Posted on: 11/16/2016

As you likely know, writing proposals for government contracts is extremely time consuming. Selecting the right type of bid to go after can be assisted by an RFP aggregator software like ProDash, that automatically filters in RFPs matching your preferred scope - down to NAICS code, award amount, due date, etc. Once you’ve selected the right opportunity, you can focus on the significant amount of research, writing and data compilation you’ll need for the proposal. A good proposal should show compliance to all named agency requirements, clearly solve the requesting agency’s problem and provide a list of potential risks and solutions to those risks.

Once you’ve determined your target, create a proposal outline that lists out crucial items and due dates over the proposal life span. While some companies choose to do in a tedious legacy format like Excel, current software offerings like ProDash will do this for you, and even assign tasks to specific capture managers, track completion timelines per employee, etc.

  1. Solve the agency’s problem. This one may seem obvious, but many companies are guilty of only describing their products and services versus the solutions they provide. If the problem or challenge is not explicitly stated in the RFP, then take advantage of the allotted Q&A period to learn more about issues the agency has. Don’t be afraid to ask questions - and keep track of the questions other bidders are asking - this will all help you target your proposal language effectively. Ultimately, they want a contractor that’s on their side, understands their problem, and is not only out to promote their own business.

  1. Show compliance. Always address any specific instructions in the RFP, including small items like formatting and pagination, etc. Agencies want to see that you’re reading everything thoroughly and can show compliance to their rules (and it is not unheard of for agencies to disqualify a bid for technicalities like this).

  1. Avoid generic, template responses. If you’re working on multiple proposals, it can be tempting to copy and paste template responses to certain questions. It is imperative that you avoid “canned” responses, especially if pursuing a technical proposal.

  1. Knowledge of Procurement Laws. Make sure your proposal writer has a thorough knowledge of procurement law and is aware of any new government regulations or trends. Being on top of this will give you an advantage in the bidding process and make your proposal stand out.

  1. Select the right teaming partner for sizing requirements. If you are a smaller contracting company, then teaming up with someone during the proposal process means you’ll satisfy any size requirement up front. Since agencies consider the resume of your partner as well, be sure you select a partner who has a good record on past contracts.

  2. Address potential problems in your project and offer solutions. Being thorough in your proposal also means listing out the potential issues you could face during the project if chosen. Addressing these upfront and briefly going through what your solutions are show the agency that you’re prepared for anything.

Writing a proposal is time consuming, and you’ll want to get it right and win the award so that time wasn’t wasted. Following some of these suggested tactics will help you stay ahead of the competition while you grow your reputation as a trusted government contractor.

ProDash can help you stay organized during the proposal process with a customized dashboard that automatically assigns capture manager tasks and keeps you updated on all task timelines. If you need to get more organized, then find out more about us.