Veterans Business Resources

a portal for all Veterans and SDV Small Business Owners

Writing Proposals that Win!

We were smart throughout our military careers, so why should we change that success strategy now?  We want to be smart about Government Contracting as well.  Don’t reinvent the wheel.  Spend some time researching proposals.  Learn the basic elements of a proposal and the kind of information typically included in each element.  I’ve already listed some places where you should be able to find examples.  If possible, get your hands on examples of winning proposals in your particular field/industry. 

Most people believe that the Government is more concerned with price than any other factor when it comes time to award a contract.  That might be true in some selected cases, but generally that couldn’t be farther from the truth.  The Government is looking for the best value.  Proposals are where you get to display your superior written communication skills and convince the Government your company can and will provide the best value and the best solution to their identified need.  

Remember, you can’t win unless you submit a proposal and give yourself a shot.  Get in the game!  Don’t be overly concerned about winning or not winning.  The first several times might be tough and very stressful to pull the solicitation together, but the process gets better and so will you.  Oftentimes people choose to have outside consultants write proposals for them with the goal of increasing their opportunity to win.  This can be an expensive undertaking and is an individual business owner decision.  

To me, proposals are really where the rubber meets the road.  Everything before proposals is important, but unless you deliver the goods on the proposal, all the earlier work is slightly diminished in importance.  With that said, let’s look at this another way.  If you’ll allow me to use a sports analogy; in professional baseball we call a batter with a .300 batting average a really, really good batter.  All that really means is he is getting 3 hits every 10 at bats.  When you are winning 3 of every 10 proposals you submit, you are doing really, really well!  You will not be there out of the gate, but you will get there over time, of this I am certain!

See you on the high ground!


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