5 Tips for Writing Government Contract Proposal
Government contracting is a very profitable business for both small and large companies. Despite how attractive Government contracting may seem on the outside, the reality of the situation is that getting landing a Government contractor’s job is as competitive as anything else in the world of business. An enormous amount of time, effort and investment has to go into Government contracting. In other words, it is a complicated process that can only be simplified by your willpower to learn and progress.
One of the things that companies often struggle with is writing a Government contract proposal. For some, the idea of not being able to be eloquent enough to woo the Government officials seems quite laughable, but truth be told, this is a very serious problem that affects most companies who are in the running for Government contracting. It’s no longer about having a remarkable technical writer who gets the “status quo” spot on. If you want to be regarded highly by the Government officials, you need to walk the extra mile to impress them with something that goes beyond the basic RFP requirements.
Here are 5 simple rules to follow for hitting the nail on the head for Government RFP and proposal writing.
1) Understand the Government’s Problem
Don’t jump into writing a document before you have a complete understanding of the Government’s problem, their aims and their intentions. Do as much research as you can on the nature of the Government’s predicament. Without adequate understanding, you cannot put forward a proper response to the Government officials. The last thing you want is to submit a document that falls short in substance and depth.
Do not fill up the RFP response with fluff. Pretentious documents barely scratch the attention of the Government officials. Make sure that you are letting the Government know that you have done your homework on the particular problem that they are trying to solve. Discuss the industry and the problems that are related to the Government’s contract. Propose plans that you will implement with the Government’s help in order to eradicate the problems that have affected the concerned industry.
2) Don’t Hide Your Costs
If you are to assume that the Government officials are novices and have no knowledge about the industry you are involved, then you are paving your path to a “Federal Rejection”. Before the Government looks for private contractors, they do their research on what your service or product costs. According to the procurement rules, the Government has to come up with an estimate of some sort, which they will not usually stray from. When formulating this estimate, the government takes into account the cost of services and products of nearly all the businesses that are involved in your sector. Therefore, it would be quite foolish for you to try to mislead the Government by hiding your costs and trying to get away with a bargain.
3) Always Compete
The main focus of writing a Government proposal should be to stamp your authority over your competitors. Think of the proposal as no more than an audition, where you are trying to impress the judge (the Government) that you are better than the rest of the participants. In order for you to be better than your rivals, you need to have a basic understanding of what they may conjure up in their proposal. Based on that tentative knowledge, create your own proposal that will outshine theirs. This strategy may not always secure the gold medal for you, but it will at least put you in contention for the runners up spots.
4) Exhibit Your Knowledge of Procurement Rules
The last thing that you want to do when writing a Government contracting proposal is make the government assume that you are a rookie company which has very little knowledge about procurement rules. Let your understanding of the procurement rules shine through in your document. The Government will quite obviously have a liking for those companies which are well versed in the Federal laws, rules and regulations.
5) Keep Your Weaknesses Hidden
No company is perfect. Every company has its flaws, its weaknesses and sometimes even “dirty laundry”. Revealing any of these to the Government is the same as not applying for Government contracting in the first place. The solicitations often ask you to describe past problems and how you handled them. Respond to this question in the most roundabout way as possible, without fabricating facts and including lies.
Follow these 5 simple steps and you will never again be dissatisfied with your Government contract proposal writing.