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Top Reasons You Aren't Winning More Government Contracts


  • Poor Proposal Preparation/Presentation: Contractors must understand the expectations of the government when responding to Requests for Proposals (RFPs). This depends primarily on the acquisition environment you find yourself in. The government’s process for acquiring commercial products and services from contractors is vastly different (and more streamlined) than acquiring non-commercial products and services. Once you understand your place in the acquisition universe and the government’s rules for “full and open competition”, you can then drill down to what the expectations will be for the technical, management, and pricing volumes.


  • Low Commercialization Score &/Or Lack Of Previous Experience: Just like in the commercial world, the government likes to do business with companies that they know and trust. Previous experience, especially when it is highly rated (see below comments on quality and delivery), means a lot when the government is evaluating between several competitors. In the SBIR/STTR world, the government is concerned with how their previous investments have been turned into successful products and they measure this regularly. A low commercialization score will weigh heavily on the prospective SBIR/STTR proposer. The Government wants to fuel new product innovation, not pure research (there are some exceptions).


  • Improper Budgeting &/Or Pricing: The mistake here is not understanding the expectations of the government when pricing proposals. This depends primarily on the acquisition environment you find yourself in. The government’s process for acquiring commercial products and services from contractors is vastly different (more streamlined) than acquiring non-commercial products and services. Once you understand your place in the acquisition universe and the government’s rules for “full and open competition”, you can then drill down to what the expectations will be for pricing. Ideally, all existing and potential government contractors in any acquisition environment should be able to calculate costs and profit on a job-by-job basis. Doing so will enhance your ability to estimate costs and, if required, produce “certified cost & pricing data” in response to a government request for proposal

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