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Most Common Mistakes Made in Failed Government Contracts




Underestimates the Competition

As we’ve stated before, the competition to win government contracts is fierce. One of the best things that can be done to ensure a strong proposal is to evaluate your competition.

Learn about the other businesses that might bid on such a contract and decide what makes them a strong competitor. Leverage this knowledge to write deliberately about ways that your business can top the competition.


Bids Too High Or Too Low

Although the federal government is looking for high-quality contractors to award their contracts to, they also have a bottom line to keep in mind. Bidding too high on a contract could cause you to lose it before you even get your foot in the door. However, bidding too low can also cause you to lose.


While it sounds crazy but bidding too low is not a good strategy either. When an offer is too high, the government considers it Unreasonable. When an offer is too low, the government will consider it Unrealistic. The government can determine the requirements can not be completed for such a low price and that its a high risk to award a contract for such a low price.


To prevent this from happening, consider identifying companies who have won similar proposals and try to determine what they may have charged. If you are coming in much lower or higher than what seems average, make sure you understand the requirements.


Misprioritizes Tradeoffs

Once the price is right, government evaluation boards will move on to non-contract evaluation factors, otherwise known as tradeoffs. Often, companies are not awarded government contracts because they don’t understand what the government is looking for.


The government is looking for a handful of things here. They will want to know about your past performance. Were you prompt and efficient with the budget? Did the project run smoothly? Did you deliver on time? They will likely want additional information on the technical expertise and personnel qualifications of your company. In other words, have you done this type of job before, do you have the right people to do it again, and do you have the resources to meet the government requirements?


These additional factors can be the difference between an otherwise perfect proposal making it through the evaluation board or being rejected.


Unclear or Overly Wordy

Again, the people reviewing your proposal are working on limited time. Avoid extraneous detail or discussing things that are not relevant to the proposal at hand.


Do what you can to avoid vague language or being ambiguous in how you approach your plan to get the job done. Your writing should be clear, concise, and error free.

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