How to Prepare a Winning Management Plan

  |  June 20, 2019

During the days when I had time to actively assist in proposal writing, I was often elected to prepare the management plan. During the past 30 years, I have probably prepared at least 150. I will never forget the first management plans I wrote. I was a Vice President at Computer Dynamics, a rapidly growing small business in Virginia Beach. The year was 1983; and this was my first experience writing a management plan. If I had had an MBA degree, the work would have been fairly straightforward. However, my degrees were in English, History, and Education.

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The Truth About Federal Proposal Costs

  |  April 16, 2019

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During the past 30 years, I have frequently been asked the question, how much does it cost to prepare a proposal?

Or "What should it cost to prepare a proposal?" The desire is to have a valid standard a bidder can use to estimate the cost to prepare a proposal based on a key variable such as the dollar value of the contract being bid.

This question is a little like the question, what does it cost to build a house? The answer is that it depends on the size, style, materials, etc.

Back in the day, the generalization was often made that preparing a proposal cost 2% of the value of the contract being bid. However, solicitation requirements vary so much that this answer is dated and does not fit all situations. When we grant that it is almost impossible to quantify what proposals should cost, useful guidelines still can be offered.

Four Primary Types of Proposals

In order to address the question, let’s break proposals down into four different types that collectively account for a large portion of solicitations:

1. Low end base O&M services such as grounds, buildings, streets, uniformed guard service, utilities, trash, etc.

2. High end technical engineering services staff augmentation where the customer is buying a team of contractor personnel to provide technical support.

3. High end hardware / software driven solutions where the contractor is developing a system to perform a complex management function or to operate specialized equipment.

4. Product sales where the customer is buying a commercial off the shelf product.

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