Business Development Blog

How to capitalize on IDIQs

It seems that the tides have turned in the Government contracting world firmly in the direction of IDIQs and GSA/VA schedules. If you are the Government, it is hard to imagine why it would not be the case. Instead of a lengthy 12-18 months procurement process, the Government can award a contract in two to four months, reducing risk of protest. In addition, the budget approval and end of the fiscal year window shrinking, it is hard to imagine that anything will change any time soon.

Reminder and Olessia’s 5 tips for proposal professionals

I am in foggy San Jose in Silicon Valley, teaching a course for Stevens at NASA Ames. It is an intense, inquisitive, and exceedingly bright group of students. Some of their questions got me to remember some truths in the proposal profession that I began to take for granted – so I am sharing them with you after quickly jotting them down at 4 am (I am still on the East Coast time).

Roadmap to winning in proposal cost volumes

Although the government often states that cost is the least important factor in proposal evaluation, and that they buy on best value, recent statistics show that cost is the deciding factor in most, if not all, of the federal contract awards. In other words, cost is incredibly important if you want to win. Proposal managers, however, work very hard on the technical volumes and wield little influence over this all-important volume.

Creating Job Security, Higher Pay, and Development for Federal Proposal Professionals

We got a question from one of our class attendees last week as to how she could expand into other fields in the proposal profession. Where could she grow from a proposal writer? Truthfully, in this field, there is always a way to command higher pay, be more in demand, and ultimately become a more successful professional with a high success record -whether you are an employee or a consultant. Today’s article is about how to go about it – but it is also relevant to you if you run a team of business developers and proposal professionals because this is how you will develop your “regular” BD capability into a high-functioning machine.

Rules of Thumb for Proposal Win Themes

Picture a daunted proposal evaluator who has yours and a pile of other proposals to read. Visualize hundreds of pages of boring technical text with sparse graphics, until lines turn into ants running through a page. What will this evaluator remember about your proposal by the time he or she reads the next proposal, and the next?

Nothing is great right out of the can, proposal resumes included

There are many things that are accepted as truisms in proposals. One truism is there is always a pizza and coffee shop within one mile of where a proposal is being produced. Another is if your resume does not show it, you did not do it. The flip side of truisms is falsisms. One big falsism in proposals is that resume preparation is quick and easy. The ability to show what your people have done on similar programs is a huge contributing factor to the final outcome. Yet, quite often, younger writers are put on resumes because companies place a lower priority on them than they do on the technical section or executive summaries. However, to guarantee a winning outcome, the same attention to detail needs to go into shaping and presenting resumes as that which goes into other sections.

Tips for overcoming proposal writer’s block

Are you just like I was seven years ago? By that, I mean – do you struggle with writer’s block when it comes to proposals? Have you spent too many all-nighters rewriting atrocious proposal sections? Do you spend nights and days without seeing your family because proposal writing occupies all of your time? Do you work with people who dislike writing wholesale and will do everything else, but postpone the writing portion of a proposal as much as possible?

How to organize to win every task order on an IDIQ

Those who have been around IDIQs for a while know that your chances of winning a task order diminish with each month that passes by, and each competition where you lose or fail to participate. This is why it is critically important that you set up a bid engine ...

When you don’t have time for capture

I often get this question: “What to do when you have no time for capture?” These situations happen more often than we prefer: our management tells us we have to bid on something, NOW; or we are in a situation like a fast and furious task order environment and the ...

Do you have a task order manual for your IDIQ?

Have you won an IDIQ? Congratulations, but get prepared for another race. Otherwise, task order requests for proposals may catch you flat-footed. You have to put numerous measures in place in order to succeed in winning as many tasks as possible. One of these ...

The only way to make money on IDIQ contracts

Changes abound in the Government contracting world. The way we have to go about acquiring a business is shifting as we speak. Several of our clients had procurements canceled mid-proposal in the last month. We all need to adapt to survive in a shrinking and ...

Dominate your competition and win more task orders

Are you prepared to do what it takes to not only win a Task Order or two, but to become a number one contractor on each IDIQ you hold? Would you like to get all the business that you possibly could, to dominate the competition, regardless of whether you are a sub or a prime?

Conference notes and more future predictions for proposal profession

As promised two weeks ago, here is my report on my presentation at the APMP Conference panel where I spoke alongside Steve Shipley (the founder of Shipley and the proposal profession), Steve Myers (the creator of SM&A who also says he was the actual founder of the profession), and three other colleagues.

How will the proposal industry change?

I am getting ready to travel to Denver, Colorado to the APMP International Conference. I feel honored to have been invited to speak at a panel alongside the proposal industry legends: Steve Shipley, Steve Myers, and Tom Sant. The panel is titled “Proposal Pioneers and Today’s Warriors.” We will discuss some trends and make (educated) guesses on how the proposal industry is going change in the future.

Parenting and proposal parallels

By Alex Brown Business Development Services and Proposal Training Director at OST Global Solutions “My life revolves around my girls” is a mantra I adhere to. Each morning I wake up happy that I have another chance to enrich their lives while praying not to ...

Beware of Proposal Editors

I will never forget my first bylined article in the Financial Times of London. It was back when Kathy Lee Gifford was in trouble as her clothing line for Wal-Mart was accused of violating the child labor laws in Honduras...