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To Bid or Not to Bid: How to Make the Best Decision

Have you ever thought about how many decisions you make each day? From the clothes you choose to wear to what you eat for lunch or whether or not you feel like making it to the gym, each day requires us to make multiple decisions, and sometimes it can be exhausting to be caught between two very viable options. Luckily in those moments, choosing to get takeout or cooking the groceries from the fridge isn’t typically a big deal. However, when it comes to deciding whether or not to bid on a specific government contract, the stakes are much higher.

Businesses cannot afford to be indecisive when choosing which projects deserve the time and resources necessary to prepare a competitive bid properly. Many contractors aim to bid for every opportunity they can, but this is unwise. Instead, there should be a sense of proportionate balance, primarily depending upon your resources. 

Given the free access to government bids, finding many available opportunities will not be a problem. The ultimate challenge is deciding which opportunities align and make sense to invest time, effort, and money. One or more team members will spend days, if not weeks, drafting a presentable proposal. Therefore, businesses should adhere to a focused approach when deciding on which government projects to bid. This guide to bidding lays out the specific issues you should prioritize to make an informed decision. 

Assess the Eligibility Criteria

Search a government contracts database to find relevant opportunities. First, make a shortlist of those that you think are most lucrative and suitable for your business. Now, assess the eligibility criteria of each of these shortlisted opportunities. 

1. Type of Business

It is not unusual for the government, Federal or local, to invite proposals from certain types of businesses. This may pertain to the kind of incorporation, nature of ownership, size of the enterprise, and a combination of several factors. Accordingly, the proposal issuer may declare a preference for specific types of businesses. 

If you find that the type of business you own is not suitable for the contract, then it is pointless to pursue the opportunity any further; it should not find its way to your ultimate shortlist.

2. Company Profile

Government contracts may stipulate necessary experience or years in business, expertise or specializations, specific locations, and other company profile elements. Many opportunities require firms to operate certain types of facilities. This is not limited to factories and warehouses. Such criteria may also include stipulations regarding office spaces, logistics, supply chain, and transportation. 

Your company profile should perfectly fit an opportunity and its requirements. If you’re missing any criteria, then bidding on that opportunity may not yield any gain. Remember, some of your competitors will fulfill and exceed the requirements, creating a scenario unsuitable for you to engage in competitive bidding. 

3. Quality of Product or Service

You may have the most refined quality product or service, yet it may not be suitable for the government. Distinct government departments have their ways of assessing quality. If an RFP explicitly describes specifications or features you do not entirely satisfy, stop considering that contract and move on to the next available opportunity. 

In some cases, you may be able to tweak your product or service to meet the quality requirements of the government. First, conduct a cost-benefit analysis to bring about such changes, and then decide if bidding for the opportunity is viable for you in the immediate or foreseeable future. 

4. Deliverable Prerequisites

An RFP may necessitate a strict turnaround time, and the frequency of deliverables may not suit your operations. In addition, there may be other such prerequisites that you fail or may fail to fulfill. For example, the government might demand around-the-clock support for a service, and your company doesn’t provide this. Therefore, do not bid for the contract if you cannot meet the RFP, deliverable schedule, or terms.

Most businesses have to tweak their operations to some extent to be able to bid for government contracts. It would be best if you weighed the pros and cons of such adaptive measures. If the changes appear sustainable, you can undoubtedly modify them accordingly and bid for a lucrative project. 

5. Compliance and Certifications

Scan any government contracts database, and you will find that most RFPs require at least a few certifications. Unfortunately, the compliance standards for government contracts can be steep and costly to uphold. However, every business interested in dealing with the Federal government must secure necessary certifications and should fulfill all compliance requirements. 

Securing required certifications takes time. If you try to comply and get certified while your proposal is being drafted, you may miss the closing date. Deadlines for government contracts may get extended, but you cannot take that possibility for granted. Instead, choose government projects for which you are entirely eligible to bid. 

Assess the Competition

You must assess your competition to know the odds of winning. It is not only about expertise, experience, production capacity, and service deliverability. For example, some businesses in your niche may be more familiar with government contracts. As a result, their RFP responses might be more compelling. 

A great way to access the competition is through contract award information which enables you to comprehensively understand the bids that have been won recently. You can use this data to decide on an offer with a greater chance of winning. In addition, competitive intelligence can provide insight into the types of competitors with which you are likely to wrestle, their strengths and weaknesses, and their core expertise and experience.

Assess the Viability 

Free access to government bids empowers all qualifying vendors; businesses can bid simultaneously for multiple projects. A contractor may spend enormous time, immense effort, and a lot of money during the bidding process. Failing to win the bids can result in a tremendous loss of resources. Winning a bid without considering the ramifications can also lead to a massive loss. 

You should ascertain if your business can deliver what the government requires. Conduct a viability study based on how you run your business. Ask practical questions to assess the ground reality. Can you secure a sustainable profit with your bid? What changes will you have to invest in to deliver the goods or services? Does the contract complement your current business plan and company policies? 

A thorough government bid search will lead you to various types of projects. Quite a few in your industry will have lenient prerequisites. Some contracts are not long-term. There could be one-off procurements of goods or services. You have to choose government projects on which to bid that are organically suitable for your business. 

The Smart Approach to Choosing Government Projects to Bid

G2Xchange can help you to navigate the massive and complex federal marketplace. Utilize competitive intelligence and leverage contract award information to find facts that will help you showcase your brand as the most suitable vendor for the government. Then, prioritize these bids and direct all your extra resources to draft a winnable proposal. 


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