There is no magic formula for writing a winning proposal that earns a Government contract. Here are a few pointers to assist companies in their pursuit of the contract.
(1) Read the Request for Proposals (RFP) very carefully. There are several reasons for doing this. The first is to make sure the company can actually perform the work stated in the RFP. If the company’s niche lies elsewhere, pass on this one and look for a more suitable requirement that matches the company’s expertise. Even the best written proposal doesn’t win the contract if the company isn’t qualified to perform the work.
If the company decides to prepare a proposal, the RFP should be reviewed again to make sure the proposal writer understands the format, method of delivery, and due date the Government is requesting.
(2) Write clear and concise language that details the company’s technical approach to the requirement. Address staffing, technology, methodology, quality control, and other topics as appropriate.
(3) Provide a pricing proposal that puts the company’s best foot forward. Assume that no negotiations will happen so that the company’s pricing is fair, reasonable, and competitive.
(4) Confirm that the boilerplate online work is completed, regardless of how the proposal is to be delivered (electronically or by hard copy). Previously, there were multiple systems, most notably the Central Contractor Registration (CCR) and Online Representations and Certifications Application (ORCA). They are now consolidated into System for Award Management (SAM). SAM implementation began in July 2012. Because SAM is so new, it is imperative to review the SAM website (www.sam.gov) frequently for changes particularly when responding to a RFP.
(5) When the proposal is finished, the proposal writer should ask someone who hasn’t been involved with its preparation to proofread it. Typos are silly errors that can damage credibility.