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How to Get Government Contracts: Have a Slice of the $1 Trillion Pie

Book Description

How to Get Government Contracts demystifies the process of how a company can enter the government market, win its first and subsequent contracts, and then grow itself into a multi-million-dollar government contractor within a couple of years. It offers an insider's view into the latest best practices that government contractors use to succeed in an increasingly competitive market, and it shows exactly how your company can apply these techniques to build a strong business.

Many companies venture into the government market with a certain naiveté and pay a hefty price to find out that there is much more to winning a contract than writing last-minute proposals in response to publicly posted solicitations. To stop the bleeding of precious resources, they need to step back to learn how professionals win business in the federal arena. This book shows you how to find, for example, the best potential customers and opportunities for your company. It also explains the secret to winning consistently by conducting pre-proposal preparation (also called "capture") and practicing a disciplined, process-based approach to proposal development.

This book provides a recipe for winning government contracts over and over again, the way seasoned government contractors do it. After reading this book, you will know exactly what to do to position your company to win a government proposal before a solicitation becomes public, including building customer relationships, gathering intelligence, developing a "win strategy," performing competitive analysis, selecting the best teammates, and developing a solution. As a result, you will apply professional techniques to organizing your proposal effort, outlining a proposal document, and writing RFPs that persuade evaluators to award the contract to you.

What you'll learn

  • The scope of federal contracts and grants and where to find information about them.

  • How to get information about potential contracts before they are advertised.

  • How to prepare your company to win contracts before submitting proposals.

  • How to abide by federal acquisition rules that guide your proposal and govern your work for the government.

  • How to take advantage of set asides for businesses owned by women, veterans, minorities, and others.

  • How to prepare a proposal that wows government customers and wins contracts.

  • How to get a steady stream of work from the government.

Who this book is for

This book is for individuals and companies wishing to get a piece of the $1 trillion the U.S. federal government spends each year in contracts and grants.

Table of Contents

  1. Titlepage
  2. Dedication
  3. Contents
  4. Foreword
  5. About the Author
  6. Acknowledgments
  7. Introduction
  8. Chapter 1: How to Get Government Contracts
    1. Let’s Demystify Government Contracting
    2. The Pros of Entering the Government Contracting Market
    3. The Cons of Joining the Ranks of Federal Contractors
    4. Bird’s-Eye View of the Market
    5. How to Become a Pro at Winning Contracts Consistently
  9. Chapter 2: Get Started in Government Contracting
    1. Rules of the Game in the Federal Marketplace
    2. Government Acquisition Process
    3. How to Navigate the World of Rules and Acronyms
    4. Take Advantage of the Small Business Program
    5. Leverage Your Status
    6. Necessary Registrations
  10. Chapter 3: Break into the Federal Arena Without Breaking Your Neck
    1. The Chicken and the Egg of Past Performance
    2. Strategies for Penetrating the Federal Market for the First Time
    3. How to Find Perfect Customers for Your Portfolio of Offerings in the Vast Federal Market
    4. How to Create and Feed Your Opportunities Pipeline with High-Probability Deals
  11. Chapter 4: Win Procurements Before They Go Public
    1. The Secret Weapon of Seasoned Government Contractors: Capture Planning
    2. Six Areas of Capture to Make Winning a Proposal a Slam Dunk
    3. Putting It All Together
  12. Chapter 5: Create Strong Relationships with Government Customers
    1. Four Key Tasks for Interfacing and Building Relationships with Government Customers
    2. Rules of Interfacing with Government Personnel That You Don’t Want to Break at Any Cost
  13. Chapter 6: Intelligence Gathering
    1. Public Bid Posting Doesn’t Mean a Level Playing Field
    2. Where and How to Gather Actionable Intelligence on the Internet
    3. Additional Information You Can Collect That’s Necessary to Win
    4. Document Intelligence in a Capture Plan to Be Useful for the Proposal Team
  14. Chapter 7: Develop a Win Strategy
    1. How to Distinguish Yourself from the Pack and Avoid the Trap of Flaccid Win Strategies
    2. How to Develop Powerful Proposal-Level and Section-Level Win Themes That Provide a Conclusive Set of Reasons Why the Customer Should Select You and Not Your Competitors
    3. How to Turn Win Themes into Action Items to Outdo Your Competitors
    4. Identify Top-Level Actions That Create a Winning Offer
    5. Good and Bad Win Strategies
  15. Chapter 8: Identify and Analyze Your Competition
    1. Why You Should Worry about What Your Competitors Do
    2. How Cursory Competitive Analysis Will Always Hurt You
    3. What You Need to Know about Your Competition, and Techniques for Finding This Information
    4. Kinds of Information You Need for Competitive Analysis
    5. Putting the Puzzle Together
  16. Chapter 9: Create a Team That Compels the Customer to Select You
    1. Choose and Engage the Right Partner Companies
    2. How Good Teaming Partners Are Like Parking Spaces
    3. Teaming Strategies: Types, Timing, and Pros and Cons
    4. Understanding Size Rules and Teaming Pitfalls That Could Disqualify You from Bidding
    5. How to Qualify a Teammate to Help You Win and Avoid Problems Down the Road
    6. Negotiating a Binding Teaming Agreement
  17. Chapter 10: Prepare a Solution Before the Request for Proposal
    1. Fight the Natural Tendency to Skip Solution Development
    2. Structure Your Brainstorming Correctly to Avoid Wasted Time
    3. How to Guess at the Requirements Before the Government Issues the Proposal
    4. Use Checklists to Guide Your Experts in Figuring Out Solutions
    5. What Can You Figure Out in Advance, and How to Do It Without Wasting Time or Money
  18. Chapter 11: The Race Is On: Get Ready to Write a Winning Proposal
    1. Why Proposals Win (and Why Many Don’t)
    2. Making an Educated Decision to Bid or Not Bid on a Proposal
    3. How to Read the Government RFP Correctly to Understand Exactly What the Government Is Looking For
    4. Why You Need a Proposal Process, and How It Works
    5. Integration Phase
    6. Planning Phase
  19. Chapter 12: Wrangle the Nitty-Gritty of Proposal Details
    1. How to Develop a Schedule to Avoid the Last-Minute Scramble and Produce an Error-Free Professional Set of Bid Documents
    2. It’s All about Attention to Detail
    3. How to Outline a Compliant Proposal to Get the Highest Score from the Evaluators
    4. How to Make Your Proposal Sections More Compelling Through Executive Summary, Graphics, and Persuasive Language
  20. Chapter 13: You Have Won a Few Proposals—Now What?
    1. What’s Next: Techniques for Building and Aggressively Growing Your Government Contracting Business
    2. 6. Build a Bid Engine
  21. Appendix A: Capture Plan
  22. Appendix B: How to Develop a Proposal Outline
    1. 1.0 Factor 1: Management Organizational Structure [L.]
    2. 1.0 Factor 1: Management Organizational Structure [L., M.1.4]
    3. 1.0 Factor 1: Management Organizational Structure [L., M.1.4, C.2.2]
    4. 1.0 Factor 1: Management Organizational Structure [L., M.1.4, C.2.2] (3 pages)
  23. Index