Government Proposals

Written by Patricia Skinner
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Any small business that isn't prepared to consider the government as a good source of business is probably making a huge mistake. Small businesses actually take more than 50 percent of all government contracts, whether local, state, or federal. In fact, the budget for small government contracts is over $200 billion. Plenty to go around, in other words.

This means the potential for profit with a government agency is quite astounding. So how can you build government proposals to raise your chances of winning some of these lucrative contracts? To begin with, it's necessary to do a little research to uncover the type of government departments that are most likely to have projects that your business is ideally suited for. The better the match, the higher your chances of success. Then you need to find the places where those projects are advertised. The best places are government websites. Every government agency has a website, and this is the primary place to find RFPs (requests for proposals). Another website, called Commerce Business Daily also announces government RFPs.

Developing Your Proposal Strategy

Next you need to develop a strategy to use in your proposals that is most likely to convince the government agencies concerned that your business is the best one for the job. If you can find projects that are requesting the exact goods or services that you supply, and the price range they are talking about would be profitable to you, then you're off to a good start. Next you need to invest time and effort developing your proposal.

The secret is knowing where your company's strengths lie. Promoting those will raise you out of the ranks of good, and place you firmly in the ranks of the great. Focus on three sections of the government RFP: the statements of work, the proposal instructions, and evaluation factors. These will help you to decide if you're perfect for the job, and how to go about crafting your proposal.

Why Your Company Is Best for the Job

First, it's necessary to demonstrate in your proposal that your company is technically and professionally equipped for the job at hand. You also need to demonstrate the commitment necessary to follow through on your proposal and see the job through to completion. Obviously, relevant experience is going to be invaluable here. Finally, you need to develop a proposal that is economically competitive with other possible proposals from competitors.

The proposal document is obviously going to end up being quite long and involved, and chances are, many members of your team will need to make some level of personal input. The best way of ensuring that all this goes smoothly is to use collaboration software. The right collaboration software will help you keep track of who contributed what and when, and it will also mean that your proposal will be ready for submission in the shortest possible time. Time is usually of the essence when competing with a deadline.

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