Archive for September 2016

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 be buried almost anywhere in a hundred page plus RFP. Miss a requirement and its all over but the shouting and gnashing of the teeth.

Step 2 –  Use the results of filtering to produce a compliance matrix and an outline based on the compliance matrix. The filter will extract precisely what the evaluators want to read in the proposal and what volumes or chapters required, sections/subsections in a required volume, and the evaluation scores associated with each section/subsection. Using the compliance matrix to produce a proposal outline results in proposal that provides exactly what the evaluators want to read; nothing more, nothing less.  When the evaluator starts to read a compliance matrix driven proposal they say: “these people know what they are doing. Maybe I better read on.”

Step 3 – Add to the outline:

  • Instructions for writers
  • Color coded RFP requirements and evaluation criteria to guide the writers
  • Any technical and/or management content from a proposal library of old proposals.

Most small businesses don’t have a proposal library. Start now and build on containing legacy content, up-to-date resumes, and up-to-date experience summaries. An up-to-date library can cut proposal writing costs in half.

The result of using a proposal system is a 100% compliant proposal containing what the evaluators asked for in the RFP.

Proposal Writing for Small Businesses

Learn about the proposal game, the importance of proposal writing experience, and how to write winners by reading Fedmarket’s 10-part installment series on federal proposal writing.

Writing Compliant Proposals: The Way for Small Businesses to Grow in the Federal Market

A majority of small service companies seeking federal contracts lack proposal writing capability.  Proposal writing capability is a necessity for small service contractors because RFPs and RFQs (1) require relatively complex proposals and (2) are usually poorly written and hide the compliance requirements. Small businesses usually do not have the experienced proposal writing personnel to write clear, concise, and compliant proposals.

Fedmarket is offering a complimentary 10-installment primer on Proposal Writing for Small Businesses. The series is comprised of the following installments, watch your email weekly to read the latest installment.

As the titles suggest, the 10-installments in the series tell readers why proposal writing is so crucial to growing a small business.

  1. Non-compliance Is the Way Proposal Evaluators Survive
  2. Overview of an Effective Proposal System
  3. Winning Proposals Are Based on L & M and Are Easy to Read
  4. The Difference between a Compliant Proposal and a Winning Proposal
  5. Proposal Writing Strategies and Mistakes
  6. Win Theme Development
  7. What Evaluators Want in Your Proposal
  8. Proposal Management Considerations
  9. Conducting Proposal Reviews
  10. Conclusion: Compelling and Compliant Wins

1. Non-compliance Is the Way Proposal Evaluators Survive

A typical RFP/RFQ in the federal market will receive 5 – 50 responses; sometimes even more. Evaluators have full-time day jobs and have difficulty wading through the responses; typically, after their child’s soccer game. The first pass through the pile of responses is usually “whoops you missed the page count, we asked for a single key person resume and I don’t see one., etc.; that’s it for you.” Seven more to go and its already midnight. My evaluation scores are due tomorrow; there has to be a better way.

The federal contracting press delights in the stories of a $50 million-dollar contract lost because the proposal exceed the page count requirement in the RFP. Guarding against non-compliance requires an experienced proposal writer supported by an effective proposal system. Non-compliance is the biggest reason why proposals are rejected.

The three critical elements of an effective proposal system from a compliance perspective are:

  1. Carefully filter the RFP for proposal requirements.
  2. Complete a Compliance Matrix based on the results of the filtering process.
  3. Use the Compliance Matrix to develop a draft proposal.

Fedmarket can write proposals for you and assist you in improving your in-house proposal writing capabilities for the 2017 season.  We will provide you with a fixed price quote to write a proposal for you. Send RFP link or the RFP document to

We write proposals on a fixed price basis for:

  • Companies with limited proposal writing capabilities
  • Proposal organizations that are overloaded with RFP responses
  • Companies responding to GWACs and IDIQs; using a model proposal coupled with services for building the model into a compliant proposal.

We use the proposal systems and procedures described in this series of installment to write proposals for companies. Many of our customers have us write the first proposal and then use the results to write subsequent proposals.

Fedmarket can also provide you with proposal tools and templates to ease the pain and complexities of completing a compliant federal proposal:

Questions? Call us at 888 661 4094, Ext. 2.

Visit Fedmarket