Proposal writing is almost the final step of participating in government acquisition procedures. Preparing your business is very important in order to gain insights and develop your winning strategy and solution properly.
The U.S. Government awards hundreds of billion dollars through Federal Contracts to businesses that meet specific needs and requirements of Federal agencies. Although the acquisition process can seem complex and overwhelming at first, there are many firms providing consulting services for small businesses helping you learn how to compete as a federal contractor.
Biding on Federal Government Contract Opportunities
Participating in government procurements requires intense effort and time since it can be a very lengthy process. After ensuring that your business is ready for federal contracts you can begin to identify business opportunities and respond to RFP solicitations. You can use Contracting Opportunity Finder tool to discover contracting opportunities that are demanding services or products that your business provides. This tool is especially suitable for businesses that do not have experience in the Federal Market. In addition, there are other sources where you can find contracting opportunities to bid on such as FedBizzOpps.
Once you identify and select the opportunity you want to respond to and bid, start preparing your strategic planning. Carefully read all of the data and instructions provided in the solicitation about the contracting opportunity. Every federal agency and each opportunity is different. Comprehending all information is significantly important so you can fully understand the requirements.
Participate in events organized by the Federal agency such as Industry Day, Pre-bid/pre-proposal conference, and Site Visits. Participating in an Industry Day or exhibition can provide you with opportunities to diverge Federal agency – contractor trading and assess who are your potential candidates, and their business approaches. Site visits and pre-proposals are probably the most effective ways to obtain important information about your customer, and in the meantime assess your competitors and see how well they’re positioned to win.
Before you submit your project, clarify all your uncertainties by communicating with the agency contact person listed in the solicitation.
Preparing your proposal
Now that you’ve completed all the certification, registration steps and conducted market intelligence, you’re ready to start developing your federal proposal. After assessing your competencies and professional capabilities of your company to compete for the government procurement, your proposal development consultants will guide your writers through the technical writing process.
Outline your plan for the solution you’re going to present and for the content. Read and re-read carefully all the sections of the solicitation, analyzing and addressing each element. Particularly focus on:
- Section C (Statement of Work) describes and specifies the requirements that need to be met during the performance of the contract.
- Section L (Instructions, Conditions, and Notices to Offerors) describes specifically how your response must be prepared. This section is of high importance and you must follow all the instructions in order to improve your winning chances. Federal officers and decision makers don’t like incompliant proposals.
- Section M (Evaluation Factors for Award) explains how the decision makers will evaluate your proposal. Therefore, you have the chance to write it by thinking how your proposal is going to be assessed. If properly understood, this step can help you avoid mistakes and ease the work of proposal review team.
Bonus tip: Constantly research to give your proposal team with additional sources and learn what the future requirements of the federal agency will be. This way, your proposal writers will be able to develop a unique solution that will differentiate you from your competitors.