The expectation that because your business is small, your proposal cannot compete with large experienced businesses is simply untrue! Investing in professional proposal support can ensure that your proposal submission is compliant, complete, submitted on time and professional. While no individual or organization can guarantee that your company will be awarded a contract with local, state or federal Government, investing in professional proposal support could absolutely be the difference between new or additional business for your company and a Dear John letter from the Government advising that you were not selected as the awardee.
Compliance, completion and timeliness are the top tier reasons proposals are rejected and/or not selected for contract award. Let us explore compliance, completion and timeliness as they relate to the Request for Proposal process with the Government.
Compliance – When your proposal is compliant, this means that you have read the entire document including the technical, management, pricing and past performance information requested and you have responded accordingly to all requirements as the Government has asked.
Completion – A complete proposal includes compliance with the requirements, the cover letter, representations and certifications, table of contents, page count, margins, font size etc. The instructions have been followed and packaged as the Government requires.
Timely – A timely proposal is one that is received by the Government on or before the due date and prior to the set time.
Professional – A professional proposal is one that is free of typos, math mistakes and grammatical errors.
The right professional proposal support can ensure that these critical areas are addressed and requirements are met by developing a compliance matrix specific to the request for proposal. This document captures the requirements, who is internally responsible for writing and provides a crosswalk to show where each requirement is addressed within the response. The development of the proposal outline ensures a complete proposal as the items that are required for compliance, and the other areas that have to be addressed are all included. The proposal schedule is developed to ensure that your final submission is ready to go with ample time for review and corrections and delivered to the Government prior to the actual due date.
If you are unfamiliar with a compliance matrix, proposal outline and a proposal schedule, these documents are used by large contractors for every request for proposal that they respond to. Hiring a consultant to assist with your proposal support gives your small business the same tools as large businesses. While the cost varies based on the level of service required, it is well worth the investment to propel your organization to the next level in the multibillion dollar business of Government Contracting.
Constance Jackson is the owner of Jackson Contract Solutions, LLC. Constance has more than 20 years’ experience working with small and large Federal Government Contractors, and Federal Agencies providing proposal management, contract management, training and acquisition planning.