How to Write a Federal Proposal

How to Write a Federal Proposal gsa

Many companies seek to get a GSA contract, but only a tiny fraction of them will eventually be able to obtain it. Why? Because writing a federal proposal is a real stumbling stone for many newcomers, and the majority of business owners fail to do this properly. In this article you’ll learn how to write a federal proposal, and skyrocket your chances of approval by the GSA.

Check if you Qualify to be a GSA Contractor

What is a federal proposal

The federal proposal, also called government proposal, is a written document that presents the exact offer a business makes to the government in response to its request. Ok, let’s simplify it: the government says, “Look, companies. I need this and that. Make your offers, so I can choose between them and pick the best-suited ones to fulfill my needs”. So then, the potential vendors make their offers and submit them to the federal government. The best offer in terms of quality, terms, and pricing wins. That’s it.

There are two types of requests for proposal (or shortly, RFP): a private request for proposal and a public request for proposal. Private requests are confidential and relatively low-regulated. Public requests, on the other hand, are available to anyone, and are strictly regulated by means of the Federal Acquisition Regulation (FAR) control. You will need to follow specific standardized rules and regulations, and are obliged to register at SAM.gov and have a DUNS number to respond to such public requests for proposal. Proposals are published on government marketplaces, such as GSA Advantage and eBuy.

The key to success in the government contracting process is to write a federal proposal correctly, with the government buyer in mind. However, even before you write a proposal, you should take some preliminary actions to make sure you are actually ready for a GSA contract. 

Checking if you are ready to offer to the government

Here is a checklist to go through in order to make sure you are ready:

  1. Register your business. This means your business must be a legal entity before you can start selling to the government.
  2. Receive DUNS number. This number uniquely identifies your business and allows federal agencies to gain access to information about your business.
  3. Get a NAICS code. The North American Industry Classification System identifies types of products and services you sell.
  4. Register at SAM. The System for Award Management is a channel for businesses to become official government contractors. 
  5. The DOD also requires the Federal Supply Group or Class code.
  6. Get a CAGE code required by the federal government.

There is also another important thing you should do before attempting to write a federal proposal. We are talking about honest assessing of your capabilities to fulfill the terms of a GSA contract. You need to clearly understand what you can and cannot do. For instance, you should check to see if you can deliver the required items or services, before you actually sign anything. Also, make sure you have the experience and resources to fulfill the contract.

While seemingly trivial, the preparation steps are tricky, and many companies fail to complete them for a number of reasons. Based on our experience, hiring a GSA contract specialist greatly reduces time and effort spent on preparation.

  1. Outline. Overall description of your proposal based on the solicitation.
  2. Technical information. Use the solicitation as a basis, and provide all necessary technical data structured to match the solicitation requirements.
  3. Expertise. Provide any certifications, experience statements, and representations that confirm your expertise in the field of the RFP.
  4. Financial statement. Provide reports and financial statements required to prove your financial stability.
  5. Non-price evaluation factors. Provide a narrative explaining your benefits as a GSA contractor aside from the price. Make sure this section matches the solicitation. Your goal is to persuade the government you are ready for the contract and are indeed the best choice.
  6. Past performance. Provide your past performance records in the field of the solicitation.
  7. Pricing. Bidding for government contracts is a whole different story, we will discuss it thoroughly in our other articles. 

Conclusion

If you ask yourself: how do I submit a bid to a government contract, you are probably ready for the next step. Get ready and start writing a federal proposal. It is surely worth it. And if you need help getting a GSA contract, please contact Price Reporter, we will be happy to assist.

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