If you’re new to government contracting or have experienced a bid loss, you might be asking yourself, “Why did I lose my bid?” Government contracting can be complex. Even with the right talent and resources, there are a variety of reasons your bid might lose. Here are five common reasons for losing bids in the world of government contracting.
Your price came in too high and a competitor beat out your price. How do you prevent this from happening again? Use research before bidding to determine past win prices. This will give you an edge in ensuring you’re offering a competitive price.
2. Past Performance
Many companies have a hard time breaking into the world of government contracting because they don’t have experience working with the government. “It’s like when you’re job hunting and everyone wants 3+ years of experience but nobody wants to give you that experience,” said Lauren Postma, one of our Technical Writers. “Once a company wins a contract, the next one will be marginally easier to land.”
Additionally, choosing which past projects to present at the time of proposal is important. Often, companies don’t select past performances that are relevant to the current opportunity – not just in the same general industry. Lauren said, “Companies need to show that they have done work similar to the contract and in a similar capacity – which can be difficult for small businesses at times.” Our tip to help with this? Win small.
To get new contracts, you need to be compliant with your current contracts. Simple. But often, companies focus so much on the number of wins that they don’t realize they are running into compliance issues. It’s important to take responsibility and be compliant with your current contracts before you get a new one. Hint: understand the FAR clauses.
4. Inaccurate Documents
In some cases, companies may not have a detailed management or quality plan to include in a bid. The government wants to know that you have the proper steps in place to ensure products or services are of the highest quality. Without these documents, or by submitting a document that is not detailed enough, it’s safe to say it'll result in a bid loss.
Want to do government sales but don’t have these documents? Not to worry, because as a JetCo client, you’ll have a designated writer to help you develop the proper documents to win a bid.
5. Non-Adherence to Directions
Plain and simple – if you can’t follow the directions, you can’t sell to government. “If a company doesn’t follow the directions of a solicitation, they will often be thrown out,” said Lauren. “The government wants people who can follow directions, and if a company is putting their proposal in the wrong order or format, that’s going to set off some red flags for them.” The directions and fine print of a solicitation are there for a reason, therefore, they need to be paid attention to.
Of course, there are more reasons yet on why you might lose a bid, but whatever the reason for your bid loss, it’s important to understand why you lost so that you can improve the next time you bid. Finding bids and writing responses can be intimidating, but with the right talent and resources, you’ll be on track with your government sales goals.
Need help with your proposal management and bid writing? We’ve got you covered. Contact us to set up a time to chat.
About the Author
Lauren is a Technical Writer at JetCo Solutions. In this role, she works directly with clients, managing and creating proposals to sell their business to the government.