New to proposal writing? We all were, at one time or another, and sometimes it’s hard to know where to begin.
Whether your company – or your proposal – is large or small, keep these simple tips in mind for proposal success:
Maintain Your Documentation. Create the pieces of content that you’ll need to respond to almost any query, and then maintain it on a frequent, scheduled basis. Past performances, management volumes, solution profiles, and other pieces of the puzzle can be quickly customized to make your proposal process easier and faster.
Use Available Tools to Find Potential Projects. Spend some time familiarizing yourself with where opportunities in your space are posted, and then commit to a schedule to review those sites. FedBizOpps, GovTribe, LinkedIn, and state and local procurement agency sites are all good places to start.
Read the RFP Closely. Before you even begin, make sure that (1) your company is a good fit for the work and (2) that you can provide the required documentation in time to be considered. Don’t invest a lot of time and effort answering proposals that don’t fit those two criteria.
Research Your Potential Client. Acquaint yourself with the client’s mission, goals, language style, and previous projects, if possible. Becoming familiar with the way the client works and communicates will help immensely in tailoring a proposal for them.
Build in Extra Time. Even the smoothest proposal process can hit bumps in the road and deadlines are always looming. Creating a cushion of even 12 hours prior to the due date gives you time to fix any issues that arise.
Appoint a Point Person. Even if you don’t have a “proposal manager” on staff, make sure that there is one person staffing the proposal writing process who is in charge and able to make decisions. That person’s word goes.
Review, Doublecheck, Proof! Double- and triple-check spelling and grammar; make sure that your formatting complies with the requirements of the RFP and that all the requested documents are included in the correct order; have several people give the proposal a final read-through just to confirm that any editing marks, comments, and redlines have been removed.
Looking for more tips on successful proposal writing, or for affordable assistance with the process? Read our other blog posts or contact us!