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Now that you have identified a federal opportunity and decided you want to pursue it—how do you win? It’s absolutely essential that you find and pursue an opportunity as early in the process as you can.

If the government agency first hears of your company in the final proposal, it’s not a good sign. Bids are often unofficially won before the Request for Proposal (RFP) comes out, so you ideally need to catch an opportunity while it’s still in the early stages.

It’s also important you make a solid capture strategy and plan. You’ll want to identify what the government customer’s timeline is and how you can pass each milestone accordingly. Let’s cover some of the main aspects you should consider in your plan.


Shaping is the process of getting to know your government customer’s unique challenges and educating them on how your solutions can fit their needs. This should be done before there is an RFP or a draft RFP. It’s more successful to shape a customer’s understanding of your solutions before the proposals are sent out.

Researching Your Competitors

This is a crucial strategy to winning government business. You should conduct some research on who will be competing with you on the bid. You’ll want to research your competitors and see how they represent themselves and what contracts they have won in the past. You’ll also want to identify their weaknesses and use them later on when you are crafting your proposal.

It’s important to consider all aspects of your competition including cost, capability, relationships with other customers, and contract history.

Identifying Your Value

Next, you’ll want to identify your value. What can you offer the government? What differentiates you from competitors and makes your solution valuable? Make sure your offerings are simple and meets the customer’s needs without breaking the budget.

Focus on your “win themes.” What are the strengths of your solution? How does your company outshine its competitors?

Price Strategy

Even if your solution is the best thing the government has ever seen, if it blows their budget, you won’t win. The federal government has budgets in place for a reason and there isn’t much wiggle room like there might be in the commercial world.

Figure out how to strategically propose pricing. What price can you offer without leaving money on the table? You can find out how your competition was priced in the past through a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) so you have an idea of where to set your price.

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