Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Unsolicited Proposal Tips!

Responses from this week's Summit Insight Mailbag Q's

"How can I prepare an unsolicited proposal?"

The Federal Acquisition Regulations tell you what you can and can’t do here:

Here’s an article from ONVIA that summarizes the process and includes other useful regulatory links:

But if you’re going to send an unsolicited proposal, wouldn’t you want to know how someone is going to evaluate it? In the order retrieved by Google,

And the hits just keep on coming. SO...if you’re thinking of sending an unsolicited proposal to a federal agency, remember :
  • “unsolicited” doesn’t mean “free form”
  • Read the FARS on unsolicited proposals!
  • Then look up any rules your target agency may have published about unsolicited proposals. Compliance with those give you keys to successful consideration
  • Remember to protect your proprietary or sensitive information, as suggested by the FARS.
  • Is there anything you want to be sure DOESN’T happen to your proposal? Find out if you’re allowed to place limitations on what the recipient may do with the content of your proposal.

Monday, July 20, 2009

Keys To Government Contract Staffing Success

Women Who Rock Contracting: Patty De Dominic

Patty De Dominic founded PDQ 1979 as a staffing business. In the ten years before PDQ was sold to Select Staffing in 2006, she won quality service, entrepreneurial excellence and customer service awards from local and national media, universities and the US Dept of Labor. She shares her success secrets here!
  • Getting Started - survey the market. “We didn't have a sense of how big that market was.” They picked what worked instead of trying to tackle everything in government.

  • Stick to it based on your intuition – don’t follow the opinion of one government officer. It’s easy to get distracted by a silo’ed opinion and think your business can’t make it.

  • Be in the right place at right time – make your luck. Patty recalls, “We were asked to bid on providing staffing services, as one of 5-10 pre-qualified vendors to provide temp help. We went through the procurement process, and…that gave buyers a chance to evaluate us…to make sure we could add value to the client and guarantee our work.”

  • Complete the offer – Patty’s package included: Pricing, basic company information, including business licenses and proof of insurance, description of the services provided; and documentation of quality assurance processes – “…the methods for ensuring the skills of the employees we assigned to client locations and the quality of their work.”

  • Clinch It With Top Performance -- the best way to ensure your firm stands out. Patty’s company made sure they were very careful about how they staffed the project. “We overstaffed just a bit to be sure to provide top performance. We performed on our first order, and made sure the people we sent had all the skills needed. (and more frankly.....just to make sure it all worked well on those first few assignments).”
Making a name for yourself in performance and quality offers will practically guarantee return government business as it did for Patty.

What are YOUR success tips? Share 'em here!

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Guys Who Rattle My Cage

GSA...NOT the Universal Panacea

I was just reading Washington Business Journal's regular columnist on government contracts -- often has good tips I like to pass along. I met Bill Gormley years ago when he was chief of GSA (and I have compliments for him in tomorrow's blog!). But his recent column made me growly.

I disagree with those who say "If you want to do business with the government, the best way to start is to get a GSA Schedule contract..."

(Here's why...)
  • Think twice if you're getting that advice from someone who conveniently happens to offer services to help you GET a GSA Schedule contract.

  • The BEST way to start is to figure out whether or not selling to the government makes sense for your company in the first place, and then how the government buys what you offer.

  • GSA Consultants with integrity are genuinely cautious about promoting Schedule Contracts as the keys to the treasure chest

    What do YOU think?

    Did YOU shell out big bucks for a GSA Schedule and then win nothing? What's YOUR Story?

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

GEAR Engineering: Half-Million Dollar Smile

Neeld Wilson, Orlando Aquifer Engineer: First Federal Wins!

Meet my client, Neeld Wilson, President of GEAR Engineering. He's a service-disabled veteran who struggled through 2008 (and spent a LOT of money) with no success in winning any government contracts.

This has got to stop," he had said to himself. He hired me to help him. We worked hard together with monthly sessions, targeting, focus, new relationships (like with two local chapters of the Society of American Military Engineers) and follow up on key issues (Find out more about that...).

Just after I finished speaking at the NAWBO conference in Chicago, I got the following happy email from Neeld:

"Homerun! Two (2), that’s right two (2) Federal contracts in one day. One as a subcontractor for geotechnical services ($37K) and one for tank removal/replacement ($445K). Thank you, thank you and thank you. Still, the journey is just beginning and there are many pieces of silver to find."

How could that happen for YOU? Here's how I do it.