KIT DEALS WITH SELLING TO THE UNITED STATES FEDERAL, STATE AND LOCAL
GOVERNMENTS AND MAY BE OF LIMITED UTILITY FOR FIRMS SEEKING TO DO
BUSINESS IN CANADA.
We hope you'll soon discover that this kit contains great value! We
hope this kit will help you get started on the road to winning more
government business. It will help you begin the process of learning
how each of the federal, state, and local governments procure goods
and services. It will help you create winning proposals.
The idea behind this kit is simple. Imagine you had 20 professional
proposal writers in a room and you asked each one to help you get
started. Imagine you asked each one how to win more government
business. Imagine that you could ask many important questions, such
as: How do I find out what governments buy? What process do they
use? How do they evaluate proposals? Is there a step-by-step
checklist for doing a proposal? How do I decide whether or not to
bid? What is a set-aside program? What books or articles will help
me understand the process of selling to government? What is the
Small Business Administration? Can the National Association of
Procurement Officers help me learn about selling to state
Suppose each proposal writer answered your questions by recommending
something different: a favorite book, an easy-to-use checklist, a
few important articles, a web site, etc. Each gave you valuable
information about a different aspect of winning federal, state, and
local government business. Well, that's what we've tried to do in
We've collected this information from many sources. From
governments, agencies, web sites, from private sector firms and from
independent consultants. We've included items which we believe are
valuable. It is important to note that we have not received money or
any other incentive from any organization to include their material
in this kit.
All of the material was selected by us.
All of the copyrighted material is included with permission.
None of the organizations in this kit by their inclusion endorse
other organizations found in this kit.
Here is a brief description of these resources:
Proposals: On Target, On Time by Dan Safford
Dan Safford's Proposals: On Target, On Time is the best book we've
found to explain the proposal writing process. Proposals: On Target,
On Time is one of the easiest to read books you'll find on proposal
writing. It includes a step-by-step guide to the Proposal
Preparation Process, discusses important pre-solicitation activities
you should start, contains a great Go/No Go check list as well as
hundreds of other tips and shortcut suggestions to help make
proposal writing a much easier task.
Getting Started in Federal Contracting by Barry McVay
Getting Started in Federal Contracting cuts directly through the fog
and haze and explains clearly the federal government's rules and
processes. In addition, it explains small business set aside
programs and how they work, electronic contracting and credit cards,
federal supply schedules, as well as providing sample solicitations,
forms, and many examples.
Magazines and Journals
Procurement magazines and trade journals are an excellent source of
information for firms who sell to government. We've included
Reseller, Government Technology, Public Purchaser, Government
Computer News State & Local and, from Canada, Summit. You'll
notice that there is a heavy emphasis on technology. Don't be put
off if your company isn't high tech. These magazines contain a
number of valuable general information articles on proposal writing
and legal matters which pertain to all companies writing proposals.
The Two Binders
The two binders contain 16 sections of specialized information. Each
item has been selected for the value it provides for new proposal
writers and those companies targeting federal, state and local
Section 1: Selling to government. More than 100 pages of material
including a 40-page article by Michael Asner, and a presentation on
Section 2: Articles. More than 50 pages of articles by some of the
best proposal writers dealing with important topics such as common
proposal errors, bid or no bid, using boilerplate, strategic
Section 3: Newsletters. Actual copies of important newsletters
including Government Marketing, Proposal Writing Tips &
Techniques, and Perspective, published by the Association of
Proposal Management Professionals.
Section 4: Legal Resources including Government Contractor Insights
(newsletter), articles, and a selection of 20 web pages and
resources dealing with legal issues
Section 5: Minority and Women-Owned Small Business Resources. More
than 40 pages containing articles, lists of web-based resources, and
sample web pages all intended to help you understand the important
issues related to set-aside and minority development programs.
Section 6: Proposal Planning. This section alone is worth the price
of the kit. Using this material you can see how major firms and
senior proposal writers organize their efforts. The section includes
a major proposal preparation checklist, a 14-page proposal planner
work book, and a 96-step flowchart for creating an effective
proposal. As well, we've included a book chapter on organizing for
Proposal Kick Off Meetings and boilerplate kick-off meeting package
Section 7: Electronic Tendering and Procurement. This section
provides you with information about many of the major sites that
list bid opportunities for federal, state, and local governments.
Using this information, you can obtain some trial subscriptions and
see for yourself!
Section 8: Proposal Software. Learn about these important tools.
Read how to compare and assess these products. Install the CD demos
and review several products.
Section 9: Purchasing Associations. One way to gain more information
about issues affecting state government buyers is to frequently
review the web sites, journals and newsletters of buyer and
purchasing associations. Some associations also provide a number of
other valuable resources, such as manuals and directories. As a
starting point, we have included a sampling of information on the
major national associations.
Section 10: State Procurement Web Sites. Want to know how to do
business with your State government? Considering expanding your
range to the state next door? Don't know where to get the
information you need? Although each state varies, you will find that
many provide a "How To Do Business With Us" manual, often
in down loadable format. In this section, for your convenience we've
listed the front page from each web site to give you a flavor of the
kinds of information available to vendors.
Section 11: State Purchasing Guidelines. It's often a good idea to
familiarize yourself with the policy and operating guidelines for
each agency you wish to do business with. Many states have
purchasing guidelines which are available on their web sites. These
guidelines can provide you with the purchasing rules and state
statutes which apply to their dealings with you, the vendor. We've
included a sample one from the State of Idaho Purchasing Department
to give you an idea. Please note, that laws and regulations vary
tremendously from state to state. Refer to your desired state's
procurement web page (see previous section) to find the information
Section 12: State Vendor Guidelines. Want to do business with the
State of New York? The State of Washington? Check out the state's
vendor manual for a step by step guide to the process. Manuals
explain the rules that apply to the submission of your proposals,
whether unsolicited proposals are allowed or even legal, whether
there are preferences given to businesses located within the state,
how to apply to supplier and other vendor lists, etc. Most states
have a manual or guide available on their web site (see State
Procurement Web sites section).
Section 13: Intelligence Gathering Suggestions. If you're in
business already, you probably know the importance of good market
intelligence to help you determine who and where your competition is
in the process. Did you know that you can acquire an agency's
acquisition planning documents? Copies of its strategic plans?
Summaries of active contracts? Copies of actual past contracts?
Through the Freedom of Information Act, you are entitled to all of
this information. All of which can prove invaluable to you if you
are in the process of developing a marketing strategy and want to
target a particular agency. A regular request of and review of
agency acquisition planning information should be included in the
development of your master plan for selling to government. Included
in this section are a few short articles to get you started. Also
check out specialized services for the name of a firm who will do
this process for your company (for a fee, of course) and maintain
Section 14: Specialized Services. There are many services to help
those selling to government. We have included a few which we think
may help save your company some time and energy in the area of
registering your company with numerous agencies and making Freedom
of Information Act requests. Please let us know of any firms which
have helped your firm save time by using the handy feedback form in
the front pocket of the binder.
Section 15: Bibliography. Want to do more reading? Here is a
selected Bibliography of Books and Articles on Proposal Writing.
Section 16: Other References. Interested in the resources available
for those who want to contract with the federal government? Check
out the Federal Acquisition Virtual Library. Want to know what tools
and resources are available to small business? Check out the Small
Business Administration's Library and Resources section. Included
there is a link to the Federal Agency Procurement Forecast as well
as links to other sites of interest.
We hope that this kit proves to be of great help to you. Please send
us an E-mail with your comments and criticisms. We will listen.
Also, if you know of other material that we should consider for
inclusion, let us know.
Michael Asner firstname.lastname@example.org
Sharon Sheppard email@example.com