“SMALLTOFEDS ” By Ken Larson
Government contract proposal preparation is time consuming and can be costly. Meeting the agency Request for Proposal (RFP) requirements with a responsive proposal can be well worth the effort if a winning strategy can be formulated. When considering submitting a proposal to a given government solicitation, conduct a bid/no bid exercise. By going through that process you will begin formulating your win strategy or you will discover that you should not bid this job for lack of such a strategy. The elements of the process are discussed below in the form of questions to ask yourself against topics for key consideration. Affirmative or non-affirmative answers to the topical questions and ability to fill in the blanks below will drive your decision to bid or not bid a solicitation.
Do you know this customer? Yes __ No ___
Does this customer know you? Yes___No ___
Do you have any idea of the available funding for which the customer has obtained authorization? Yes___No ____
Specify the marketing contacts which have been made with the customer thus far:
B. Supplies and Services:
Specify the supplies and services to be delivered in the prospective contract:
Line Item (s):
Are supplies and services in the RFP Statement of work a good match for what the company sells? Yes ___No ___
Is the RFP Statement of Work specific enough to identify risks? Yes____No ____
Is the RFP schedule specific enough to determine the delivery requirements? Yes____No____
Can the delivery schedule in the RFP be met? Yes ___No _____
Specify the delivery schedule for the prospective contract:
C. Contract Type/Value/Start/End Date:
Does the proposed contract type (FFP, CP, T&M, etc) suit the nature of the work? Yes___ No ___
Specify the contract type for this program: _______________.
Are there any unusual terms and conditions specified in the government RFP? Yes ____No___
Specify any unusual terms and conditions: ___________________________________________
What is the Rough Order of Magnitude (ROM) value of the prospective contract? $___________.
What is the anticipated start date of the contract? ________.
What is the anticipated end date of the contract? ________.
D. Company Strengths:
Is this prospective contract for effort in which the company has strong skills? Yes____No ____
Specify the strengths the company will utilize in meeting the product specification or statement of work:
E. Company Weaknesses:
Are there any company weaknesses in meeting the product specification or statement of work? Yes ___No ___
Specify any weaknesses for which the company must compensate and manage associated risks:
F. Teaming Arrangements (If any):
Does company plan to team with other companies in the performance of the prospective contract? Yes ___No ___
Identify the other team member companies:
Will your company be a prime or a subcontractor? Prime___Subcontractor ____
Have NDA’s and Teaming Agreements been executed? Yes____No ______
Is this a sole source set-aside procurement to your company? Yes____No____
If this is a competitive procurement, identify the prospective competition and their associated strengths/weaknesses:
H. Win Strategy:
Identify the proposal features and themes which will be utilized in the proposal as discriminators to win this program:
I. Proposal Budget:
Estimate the man hours and dollars for proposal labor, any travel expenses, shipping, packaging, samples and other expenses associated with preparing the proposal. The government does not reimburse the contractor for proposal preparation under the subsequent contract. Proposal expenses must be included in the cost center overhead or G&A and accounted for as marketing expense allocated across the cost center or the company.
Labor Hours __
Labor Dollars $______
Samples (if any) _______
If you can answer “YES” to at least 5 of the questions under paragraphs A through D above, it is likely you should bid this procurement.
If the answers to 7 of the 10 “YES” or “NO” questions under paragraphs A through D above are “NO” it is unlikely you should bid this procurement unless the answer to G is “YES”. Even then, examine your answers and carefully review whether this business is suitable for your company.
If the answer to E is “YES”, it is unlikely you will bid this procurement successfully unless the answer to G is “YES”. Even then, determine how you will overcome the weaknesses you have identified in your company associated with doing this work before you decide to bid it.
Carefully compare the competitive analysis under Item G to the win statagy under H before you make your final decision.
No Bid _______