Universal proposal content: We highly recommend preparing draft content for common proposal elements.
Why: Two reasons:
Builds credibility: The first couple partners that you work with will know that you are new, they will worry that you aren’t ready and that you are going to create a lot of extra work for them. A good way to put their minds at ease, and increase the chances that they team with you, is to already have basic proposal elements
Saves time: Typically you only have three or four weeks from a solicitation coming out to when proposals are due, and during that time you have to research the opportunity, build your bid team, set your pricing, and build a high quality proposal. And a lot of people aren’t able to get everything done in time. So if you can pre-write common proposal sections it makes it more likely that you will get your proposal in on time
What content to make: We recommend building:
Past performance: One page, and and one paragraph summary write-ups of relevant projects that you’ve worked on in the past
Resumes: Updated resumes for you and your key personnel
Tacking the past performance you need to write up
Add the titles of the past performances you want to write up in FedScout
Basic marketing materials: We highly recommend building your basic marketing collateral before you start going to events and talking to potential customers and partners. Everyone you talk to will be sizing you up, and if you don’t have these basics people won’t take you seriously:
A business card: A basic business card with your contact information and business info
A capability statement: A one pager with key information about what you do, and who you’ve done it for
A webpage: A simple one-page website (basically the digital form of your Capability Statement
You elevator pitch: The 30 second description of what you do
We have classes on each: For now just be aware that these items are in your work plan and you will get prompted to build each one in the task manager
Rants and Reflections
My unscripted thoughts after coaching hundreds of small government contractors over the last 10 years
When an RFI or RFP comes out you typically only have a week or two to respond, and during that time you need to read the docs, decide whether to propose, find teammates, write a persuasive and compliant proposal, and figure out a bid price that can win while still being profitable.
So there’s a lot.
And one thing you can do to set yourself up for success is to pre-write summaries of your past performances.
We have classes on what to include in your past performance write-ups, but for now just create tasks in the project plan for your three best past performances and FedScout will help you write them when the time’s right.
Speaking of things you’ll need to create, you need a business card, a capability statement, a website, and an elevator pitch. Every time you go to an event or meet a prospective partner or customer they’ll expect those and if you're missing them they won't take you seriously.
There are pre-loaded tasks in the work plan along with classes and templates to help you. So nothing to do now, just be aware that FedScout is going to prompt you to build them soon.
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