Once you've identified a bid or contract to respond to, the next step is
acquiring the bid package.
Most of the time, this information is downloadable as a Word or Adobe document.
Depending on government agencies, sometimes you will need to contact the
purchasing office at the government agency for the solicitation document.
Before writing any proposals, you need to do the following homework:
Consider the Return on Investment (ROI) associated with submitting a proposal.
Is the cost of writing the proposal acceptable in terms of the potential for
new business, even if you don't win?
Take time to review the RFP and understand what the government agency wants.
Understand the competition and how to beat it.
Refine your approach, write a draft executive summary and define
discriminators, themes, and features and benefits.
There are two types of offers: - bids and proposals. Bids are used in sealed
bidding purchases, while proposals involve awards to be made following
Bids and proposals always should be prepared with utmost care. Bids or contracts
awarded on erroneous offers may result in serious financial loss or other
difficulty for the bidder. Before preparing an offer, close study should be
made of the specifications to be sure that all requirements can be met.
Particular attention should be given to the instructions to bidders and to
conditions of purchase, delivery and payment.
When preparing a proposal on a negotiated procurement, the same care should be
taken as with a sealed bid. However, because the negotiated purchase procedure
is more flexible than the sealed bid procedure, there is greater opportunity to
seek modification of specifications, conditions of purchase, or delivery and
If the contracting officer decides to negotiate on a firm's proposal, a complete
cost analysis may be required. Therefore, the firm should be prepared to
support the quotation with facts and figures.
One of the most significant changes government acquisition reform is the
increased importance of "best value." Best value means that, rather than making
awards to the lowest bidder as it generally did in the past, the government can
now make awards for the item that best satisfies its needs at a slightly higher
If purchasers are going to make an award based on best value, they must state
their intent in the solicitation document and include a description of the
evaluation criteria, award factors, and factors other than the price that will
be considered in making a contract award.