questions
These are relatively easy, but time consuming, questions found under “Supplier Declaration”. We recommend you get them done early – so you don’t get caught out when the application deadline is looming.
– Your Service Description
Again, this section is fairly straight-forward. There are a few quick tips, however, you don’t want to miss:
- Provide a clear name with a unique reference number
- You should detail your specific service (in layman’s terms) such that the buyer can understand simply what they are buying, and if you have a more general service you offer around it (support/training/etc.), then you should detail this as well
- Avoid language which commits you to a service that you might not be able to deliver, and don’t use superlatives
- Do not overuse the word digital, instead, make sure you use the word cloud
– The Free Form Document
The aim of the ‘Free Form Document’ section is to allow you to upload a document which explains your service in your own words. Though the free form document is not required for the G-Cloud application, we do recommend that you submit one – it is often a much better way to advertise your product and company in more detail, than the ‘Service Description’ section.
A few quick tips on how to structure your ‘Free Form Document’:
- Service overview – Provide a brief, succinct and clear overview of your service. This should be the quick sales pitch for the product.
- Detailed service definition – Provide a much more detailed overview of the service you are providing. This should answer the following questions:
- How do you plan to execute your service?
- What do you expect the buyer to provide or input?
- What will you be providing?
- What is excluded from the service provision?
- What can the buyer expect in terms of deliverables, outcomes, and outputs from your service?
- What situations can your service can be used in?
- Why your company – Explain why buyers should buy from you. This is your chance to sell your company!
- Pricing – State how much your service costs and the structure of this pricing.
- Additional information – Any legal information that may apply to the services.
– Terms & Conditions
We recommend you speak to a lawyer to draw up your T&Cs. Bear in mind that you are likely to need slightly different T&Cs for a consultancy service and an operational service.
In addition, make sure you put limitations into the contract, and read the T&Cs provided by G-Cloud carefully.
Have a look at a few of the Skills For the Information Age rate cards and other pricings for services similar to yours. This should be the ballpoint pricing for your product. Regardless of whether you are charging for licenses or a fixed fees, you should still have a daily rate card.
- Information regarding the types of services you can provide on G-Cloud.
- A list of G-Cloud 9 suppliers is available here – useful for helping you understand what to include in your service information, freeform documents, pricing strategies and T&Cs.
- Clarification questions and answers, continuously updated by the Crown Commercial Service, are available here.
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