Imagine presenting a proposal and being awarded the contract of your dreams. You start working on the contract and soon realize it requires more of your time than you thought. You don’t have enough staff to handle the daily operations of your company while you are performing on the contract. No one is trained to take on your daily responsibilities while you are offsite at the customer. You’re getting the contract work done but realize, after completing the contract, you could not service your current customers or pursue new customers. The contract held you hostage from pursuing other work. The contract killed your daily business activities. You ask yourself how this happened.
Reason #5: Lack of Professional Support Can Leave You Blind to the Impact of a Winning Proposal on Your Daily Activities.
Many requests (RFP/RFQ/RFI) are an opportunity to grow your business operations or capacity. Contracts are the result of a focused proposal. A winning proposal brings you closer to getting a contract. Some may provide exposure to a new industry, valuable experience with a private or government client, and future opportunities. The winning proposal demands your attention, because your solution must satisfy the requirements of your client.
We’ve submitted proposals for both government and private sectors contracts. We’ve had some successes and some failures. Here are four valuable lessons about time management and operations we learned before, during, and after the proposal become a contract:
While the opportunity to win contracts is appealing, always plan for the impact on your other day-to-day business operations; and plan for the worst. Performance on the contract should take into consideration the use of precious resources (e.g., talent, administration, time for meetings, etc.).
Expect payment delays of 60, 90, or 125 days during performance of the contract.
Financial information included in your proposal requires a lot of careful research, focus and planning.
Your current customer base must be given your attention and not neglected while you are preparing proposals and presentations that win contracts.
A winning proposal requires planning for the impact on your daily operational activities. Your plan should start with focused research. Analyze the opportunity and develop an execution plan that considers the impact on your day-to-day operations. A good proposal is:
Scalable – A scalable business model implies that a company can increase sales given increased resources. Be sure to determine what additional training will be required and how to budget the cost over life of the contract.
Flexible – A flexible business model is ready and able to change or adapt to different circumstances.
Repeatable – A repeatable business model can be used again but more efficiently.
Documented – A documented business model is supported by or accompanied with documentation.
Access our FREE Operations Starter Kit to begin developing a scalable proposal that won’t kill your daily operations.