The number one mistake businesses make while pursuing a contract or grant is not understanding how competitive each environment is, and being overly confident about their chances of winning, including incumbents. Bidders in today’s markets are aggressive, due in part to reduction in contract/grant dollars. Large firms that once ignored bids below $50 million are now bidding on $10 million contracts (or less), and they can be hard to beat in an unrestricted competition (i.e., an opportunity that is not set aside only for small businesses). Losers are protesting awards and winning the protests.
It’s critical to execute a systematic and informed capture management process well before the RFP is released so that you can position yourself as a top contender. It’s not enough to wait until the RFP drops and throw a lot of effort into your proposal. It’s not enough to be technically capable to perform the work: for every skilled IT, construction, engineering, healthcare or staffing company, there are probably a half-dozen or more other qualified bidders, even in set-aside competitions. How you view your organization and its capabilities is not the way the source selection team views your proposal. If a buyer has never met you, your chances of winning a bid are very low.
Bidders must also fight for every proposal evaluation point; too often companies use generic boilerplate content in their proposals. They don’t take resumes, project summaries and management solutions seriously. They don’t put enough thought into how to offer an attractive technical solution that provides extra value. They don’t know how to calculate a cost that is competitive but can still be executed well. They include subcontractors on their teams without substantiating capability claims.
Larson Slade excels in helping large, mid-market and small companies position themselves to win contracts and grants, or make an informed decision not to bid (and therefore not waste funds). We have identified activities that have been proven essential to being competitive in today’s federal, state, local, commercial and non-profit markets and can coach you in using them.
Use the Contact Larson Slade link at the top of the page to learn more.