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  • Writer's pictureLaura Dickson

How to Write a Proposal & Submit it on Time!

The following ten steps apply to both Government proposals and private industry proposals. Government proposals tend to require a more rigid approach. Watch page limits and mandatory requirements.

1. Salesperson should be in touch with the Client, so the Request for Proposal (RFP) is reviewed by the team as soon as it is posted.

2. Read the entire RFP including SOW, Terms and Conditions, and Addendums. Ensure future Project Managers read entire document so that they are aware of risks. Ensures proposal risks are evaluated by a risk professional or Subject Matter Expert (SME), quantified, and communicated to the team. What are the opportunity costs?

3. Do a risk evaluation. Bid go/no go. Can you compete and provide a value-added service? Is it in your core competency? Keep in mind that the proposal forms part of the contract and your team will have to carry out the contract. Be honest and accurate.

4. The Proposal Manager should assign the following positions, writers for each major section of the RFP, Pricer, Administrator, Reviewers for first (rough), second (complete), and third (ready to submit) review of proposal. The second and third reviews should also have a pricing review. Proposal Manager to issue schedule, style guide, and proposal template.

5. Work backwards from the due date allowing time for hand delivery so that there is no reliance on couriers. This may mean air travel. Keep in mind time zones.

6. Submit questions before the deadline. Keep alert for addendums from the Client that may announce answers to questions. Watch for an extension to the deadline.

7. Consider adding a compliance matrix. A chart listing the requirement and the page of the proposal where the item is addressed.

8. Complete final edits. Have bid signed by a person with authority to sign for the company.

9. Complete bid a day in advance if possible if it is a local bid. Submit in person. Have bid time-stamped and save the receipt.

10. Good Luck!

DTD Management can help you prepare your bids and provide project management as well as fill critical organizational roles on an as needed basis. We work with a sense of urgency to help you meet your deadlines. Connect with Laura Dickson today.


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