Business Development Blog

Six Strategies to Grow Your Business with the Treasury

Olessia Smotrova-Taylor, OST’s President and Chief Executive Officer, presented “Six Strategies to Grow Your Business with the Treasury” as a speaker at the U.S. Department of the Treasury’s Small Business Outreach in May. More than a hundred of businesses, ...

The Seven Deadly Proposal Sins, Part 5: Sloth

In our series covering the Seven Deadly Proposal Sins started last year, we have discussed the first four: Pride, Gluttony, Greed, and Envy. These covered the common mistakes and misconceptions we have come across throughout our work as business development ...

The Seven Deadly Proposal Sins, Part 4: Envy

In our series covering the Seven Deadly Proposal Sins, we have discussed the first three: Pride, Gluttony and Greed. The articles cover the common mistakes we come across throughout our work as business development consultants. Committing one or more of these sins ...

The Seven Deadly Proposal Sins, Part 3: Greed

This seven-part series is based off of the most common proposal mistakes that we see throughout our work. In our first two parts we discussed the sins of Pride and Gluttony. Committing one or more of these proposal sins is the surest way to lose a bid while ...

The Seven Deadly Proposal Sins, Part 2: Gluttony

In Part 1 of our seven part series on the Seven Deadly Proposal Sins, we covered Pride, which is often synonymous with incumbentitis. Thinking that “the customer loves us too much to lose,” underestimating the competition, and developing proposals that are ...

The Seven Deadly Proposal Sins – Part 1: Pride

Olessia and I recently spoke at the 2014 NCMA World Congress on proposal quality control. As we were working on the presentation, we started talking about the common proposal flaws we keep encountering on our clients’ proposals. We came up with the seven deadly ...

Turning Ops Personnel into a BD Army

Training your operations people to be business developers reminds me a lot of patrolling in Afghanistan. On a patrol, security is everyone’s job, but it’s not everyone’s full-time job. Although the most experienced soldiers can better recognize something unusual, ...

The Difference between Proposals and Super-Proposals

Cue “Welcome to the Jungle,” by Guns and Roses. (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JQJJjcrwXQE). Slash’s guitar riffs sound as smoke forms and Megamind exclaims, “You dare challenge Megamind?” Titan, the eventual antagonist of the movie, responds with a not-so-witty ...

Incumbent-itis pitfalls

The cardinal sin of any government contractor is to lose the bread-and-butter contract that they rely on as a major source of income. This is a job they know inside out. They have bonded with the customer; they could recite the customer’s challenges and hot ...

Pwin, Any Given Sunday

How many of you woke up last Sunday and predicted that the best offense in the history of the NFL wouldn’t score a point until the third quarter? Most people figured that the game would be relatively even, but the thought of the blowout that occurred didn’t even ...

I Once “Captured” a Fish… THIS BIG

Every fishing story sounds similar. It starts out with a description of the setting, a little nibble, then the sudden strike setting the hook, and the fight. Often, the story concludes with a drawn-out struggle where the line almost breaks and the buddy brings the ...

BD is not drinks, golf, and dinners. It is goals, customers, and pipeline

A great business developer is a “people” person who builds and sustains long-term relationships with customers and partners, finds opportunities, and closes deals. This naturally requires legwork and face time with people, sometimes translating into drinks, golf, and dinners. Unfortunately, some business developers equate business development with kicking the bobo with friends high up in the government, fine dining, and exclusive golf courses. They call it “opening doors.” They say BD takes time. And while that much is true, it is easy to mistake movement for progress, and lose sight of the goals.

5 Simple Rules for Constructive Feedback

When you are in a position of an editor or a reviewer, remember that the authors put a lot of work into the proposal, so be respectful and productive in your criticism. You want to treat your team members like fellow adults, and shape your feedback accordingly.

Say No to Bureaucratic Compliance

Let’s talk compliance. Compliance, as you know, starts with a proper proposal outline. Proposal managers need to decide which sections of the statement of work to discuss in the outline, and which sections to exclude. It is the outliner’s job to really understand the big picture, and ensure it is structured and annotated in the way that the writers understand the context of their sections. The outliners have to figure out how to tell a great story within the constraints of being compliant.