Sample Proposal Letter - PowerPoint

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					Developing A Winning Proposal
 9th Annual Government Procurement
            July 8, 2005
        By Laveda Page Brown
• What is the proposal and how to
  get started planning
• Marketing, analyzing, designing,
  estimating and publishing the
• Presenting your companies
  capabilities and making your
• What about a government
• Sample proposal outline and
• Final Checklist
Your Company Introduction
      Developing your commercial

                • In one minute or
                  less tell us briefly:
                • Tell us what you do?
                • Give us one benefit
                  statement (why?)
                • End with your Name
             What is a proposal?
• A proposal is a plan of action
  for fulfilling a need.
• Basically, it is a sales
  document that responds to the
  needs of someone else.
• It is a written document
  describing in detail the work to
  be performed and provides
  the reader/evaluator adequate
  information to make an
  informed purchasing decision.
           Why use a Proposal?
• A good RFP will help the evaluator
  collect critical data to streamline the
  evaluation process and compare
  only the qualified bidders.
• The RFP outline format is design to
  help the evaluator quickly compare
• Most proposal writers spend a huge
  amount of time writing the RFP.
  They expect you to read it and
  follow it carefully.
                Getting Started
• The first thing you will need to do is to gather the
  documentation for the proposal’s six planning steps.
• 1. Marketing
• 2. Analyzing and making bid decision
• 3. Planning
• 4. Designing, when applicable
• 5. Estimating/Pricing
• 6. Publishing the proposal
• The data-gathering process makes the actual writing much
• The planning stage is a good time to focus your key people
  on the mission of the company, available resources, and the
  project's overall value to the organization.
               What is Marketing?
To make a communication about a
product or service a purpose of which is to
encourage recipients of the
communication to purchase or use the
product or service.
MARKETING – The techniques used to
attract, build confidence and persuade
potential customers.
What are you marketing?
You are marketing/selling solutions. Your
proposal should illustrate how your
company understands and provides the
solution to the evaluators problem.
     Marketing the company to the evaluator
•   Marketing plays an important role in writing a proposal and building
    the case for the Company’s capabilities to perform the project.
•   Be proactive in marketing. When an RFP hits the street is not the
    time to start marketing your company, it is extremely hard to meet
    with the purchaser. You must establish a relationship with the
    purchaser before hand to learn what motivates the project.
    Marketing experts' state it takes at least eight contacts before a
    potential client becomes a client and three to four follow-ups with
    existing clients to keep them as clients.
•   The proposer should determine if their company is truly able to do
    the job better than anyone else. If the answer is yes, state your
    case in writing.
•   Next step: develop or review the company’s vision, goals,
    objectives, and strategic plans.
•   A successful proposal is a win-win situation for the proposer and
    the purchaser. Talk about what the purchaser’s agency will gain.
•   All throughout the proposal market your company.
    What's in it for them? Why is your company the best choice for the project?
                       proactive marketing takes time
        Make a contact and follow up
    Develop a plan of action for
    your 8 to 12 contacts;
•   Thank You Card or Letter
•   Confirmation Letter
•   Follow up telephone call
•   Company fact sheet or a capability
•   Media articles-A collection of editorial
    about a person, the product, or the
•   Develop a sales pitch: Why should the
    agencies choose your company.
    Something more than price and
•   PORTFOLIO – A large, bound volume
    containing samples of past work and
    used to promote business.
• What is the key to success? “one
  word: customizing” if you don’t
  address the specific needs of the
  purchaser, you’re wasting your time.
• Only through analyzing the
  customers basic needs can you
  prepare a proposal stating your
  company’s capability to perform the
  required work.
• The purchaser may need you to
  convince their higher ups that the
  project is necessary. Present your
  proposal as the solution to the
  specific problem.
• Public sector purchasers are
  accountable to the public, which affects
  how they scrutinize proposals.
  Generally, experience is more important
  to the selection.
  The audience for a public proposal is
  not just the evaluator, but the general
• When presenting your analysis always
  talk the language of benefit.
• Can you respond quickly with a quality
  product or service?
  How can you demonstrate this?
• A part of your analysis should be
  considering if the proposal is profitable
  for your company.
• Army Five P’s; proper planning prevents
  poor performance.
• Companies that plan, schedule
  meticulously and test prior to work
  implementation ensure that the work
  activities will be profitable and beneficial
  to all.
• In your planning process consider
  yourself in a contest, focused on how
  you’re going to tip the scales in your
• For an evaluator that looks at proposals
  all day long a really good proposal is
  often like a breath of fresh air.
• A poor proposal will not win against a
  really good proposal, no matter who
  wrote it.
              Questions to answer
    Here are a few questions to answer when
    preparing the information for the proposal:
•   What is your company good at?
    What’s your legal status?
    How long have you been in business?
•   What is your company’s philosophy on this
    type of project?
•   What is the nature of the project and how will
    it be conducted?
•   How will your company respond to the
    timetable for the project?
•   What are the anticipated outcomes and how
    will the required results be evaluated?
•   Who are your references?
    What certifications do you have?
    Awards you have received?
• The design part of
  the proposal
  includes such
  items as
  sketches, plant
  layouts, work flow
  diagrams, scale
  models, mockups,
  and prototypes.
• Estimating is one of the most important
  steps. Estimating includes forecasting
  (predicting) the amounts of administrative
  time, materials, man hours, travel and all
  other costs required to accomplish the job.
• You will not know all the expenses
  associated with the project until the project
  details and timing have been completely
  worked out.
• Thus, the main financial data gathering
  takes place after the master proposal has
  been written.
• However, at this stage you need to sketch
  the outlines of the budget as you go along
  to be sure that the costs are all accounted
• This includes the organizing, writing,
  editing, planning, and binding of the
• Follow the required proposal format.
  Proposals that do not follow format
  instructions are rejected.
• The emphasis should be neat,
  accurate, easy reading with easy
  references to assure the evaluator
  the company has the capabilities
  and experience to perform the work.
• The appearance and adequacy of
  the proposal are crucial. However,
  excessive proposals can show a
  lack of cost consciousness.
               Writing objectives
• Keep the writing simple. Proposals with clear
  objectives and methods are generally the most
• Avoid jargon. Also be sure to spell out the full
  names of any acronyms.
• Have someone proofread your proposal. A fresh
  set of eyes can help you identify sections that
  are unclear and catch typographical errors.
• Follow directions. Every year, proposals are
  disqualified because the writer failed to follow
  general format directions regarding the number
  of pages, appendices, fonts, spacing etc.
• Evaluators rank proposals lower when writers
  fail to follow instructions regarding what content
  goes in which section of the proposal.
• Capability is defined as having the ability to
  perform in an efficient manner; qualified.
• Question: How is capability evidenced in a
  written proposal?
  By the qualifications of the team, life of the
  equipment and adequate facilities; the
  Company’s organization, organization for the
  planned project, attributes of key personnel; the
  Company’s resources and financial backing.
• The need that the proposal is addressing and
  the qualifications of your company must be well
  documented and well articulated in the
• Address the purchasers needs and demonstrate
  how your proposal reinforces the overall
  direction of the purchasing agency.
  Writing a proposal for
a government solicitation
         •   There are three situations that require
             you to prepare a proposal:
             Invitation for Bid (IFB)
         •   When the solicitation is an IFB, your
             proposal will consist of filling out the
             forms that you received in the bid
             package and sending them in.
         •   This is contracting that consist of
             competitive bids, public openings of
             the bids (which you should attend),
             and award.
         •   The government knows exactly what it
             wants, where, and how many, the
             award is based on price and other
             price related factors.
         •   You must bid the requirements exactly
             as presented.
Request for proposals (RFP)
          •   Negotiated bid, such as a request for
              proposals (RFP) or request for quote
          •   Request for Proposals (RFP) is the type
              of contracting commonly used when the
              government is not sure what is required
              and they are looking for your input on
              ways you plan to meet their objectives.
          •   First and foremost, respond to an RFP
              in exact accordance with the
              requirements outlined in the RFP.
          •   Requests for Quote (RFQ) is the method
              often used to solicit price or market
              information. A quote submitted does not
              constitute an offer and is not the
              government form of a binding contract.
Responding to an RFP
   • Provide all the information requested, in the
     order and format specified. The first
     indication of your professional qualifications is
     the ability to follow directions.
   • Restate the scope of services and
     specifications included in the RFP.
   • Describe how you will approach the project
     and state why this approach will best serve
     the purchasers needs.
   • Include specific references to the goals and
     objectives provided in the RFP.
   • Outline your cost estimates including all fixed
     and variable prices.
   • Ask for their business. The style and contents
     of the proposal must communicate your
     desire for the business. Do this in a well
     constructed cover letter.
         Sample Proposal Outline
              When a format is not provided.
• Executive Summary: a short statement of your
  case and summary of the entire proposal;
  typically 1 to 2 pages.
• Statement of Need: why this project is
  necessary; 1 to 3 pages
• Project Description: nuts and bolts of how the
  project will be implemented; 2 to 5 pages
• Bid Amount/Budget: financial description of
  the project plus explanatory notes; 1 to 2
• Organization Information: history and
  structure of the company; its primary activities,
  clientele, and services; 1 to 2 pages
• Conclusion: summary of the proposal's main
  points; one-page.
             The Executive Summary
The first page of the proposal is the most important
  section of the entire document. Here you will
   provide the reader with a snapshot of what is to
   follow. It summarizes all of the key information and
   is a sales document designed to convince the
   reader that this proposal should be considered.
   Be certain to include:
Problem: A brief statement of the problem or need
   your company has recognized and is prepared to
   address (one or two paragraphs);
Solution: A short description of the project, including
   what will take place and the benefits, how it will
   operate, how long it will take, and how it will be
   staffed (one or two paragraphs);
The organization and its expertise: a brief statement
   of the name, history, purpose, and activities of your
   company, emphasizing its capacity to carry out this
   proposal (one paragraph).
       The Statement of Need
• Write your proposal like a sales documents.
• The statement of need will enable the
  evaluator to learn more about the issues
  and to understand the problem that the
  project will remedy.
• It presents the facts and evidence that
  support the need for the project and
  establishes that your company understands
  the problems and therefore can reasonably
  address them.
• You want the need section to be logical, yet
  persuasive. Like a good debater, you must
  assemble all the arguments. Then present
  them in a logical sequence that will readily
  convince the reader of their importance. As
  you marshal your arguments, consider the
  following points.
       The Statement of Need
• Demonstrate complete understanding of
  the stated requirement or problem.
• Be specific and direct, being vague only
  demonstrates that you do not understand
  the requirements and will create
  questions in the mind of the evaluator.
• Be sure the data you present are
  accurate. There is nothing more
  embarrassing than to find out your
  information is out of date or incorrect.
• Decide which facts or statistics best
  support the project and substantiate your
  promises with facts and details.
• Information that does not relate to the
  project you are presenting will cause the
  reader to question the entire proposal.
         The Project Description
    Objectives are the measurable
    outcomes of the project.
    This section of your proposal
    should have four subsections:
•   Objectives,
•   Methods,
•   Staffing/administration, and
•   Evaluation.
    Together, objectives and
    methods will dictate your
    staffing and administrative
       The Project Description
• This means that you demonstrate your
  ability to solve or meet the challenge.
• The methods section describes the
  specific activities that will take place to
  achieve the objectives. It might be helpful
  to divide your discussion of methods into
  the following:
  what, how, when, and why.
• Your proposal should clearly communicate
  your ability to successfully perform the
• Documentation of successful fulfillment of
  other contracts will help prove your point.
      The Project Description
• How: This is the detailed description
  of what will occur from the time the
  project begins until it is completed.
  Your methods should match the
  previously stated objectives.
• When: The methods section should
  present the order and timing for the
  tasks. It might make sense to provide
  a timetable so that the reader does
  not have to map out the sequencing
  on their own.
• The timetable tells the reader "when"
  and provides another summary of
  the project that supports the rest of
  the methods section.
       The Project Description
• Why: You may need to defend your
  chosen methods, especially if they are a
  new approach. Why will the planned
  work lead to the outcomes you
• You can answer this question in a
  number of ways, including using the
  valuation of an expert and examples of
  another projects that worked.
• The methods section helps the reader to
  visualize the implementation of the
  project. It should convince the reader
  that your company knows what it is
  doing, thereby again establishing
          The Project Description
• In describing the methods, you will have
  mentioned staffing for the project. You
  now need to devote a few sentences to
  discussing the number of staff, their
  qualifications, and specific assignments.
• Details about individual staff members
  involved in the project can be included
  either as part of this section or in the
  appendix, depending on the length and
  importance of this information
• How will you free up the time of an already
  fully deployed individual?
              Pricing the project
• As you prepare to assemble the pricing, go
  back through the proposal narrative and
  make a list of all personnel and contractors
  related to the operation of the project.
• Be sure that you list not only new costs to
  complete the project but also any ongoing
  expenses for items that will be allocated to
  the project.
• Verify or get the relevant costs from the
  person in your agency who is responsible for
  keeping the books.
• You may need to estimate the proportions of
  your company’s ongoing expenses that
  should be charged to the project and any
  new costs, such as salaries for project
  personnel not yet hired. Put the costs you
  have identified next to each item on your list.
Keeping records
• Your list of pricing items and the calculations
  you have done to arrive at a dollar figure for
  each item should be summarized on
• You should keep these to remind yourself how
  the numbers were developed.
• These worksheets can be useful as you
  continue to develop the proposal and discuss
  it with the evaluator; they are also a valuable
  tool for monitoring the project once it is under
  way and for reporting after completion.
• Some proposals require you to provide
  adequate management and cost information.
  In this case, you need to demonstrate your
  ability to account for all of the costs involved in
  performing the contract.
        Developing Your Conclusion
• Every proposal should have a
  concluding paragraph or two.
  This is a good place to call
  attention to the future, after the
  project is completed.
• If appropriate, you should outline
  some of the follow-up activities
  that might be undertaken.
• This section is also the place to
  make a final appeal for your
  company’s consideration.
• Briefly summarize what your
  company wants to do and why it
  is important.
           Finishing touches
• Cover design
• Cover letter
• Spell check
• Gather appendix materials
• Prepare table of contents,
  section dividers, etc.
• Where and by whom will
  the document be
A checklist for government proposal writing
             Thoroughly reviewed the RFP
             Prepared any questions concerning the RFP
              and submitted to the contracting officer
             Obtained and reviewed background
              documentation for the project
             Evaluated your company’s strengths and
             Evaluated your company’s competition
             Developed a strategy to differentiate your
             Prepared document in the appropriate format
             Included commitment letters from potential
              employees, suppliers and funding sources
             If appropriate, past performance references
             Purchased a sufficient number of packaging
              materials? Binder rings, tabs, notebooks, etc.
Proposal delivery
      • Deliver on time.
      • Label the original
        documents and required
        number of copies.
      • Seal the original and copies
        in a package and label
      • If mailing, don’t forget to
        check delivery schedules.
      • If hand carrying, provide a
        signature receipt for the
        delivery person.
   McLennan Community College
 Small Business Development Center
Government Contract Assistance Center

                  Laveda Brown
     Business Consultant/Procurement
    Owner of TEAMCo and Beautiful Reflection Photography or

Description: Sample Proposal Letter document sample