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10 steps to get your proposal submitted!

Getting your proposal off the ground may seem like a daunting task. Whether it is a government funding proposal or a private industry pitch, it's important to make sure you're prepared for the possibilities of each.

Government and private industry Requests for Proposal (RFP) have a set of guidelines that need to be met, which can be achieved through meticulous structuring and formatting a proposal. One size does not fit all, every industry requires its own, specific formatting in order to be considered. In order to compete for the best opportunities available, you need to submit the most attractive proposal while meeting the requirements needed.

Here are ten steps that apply to both Government proposals and private industry proposals:

  1. Salespeople should be in touch with the client to ensure that the Request for Proposal is reviewed by the team immediately after it is posted.

  2. Ensure that the Request for Proposal (RFP) and its supporting documents, including the Statement of Work (SOW), Terms and Conditions, and Addendums are reviewed and evaluated by a professional risk management expert and ensure that future project managers are aware of potential risks.

  3. Perform a risk assessment. Before bidding on a contract, determine whether you can perform the work and if your company offers a value-added service. Keep in mind that a proposal forms part of the contract and your team will have to carry out the work described in it. Be honest and accurate when writing your proposal.

  4. The Proposal Manager should assign the following positions: one writer for each major section, a pricer, an administrator, and reviewers for the first (rough), second (complete), and third (ready to submit) review of the proposal. The second and third reviews should also have a pricing review.

  5. Plan to have documents hand-delivered by a specified date for in person submissions. Remember to allow enough time for air travel if necessary and keep in mind different time zones if using couriers.

  6. Submit any questions you have before the deadline. Be alert for any addendums from the Client that may answer some of your questions. Watch for an extension to the deadline if needed.

  7. Consider adding a compliance matrix to your proposal, a chart listing the requirement and the page of the proposal where it is addressed.

  8. Complete final edits and have the bid signed by a representative of the company with the authority to sign on behalf of the organization.

  9. If you are bidding on a project in your local area, submit your bid at least one day in advance. Always submit bids in person, and ask that the bid be time-stamped to ensure that it has indeed been received by the proper authorities. Save the receipt of your submission as proof of when you made the bid.

  10. Good luck!

Allowing for the proper amount of time for the submission and review process is important. By following the steps above you can ensure that your hard work and perseverance pay off.

We, at DTD, can help you land the contracts you want and provide project management support. We're here to help you meet your deadlines. Connect with Laura Dickson today.


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