Proposal Points to Ponder

Post Date: April 24, 2020

When considering how to answer a proposal put forth by a government agency, the following best practice steps should be considered:

  1. Decide Bid or No Bid based upon time to prepare, resources that are available to present your best effort and capability of the business to deliver what the Agency is seeking.
  1. Once the decision is made to proceed; consider these steps:
    1. Prepare a timeline chart that identifies major milestones which include start date and the delivery date of the overall proposal.
    2. Start working backwards from the delivery date, allowing one day for delivery, 3 days for final production and if necessary 1 day for a security reviews where applicable.
    3. Are subcontractors going to be a part of the proposal? What is their capability, their timelines and expectations of delivery to you; the Prime? For you as the Prime, manage plenty of time to receive critical information needed. DO NOT wait until the end to simply “insert information” into the document.
    4. Prepare for “Murphy’s Law”
      • A server to go down where documents couldn’t be uploaded in a timely fashion to the Agency; do not wait until right before the proposal date to submit.
      • The Subcontractor to be delinquent with critical information needed for the proposal.
      •  In the case of suppling product, if the manufacturer is offshore, perhaps build in additional lead time in quoting to the Agency.
    5. Define a draft and final date for the document to be completed; consider if others need to be brought in and do that early.
    6. Prepare cost-related data early so that any cost estimating, labor hours and amount of people to be included in the work is calculated properly and there is time to review.
  2. Finally and most importantly, ensure that the proposal to be submitted is not rushed; that you have enough time to provide your best professional and well thought out effort. Failure to do so will result in your bid not being accepted and a reflection that your document is not as professional as you ultimately wish to portray.
  3. Never provide more information than the Agency is seeking. You don’t obtain “extra credit” for additional information that they have not asked for. In many cases in the final Agency evaluation, points will be deducted for not adhering to their proposal rules.

For further no cost and confidential assistance for your business relating to proposal writing and government contracting, contact your local Florida APEX by visiting here:

by Carole Hart, Florida APEX at FAU

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