Proposal writing for federal business opportunities might seem an easy concept for many, especially for inexperienced businesses that are thinking to enter the Federal Contracting world for the first time. Countless companies apply for D-U-N-S Number and register their business in the System Award Management to try their chance of becoming a Government Contractor.
Being the largest buyer in the world, the US Government is the favorite partner for many firms across the country, including small businesses of various categories. Government procurement is a well-structured mechanism that enables US Federal Agencies to buy diversified services and products from local vendors in order to meet their needs.
Participation in this highly competitive environment is definitely not easy. Despite the fact that you have a preliminary experience in this field, excellent preparation is the key to increase your winning potential. You need a professionally prepared team with a proven expertise in creating unique strategies and positive conditions to overcome competition.
Before you decide whether you want to draft your proposal yourself or want to hire a firm, do a research and see the pros and cons. Being that the process of competing for a Federal Contract is quite complex, today we will discuss one of the most important aspects of this procedure.
How a Step by Step Capture Plan Should Look Like?
One of the very first actions to be taken in the very first moment that you plan to compete for an opportunity is to make a federal proposal capture plan. Regardless of whether this job is handed over to a professional, or not, you should make sure to follow these steps.
This should be a complete, carefully-crafted, and detailed plan able to comprehensively outline your unique strategy to sell your services/products to a federal customer. This is one of the very first steps in the bidding process, the result of which highly impacts the bid/no bid decision making. The capture management team makes sure to create a focused management plan which facilitates the competition process and improves winning opportunities based on research and analysis.
Depending on the opportunity and its complexity, this plan can be prepared in several ways; but always based on some basic elements.
3 Steps to a Comprehensive Capture Plan
- Customer Research
Research is an essential part of the process. You need to gather as much information as possible, in order to correctly validate your position against the opportunity. Focus on compiling relevant information about your customer, anything that could help you develop a winning strategy. You should pay a particular attention to all the details available related to the contracting agency that has released the opportunity, the acquisition schedule, acquisition objective, and customer goals, key stakeholders, decision makers, and of course, end users.
Focus your effort in establishing a solid relationship with the customer to reveal their hot buttons, see what the real problem is and what their expectations are. This way you’ll gain a competitive advantage when developing the solution.
- Competitive Research
Competition, the real struggle! A market analysis will help you identify the strengths and weaknesses of other bidders and even their bid strategy. This way you’ll increase your chances to ghost in the proposal and make some strong points in your solution.
- Develop the Winning Strategy
After identifying important winning “triggers”, and answering many questions related to your solution development, it’s time to sit and start preparing your strategy. Get your team together, set-up meetings, assign your key personnel and responsibilities.
Determine the key points you’re going to focus on when writing the proposal such as experience, past performance, pricing, solution, discriminators, win themes, specific features, and the benefits that the customer will have from your solution.
The capture management team is responsible for using the most effective intelligence tool to create an appropriate capture plan, suitable to meet all the needs of the proposal writing team during the proposal development process. It should include all the information needed to help the proposal writing team craft a complete, compliant response to the received request for proposal.