Engine for Growth – Winning STARS III

  |  June 25, 2020

Brian McCollough — With the PreSolicitation notice released and the final RFP coming in two weeks, there is no time to waste.  This is written to help bidders win a STARS III contract. It is time for serious 8(a) bidders to start work in earnest. And for interested large businesses to find a good team to... Read More

Winning Army Cyber Trident

  |  May 20, 2020

PEO STRI

Guest Contributor: Ken Blair As we approach late spring, a young person’s thoughts should turn to the Persistent Cyber Training Environment (PCTE). OK, well, maybe not, but let’s talk about this latest opportunity from PEO-STRI. This program was moved under the Other Transaction Authority (OTA) on May 19th to make the procurement faster and easier... Read More

The Truth About Federal Proposal Costs

  |  April 16, 2019

stackofring

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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