It is important to teach and empower Government contractors to be successful at winning contracts, and to lend them a helping hand as they find opportunities, prepare for them and write proposals. Capture management and proposal preparation, strategic planning, contracting opportunity identification and qualification, and marketing to the U.S. Government are all important components of this. Learning the secrets of how to do it on your own and win contracts is important.
Capture and proposals are not just meant to sell your company and help you win contracts. They are project plans—plans for developing solutions that will enable your company to execute the contracts you win the best way possible. To do a proper job, it takes knowledge and preparation. Companies must think through every aspect of the project, identify innovative and more efficient ways of completing the work, find or develop the right technology and tools, find the right people to do the work, and lay out a project plan. This preparation starts well before a Request for Proposal (RFP) is issued, because after an RFP drops, there’s too little time to begin brainstorming and take all necessary actions to ensure successful contract execution. Preparation continues into the proposal writing process, and even after proposal submission. Lack of preparation leads to flawed plans, rework, poor quality, incorrect pricing that consequently throws the project off schedule and causes overruns, and can sometimes even lead to a domino effect that negatively impacts related projects. When a project is negatively impacted by poor preparation, it subsequently harms those the project is meant to serve.
Many companies don’t know how to prepare properly in advance through capture and develop strong proposals that instill confidence that their company can do the job at hand. Some believe they don’t have the money to do a good job with capture, so they just don’t do it. Others don’t have the right staff available for it; either their business developers are busy on other projects or don’t have the right skills. Yet others don’t find out about the Government contracting opportunities that are a good fit for them far enough in advance, don’t maintain the proper discipline of tracking opportunities in their pipeline, or don’t have responsible staff, so they are always reacting instead of being proactive. Lessons learned and best practices from wins and losses can help you create a winning strategy.