What’s a Picture Worth to Your Proposal?

A picture is worth a thousand words, or so the saying goes, but not if the image doesn’t convey your meaning. How do you ensure your artwork is impactful and memorable to the evaluator?

To start, give your Graphic Artists the critical information they need to generate artwork that conveys the meaning you intend.

Graphic Artists are rarely included in proposal solution planning meetings yet expected to create wiz-bang imagery that conveys an entire complex project approach. Often, they can support an entire proposal without the faintest idea of the proposal’s basic thrust. At times – seemingly basic information such as color pallets, font style and size requirements, page size limitations, and other essential parameters are often not conveyed up front to the artist.

Why does this matter?

Because Graphic Artists live in a visual world, they need to have some basic understanding of the entire situation to convey ideas through imagery. This includes knowing who the customer is (to present perspective), what is the problem that we are trying to solve (to provide context), and what is our proposed solution (to provide clarity).

Graphics make a huge difference in proposal effectiveness. Some reviewers have told me that they get first impressions only from the pictures, charts, and graphics, scattered among the proposal pages. If that’s true, then not providing your Graphic Artist with the essential information they need to do their best for you is working against your own interests.

There is another reason to convey critical info to your artist – it’s more cost effective.

Frequently, artwork is revised multiple times because ‘the artist didn’t get the point across’. But the Artist isn’t a mind reader and they can’t convey your intent if you don’t provide the information that they need up front.

So, spend the time necessary to make sure your Graphic Artist has all the info needed to do their best for your team. It will pay off in increased efficiency for your Graphic Artist and in more effective graphics for your proposal.

Seismic Shift in Defense Spending

Rumors have been floating for months – and now everyone knows they are true.

The Army is shifting $25B within its Science & Technology (Research) and Acquisition (Development and Procurement) accounts to fund its highest priority areas. This shift will coincide with the 2020 Budget and affect FY 2020 and the subsequent four years.

Given the Army’s 2019 budget for these two accounts was roughly $30B, it’s a significant realignment in resources. Continue reading “Seismic Shift in Defense Spending” »

Sources Sought Notices: Don’t Just Answer the Mail…treat them like a proposal, or you just might close the door on a business opportunity.

The Government routinely conducts Market Research (MR) on their industrial base; it’s good business for the Government to understand its suppliers and their capabilities for current and future needs.  However, did you know that MR is required by the Federal Acquisition Regulations (FAR) prior to conducting a procurement?  Government MR approaches range from passive (no industry involvement) to active (high industry involvement). Passive methods include government personnel conducting keyword searches on the internet or seeking potential vendors using the System for Award Management. Active methods involve sending surveys to their known vendor base, making pre-solicitation announcements via FedBizOps, holding Industry Days, or directly contacting and visiting potential vendors. Continue reading “Sources Sought Notices: Don’t Just Answer the Mail…treat them like a proposal, or you just might close the door on a business opportunity.” »

SAM.GOV Changes Registration Procedures to Fight Fraud

Avoid Renewal Delays … take these two steps now.

Starting 01 July 2018 there are two important changes to your SAM.GOV registration – you need to:

  1. Create a Login.gov account and use that for accessing your SAM record (see the yellow banner at the top of SAM.GOV)
  2. Submit a notarized letter to SAM.GOV designating an “authorized Entity Administrator” who can make changes to your account (see the red ‘Alert’ text just below the blue menu banner on SAM.GOV)

According to SAM.GOV, until you set up your Login.gov account, your current SAM.GOV credentials will not work.

Upon your next registration anniversary, your renewal may be held up until you submit your notarized letter; any new registrants must submit the letter to open a SAM.GOV account.

You can read all about these changes on SAM.GOV; however, note that these two issues are dealt with separately on the website. It’s wise to get ahead of this and prevent an avoidable renewal delay – which could impact future contract awards.

Please note there are many companies offering to handle this on your behalf … for a FEE. There is no need to pay anyone to do this – the process is relatively simple and FREE.

“I Meant What I Said and I Said What I Meant. An Elephant’s Faithful One-Hundred Percent!”

Many of us who grew up with Dr. Seuss will recall this line from ‘Horton Hatches the Egg’ and know that we need to be careful when making promises. The simplest childhood lessons still apply in adulthood – including when you submit a proposal seeking a federal contract or grant. Continue reading ““I Meant What I Said and I Said What I Meant. An Elephant’s Faithful One-Hundred Percent!”” »

Seeing is Believing, but Make the Call Anyway

We all know that RFPs are tightly scripted, highly-detailed documents. Yet, not everything you need to know can be gleaned from reading the RFP. Talking to the potential customer – well before the RFP is released – is essential  before investing large resources in developing a proposal. Continue reading “Seeing is Believing, but Make the Call Anyway” »

FOIABles Alert!

Competitors Using the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) to Sneak Peek at YOUR Proposals

A growing trend in the federal procurement market exists where competitors are submitting Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) requests for ALL contracting documentation on bids – and specifically requesting the proposals submitted by the winners. Continue reading “FOIABles Alert!” »

ID Please…

Heads up to anyone planning on visiting Federal facilities after January 30, 2017 – if you are from  Kentucky, Maine, Montana, Pennsylvania or South Carolina, then your state issued driver’s license is no longer an acceptable form of identification for access. Continue reading “ID Please…” »

Preparing for RFPs – Don’t Wait Until It’s Too Late

Preparing for RFPs – Don’t Wait Until It’s Too Late

“Better three hours too soon than a minute too late” – William Shakespeare

Who among us didn’t pull an all-nighter to write a college term paper? While most of us have improved  our time management skills considerably since those days, juggling pressing business demands with the extensive work required to prepare for an upcoming RFP creates a familiar conflict shared by our clients. So often we hear business leaders state that there is plenty of time to prepare for an upcoming procurement – even when the RFP is due out in a matter of weeks. Continue reading “Preparing for RFPs – Don’t Wait Until It’s Too Late” »