Many government contracting business owners ask us: “How many opportunities per month do you need to find so you can submit enough proposals to reach your financial goals?”
The answer is somewhat detailed and has three parts with information we will send to you in three installments, with the first one below.
Many business owners and business developers believe that their small company can only handle so many proposals at once. They think that pursuing a handful opportunities will do until the big break comes and the company gets more resources for bidding. But that’s a recipe for staying small for too long or forever.
Why finding a couple of interesting opportunities a month won’t feed your growth.
If you were to visualize the flow of government opportunities from bid identification to proposal, the pipeline doesn’t look like a straight pipe. Instead, imagine a giant funnel with filters in between. The rings of the funnel are opportunity identification, opportunity qualification, capture, and proposal development.
The top pipe segment—opportunity identification—is wide, and the filter at the end of that wide pipe is coarse. Many opportunities won’t make it through once you take a closer look, so the next ring of the filter—qualification—is smaller and finer, allowing fewer opportunities to pass through. The next ring of the filter—capture—further filter and prioritizes your opportunities. A select few make it to proposal phase.
In order for you to bid on one or two opportunities per month, you need to sift through at least a dozen opportunities entering the top ring of the filter, early in the process. This is because as the opportunities go through each ring of the filter, they diminish until only your best options remain.
The filters between pipe segments may be called “gates” or “readiness reviews” in the business development vernacular. These are usually meetings to sift through the opportunities and decide which ones are winnable and which ones should go away as you have a slim chance to beat your competition.
Each filter typically has an associated metric, or key performance indicator (KPI).
At OST, we consider it good when half of the opportunities that look interesting make it through the filter that starts your pipeline effort. Seventy-five percent of those opportunities make it through the next filter or set of filters if you have more gates. Ninety percent of those are solid enough for you to go through the effort of writing a proposal.
If you start out with identifying one or two opportunities per month, you may have nothing at the end of the pipe unless you’re lucky.
Since luck is not a reliable business strategy, next time we’re going to talk about another reason why it’s best to have more, rather than less, opportunities. Be on the lookout for our email in a couple of days.
Our Winning Edge package helps you with identifying and qualifying enough opportunities so that you can capture them and write winning proposals.
Reach out to us if you want to learn more about the service and how we can meet your growth goals.
Contact us to learn more.