Always remember to develop your solution by keeping in mind the phases that you’ll need to pass in the competing process for federal contracts as described below.
Competing for Federal Contracts means lots of time, effort and investment needed. There are many phases to complete before reaching the final step. First, you identify the opportunity you want to pursue and wait for the first draft-solicitation to start your initial preparations. When preparing the response to an RFP solicitation, many companies focus on completing the steps needed to develop a winning proposal. However, few think about the phases that need to be passed. To do this, you need to make a plan and think from the customer’s perspective while preparing your proposal.
Usually, federal agencies set RFPs to suit experienced companies that have previously worked for the Government; but this doesn’t mean small businesses, or those who want to compete for the first time, don’t have a fighting chance. If this is your case, remember to think about the phases you have to pass in the competing process for federal contracts:
The moment the draft-RFP is released you have to start your preparations for the response you’ll develop. You need to identify the requirements, conduct a market research to assess your opportunities against your competitors. This phase also includes a customer assessment to fully understand their needs and requirements.
Final Solicitation and Proposal Submission
Although 90% of the final solicitation has the same concepts as previous draft-solicitations, they may undergo significant changes and you need to be prepared for this. This time you need to check your content plan, see if you need to change your statement of work or make adjustments to any proposal section to best fulfill all the requirements of the final RFP.
Remember that this is the most important phase of your competition. The agency is going to receive hundreds of proposals and decide who’s going to be their next partner.
Award and Administration
If you’ve arrived at this phase, congratulations! You overcame all your competitors and now you’re going to perform everything you promised in the offer you submitted. Once you receive the award, roll up your sleeves.
Nevertheless, you need to be aware that this isn’t the end. There are special officials that administer your work and contract performance to ensure that your service/product deliveries adhere to the contract’s terms and conditions. Success in the Federal Market depends on your compliance efforts and excellent performance. Make sure to follow this advice, and more contracts will be yours in the future!
These are some of the factors that you need to consider while preparing your proposal. Make an outline and a checklist to ensure that all of them are accurately and properly addressed in your response, and nothing is missed out in surge of different fires that need to be extinguished in daily tasks of ongoing projects.