How to Get Government Contracts

Have a Slice of the $1 Trillion Pie

By Olessia Smotrova-Taylor

How to Get Government Contracts Cover Image

How to Get Government Contracts is an insider's view of how to get a piece of the $1 trillion the U.S. government spends each year on contracts and grants--and how to build a business selling goods and services to the government.

Full Description

  • ISBN13: 978-1-4302-4497-4
  • 288 Pages
  • User Level: Beginner to Advanced
  • Publication Date: December 3, 2012
  • Available eBook Formats: EPUB, MOBI, PDF
  • Print Book Price: $29.99
  • eBook Price: $20.99
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Full 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

Table of Contents

Chapter 1: How Lucrative Is Government Contracting--and How Tangled Is the Red Tape?

  1. Let's demystify government contracting.
  2. It’s not a get-rich-quick world, but there is more profit than meets the eye.
  3. The pros and cons of entering the government-contracting market.
  4. Bird’s eye view of the market.
  5. Red tape, and how to rein it in and become a pro at winning contracts consistently.
Chapter 2: Get Started in Government Contracting

  1. Rules of the game in the federal marketplace.
  2. Government procurement methods.
  3. How to navigate the world of rules and acronyms.
  4. How to leverage small business status and socioeconomic programs whether yours is a small or large business.
  5. Necessary registrations and other steps to becoming a government contractor.
Chapter 3: Break into the Federal Arena Without Breaking Your Neck

  1. The chicken and the egg of past performance: Getting started is as hard as landing a dream job straight out of college.
  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 feed your pipeline with high-probability deals.
Chapter 4: Win Procurements Before They Go Public

  1. Secret weapon of seasoned government contractors: Capture planning.
  2. Six components of capture to make winning a proposal a slam dunk.
  3. How to reduce competition with sole-source opportunities and small business set-asides.
  4. How to “wire” opportunities to yourself legally.
  5. How to prepare for a proposal in style.
Chapter 5: Create Strong and Lasting Relationships with Government Customers
  1. Remember: You're dealing with people.
  2. Four key tasks for interfacing and building relationships with government customers.
  3. Rules of interfacing with government personnel that you don't want to break at any cost.
  4. Twenty questions for gathering information from the customer during a visit to gain understanding of what keeps them up at night and influences their buying process.
Chapter 6: Develop Information Dominance in the Blind and Silent World of Government Procurement

  1. Public bid posting doesn’t mean a level playing field: The diminishing opportunity for gathering information on your target bid.
  2. Where and how to gather actionable intelligence when you are not allowed to talk to the customer.
  3. What information is necessary to win.
  4. Document intelligence in a capture plan so that it is useful for the proposal team.
Chapter 7: Develop a "Win Strategy"

  1. Identify top-level actions that create a winning offer.
  2. Good and bad win strategies.
  3. How to distinguish yourself from the pack and avoid the trap of flaccid win strategies.
  4. 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.
  5. How to turn win themes into action items to outdo your competitors.
Chapter 8: Identify and Analyze Your Competition

  1. Why you should worry about what your competitors do.
  2. How cursory competitive analysis won’t fail to hurt you.
  3. What you need to know about your competition, and techniques for finding this information.
  4. Putting the puzzle together: how to exploit your competitors’ shortfalls to your advantage and outdo them through strategic actions.
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 in an office building.
  3. Teaming strategies: types, timing, and pros and cons.
  4. How to qualify a teammate to help you win and avoid problems down the road.
  5. Understanding size rules and potential teaming pitfalls that could disqualify you from bidding.
  6. Negotiating a binding teaming agreement.
Chapter 10: Prepare a Solution Before the Request for Proposal

  1. Wow your customer and put your proposal in a whole different league.
  2. 30 days: Barely enough time to prepare a winning proposal
  3. Prepare in advance of the RFP issuance.
  4. How to guess at the requirements before the government issues the proposal.
  5. What can you figure out in advance, and how to do it without wasting time or money.
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.
Chapter 12: Wrangle the Nitty-Gritty of Proposal Details

  1. It is all about planning and attention to detail.
  2. How to develop a schedule to avoid last-minute scramble and produce an error-free, professional set of bid documents.
  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.

Chapter 13: You Won the Race ... and Now for the Sequel

  1. Fullfill your contract: underpromise and overdeliver.
  2. Techniques and strategy for building and aggressively growing your government contracting business to millions of dollars and beyond.
Appendix: Useful Resources and Templates
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