Proposal Writing Newsletter Series

  • Government Proposal Writing for Newcomers

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  • I Have to Write a Federal Proposal. Help me!

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  • The Dream Proposal Product Does Not Exist

    Federal proposal writing cannot be automated for one simple reason: the proposal preparation instructions in Requests for Proposal (RFPs) are not standardized. The Federal Acquisition Regulations (FAR) defines the basic content of RFPs, but broad section... read more

  • Essential Elements Federal Proposal Writing

    The five C's required to write a winning proposal are: customer knowledge, creativity, compliance, clarity and conciseness. All five C's are needed to maximize proposal evaluation scores. Newcomers to the federal market underestimate the importance... read more

  • Why Proposals Lose

    Fedmarket uses a structured RFP-driven proposal process that ensures proposal compliance. We win a majority of the proposals we write and almost all of the multiple award (IDIQ) bids. Yet some of the single award proposals we write proposals lose. Why,... read more

  • OASIS Alert

    GSA OASIS Announcements at GSA OASIS Web Site (no updates of Draft RFPs until summer) OASIS Industry Day: Registration is closed for the OASIS industry Day on May 13 Accounting Systems: GSA is removing the requirement to have a DCAA audited... read more

  • Proposal Writing Strategies and Tips

    Write the Executive Summary first using customer insights, your experience with similar work, and contract performance and management insights. Then refine and rewrite it as the proposal progresses. Don't just parrot back the RFP requirements. You... read more

  • Why Use Proposal Outlines and Templates

    In past newsletters we stress the importance of a detailed outline and templates when organizing the content of multiple technical writers. A detailed outline and template also provides two other important benefits in producing a winning proposal... read more

  • Extracting Proposal Information from Subcontractors is Like Pulling Teeth

    When it comes to preparing federal bids, prime contractors often discover that subcontractors hate to provide proposal information for their piece of the action. In fact, it's far more common for subcontractors to be unresponsive to... read more

  • Unsubstantiated Claims

    When drafting a federal proposal, avoid making claims you don't back up with facts. The government's proposal evaluators get a good chuckle at your expense when reading broad, unsubstantiated boasts.  Once they stop chuckling,... read more

  • Writing a Proposal to Win an IDIQ

    For someone new to the federal market, writing a proposal to bid on an (Indefinite Delivery/Indefinite Quantity) IDIQ being publicly advertised at FedBizOpps is akin to completing a corporate income tax return. All IDIQ proposals are full of red tape... read more

  • Proposal Writing Costs

    The costs associated with writing a federal proposal are increasing as the federal government adds more red tape to the procurement process. For example, compliance rules are now more rigorous as a result of the publication of new Federal... read more

  • Don't Write Losing Proposals

    Don't write losing proposals. Some would say this is a trite and simplistic statement and others would say this is one of the secrets to success in the federal market. A corollary statement about sales in general would be "only pursue someone who is... read more

  • We Won an IDIQ, Now What

    Our previous newsletters discussed the trend in the federal government towards the use of Indefinite Delivery Indefinite Quantity (IDIQ) contracts to speed up the federal buying process. Winning an IDIQ is a crucial first step in doing... read more

  • Beat the Proverbial Proposal Receipt Time Stamp Machine

    Everyone has heard the stories of delivery vehicles screaming down the Beltway only to just make or miss a proposal filing deadline. Or the stories of proposals that never made their destination due to mishandling by delivery services. ... read more

  • Proposal Writing Testimonials

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  • Win Theme Development

    Use an Executive Summary as a tool for win theme development. Write the Executive Summary first using customer insights, your experience with similar work, and contract performance and management insights. Then refine and rewrite it as the proposal... read more

  • Conducting Proposal Reviews

    Formal “color coded” proposal reviews are frequently overdone and can have a negative an impact on profits. Too often people are taken on billable time and they have nothing to contribute. Involve just the key people (writers and project... read more

  • Proposal Management Considerations

    Amendments An RFP amendment can throw a proposal out of compliance with a couple of words. Track amendments and filter the words like they were the RFP itself. And then update the proposal outline for any requirement changes. The consequences of... read more

  • What Evaluators Want in Your Proposal

    Evaluators tell you what they want in the RFP. That’s all they want. They want a practical, low cost solution as reflected in the RFP technical proposal requirements. More sophisticated solutions are not wanted and may in fact result in a... read more

  • Conclusion: A Compelling and Complaint Proposal Wins

    Proposal writing is the Achilles heel of federal proposal writing. Most companies wish there was an easier way and evaluators dream of it going away altogether. The recent trend of “project experience based” Multiple Award Contracts (MACs) is a start... read more

  • Overview of an Effective Proposal System

    An effective proposal system must have procedures for the following three major steps. Step 1 – Filtering (deconstructing, reverse engineering) an RFP. Filtering has to be performed by an experienced proposal writer because proposal requirements can... read more

  • The Difference between a Compliant Proposal and a Winning Proposal

    OK. Let’s Write! Your boss has tried hard to establish relationships without much luck. And he finally says let’s go for this one because we will perish if we don’t get a contract soon. Ideally, he saw something that could cause your company to... read more

  • Proposal Writing Strategies and Mistakes

    Don’t just parrot back the RFP requirements. You should rephrase the requirements and add insights that demonstrate an understanding of what you are proposing to do. Why are we doing it this way? What are the benefits of our approach? Why does it... read more

  • Winning Proposals Are Based on L and M and are Easy to Read

    Federal RFPs are supposed to show Proposal Writing Instruction in Section L and Proposal Evaluation Criteria in Section M of an RFP. Many do and some don’t. Proposal instructions and requirements can sneak into other parts of an RFP even in RFPs that... read more

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