How to Get It Right: Proposal Development Mistakes to Avoid
The professional writers at McGrady & Associates, LLC have written hundreds of successful proposals…and some unsuccessful ones. We’ve learned from our mistakes, and we’d like to spare you from doing the same. We know that successful proposal development and management will be more likely if you avoid these missteps:
1. Skimming or scanning through the RFP.
The document(s) that make up Requests for Proposals outline all aspects of a project going out for bid. Only reading parts of the RFP or even reading the entire RFP only once will not get you sufficiently knowledgeable of everything you need to know to develop a winning proposal. You must read the RFP in its entirety several times!
2. Assuming you know the requirements or needs of the client better than the client.
When you carefully examine the RFP and understand what the agency is asking for, don’t fall into the trap of thinking, “What they really need is…” or “It would make more sense for them to…” and build your proposal on those assumptions. Develop your proposal to deliver exactly what the contracting agency wants.
Contact McGrady & Associates, LLC for help developing award winning proposals.
3. Only partially meeting the RFP requirements or only paying lip service to them.
Bidding is an all-or-nothing deal: either you meet all requirements outlined in the RFP, or you don’t, and your bid is not considered. To develop a successful proposal, you must address every requirement. Tell the customer how you will perform to meet his requirement. You need to have a solid plan ready to implement to meet those requirements should you get the contract award.
4. Falling behind your timeline.
Effective proposal management entails having a strategy and timeline for developing your proposal and sticking to it. Falling behind your timeline means that something will have to be cut out of your strategy to submit the proposal on time. But what can you really afford to skip? Every step of the proposal development process is valuable. So make sure you understand what you must do and have time to do all of it.
5. Taking shortcuts in the proposal development process.
Writing proposals takes a lot more work than just writing. Subject matter experts and administrators need time to discuss a project’s feasibility, logistics and budget. Writers need time to draft a working proposal. The graphic artists must create and refine the illustrations to be included in your proposal. Everyone needs time to review the ideas, budget and presentation at multiple points along the way to a final submission. Cutting corners compromises the competitiveness of the proposal. Diligently moving through each step of proposal development increases your likelihood of success!
6. Disregarding proposal readiness review team feedback.
The purpose of proposal readiness reviews is to find weaknesses in your proposal and ways to increase the proposal’s competitiveness. Ignoring feedback from these reviews leaves your proposal vulnerable. It is a proposal manager’s prerogative to ignore review team inputs, but he/she does so at his/her own peril. Make your proposal as competitive as it can be by integrating your reviewers’ feedback into subsequent proposal drafts.
7. Submitting proposals late.
Submitting a proposal after the deadline means that it won’t be seen and weeks and months of hard work will have gone to waste. The only chance you have of getting a contract award is to submit your proposal on time!
When you hire McGrady & Associates, LLC for your proposal preparation, you’re hiring a team that delivers effective proposal management and winning proposals. But one more mistake we will avoid is dictating your project. McGrady & Associates, LLC works for you. Contact us today to get proposal development experts working to get your signed contract.