Issue #2     











Web Sites with
Open Tenders


BC Bid
(Government of BC)








 Ontario Public
Buyers Association


 Government of
Newfoundland & Labrador


 Government of
Nova Scotia






The Power of the Proposal

Preparing Winning Tender Packages


>>  Are you preparing a specialized plan or proposal to secure a major contract?

INCOMPAS is here to help with our proposal preparation plan to assist you through the process and with important information about the executive summary section.


>>  Too busy to prepare an effective proposal? Do you require someone to assist you with this important task?


Contact INCOMPAS today. We can help.


INCOMPAS Communications

T: 604.302.2055  |  F: 604.852.6274  |  E: info@incompas.com  |  W: www.incompas.com



The opportunity of a lifetime has found its way to your organization in the form of a Request for Proposal (RFP). You share the RFP document with the members of your management team, and you begin planning your response strategy. Thatís when you begin to realize the work that lies ahead.


Indeed, the excitement that an RFP generates is often quickly tempered by the dawning realization of the immense amount of toil that goes into competing for Ė and winning Ė that coveted government or private-sector contract. As always, itís when the stakes are highest that everyone on your team must shine their brightest and produce their best work.


You can help by breaking down the proposal into manageable parts, by assigning specific sections to the appropriate individuals on your team, by establishing a series of realistic deadlines that allow for producing a polished looking proposal, and by ensuring that the finished proposal contains both a strong call to action and all the required information specified in the RFP.


INCOMPAS can assist you in all phases of this process, or you can call us in at the very end, to assist you in the editing and final presentation of your proposal. To get you started, weíve developed a point-by-point plan to assist you in preparing a winning proposal.



Proposal Preparation Plan


Be Informed:

         Read the RFP carefully, all the way through, at least three times, so that everyone in your organization has a thorough grasp of all requirements and expectations. The information that is crucial to your proposal will likely be scattered throughout the RFP.

         Recognize and understand the proposal for what it is: a plan that identifies a need or problem, followed by effective strategies that meet the need or solve the problem, a list of anticipated costs and an explanation of how the strategiesí progress and resulting benefits will be measured. Your proposal must contain a strong call to action, and it must be organized and concise, including all required information.

         Focus on the proposal evaluation criteria and the subsequent weight given to each proposal section. It is here that you will learn where to focus your efforts during the preparation of your proposal.


Be Organized:

         Develop a proposal schedule by working backwards from the due date, and stick to it. Establish separate due dates for financial information, allowing sufficient time to acquire more information and refine existing information. Hold regular meetings with your proposal teams to discuss strategies, progress and any roadblocks that are encountered along the way. Make sure you factor in plenty of time for copying, binding and delivery of your proposal. Set aside additional time for distributing your proposal to your entire team, and make sure there is a qualified person on hand to proof-read the final document before it leaves your organization.

         Delegate and inform. In each section of the RFP, specify the individual who will be preparing the information for that section, and provide them with a guideline word or page count as well as a bulleted list of the points to be covered in that section. Post important instructions, so that your team has easy access to information such as the proposal due date, the number of required copies, delivery instructions, etc. Donít complicate your teamís job by making them hunt for this information.

         Create an RFP binder to assist your team in quickly and easily accessing the information that applies to them, with all the sections clearly divided. Highlight the most important sections of the RFP and flag them with post-it notes.


Be Prepared:

         Ask questions well in advance. If anyone on your team has any questions about the RFP, make sure that you ask them well in advance of the query deadline. And because agency replies are typically distributed to all proponents, itís important to carefully phrase your questions, so that you do not give away any information on strategy or pricing to your competition.

         Create a budget checklist to ensure that you have accounted for all proposed revenues, expenses and additional costs.

         Allow plenty of time to gather all the financial information you will require. Make sure you understand the financial nature of the RFP Ė fixed fee, cost-plus, etc. and price your proposal accordingly.


Be Compliant:

         Follow the RFP outline and structure exactly when preparing your proposal. The contracting agency will be comparing your ďapplesĒ to those of your competition; you donít want them hunting for information because you chose to follow a different format.

         Follow all proposal preparation instructions exactly.  If you take one step out of line your proposal could be eliminated before itís even read or considered.

         Follow the conventions and structure specified exactly in the RFP.  Donít assume that the contracting agency has any prior knowledge of your organizationís staff, capabilities and work experience. Their job is to review, compare and contrast only that information which is contained in each proposal.


Be Convincing:

         Fully describe the value and benefits of your organizationís products and services, not just the features. These benefits may seem completely obvious to you, but they may not be quite so obvious to the decision makers. If you can clearly and directly describe the benefits to your contracting agency, and convince these decision makers that your proposal contains the biggest and most important benefits, you will automatically set yourself above your competition.

         Clearly answer the who, what, when, where and why details specified in the RFP.

         Use tables, charts and other graphic elements to display information and break up large chunks of text. This will make your proposal easier to read, digest and evaluate.


Be Sure:

         Accurately document and list any assumptions you make when presenting your budget. Triple-check that all numbers add up. Print out a hard copy of your budget to assist in spotting errors. When displaying numbers, make sure you use a font that is large enough and easy to read.

         Proofread for consistency throughout your proposal in terms of spelling, punctuation, section headings, etc. Ensure that each copy of your proposal contains all pages in the correct order.

         Complete and sign all associated forms that must accompany your bid. Read the submission instructions over one last time to ensure that you have included everything and followed instructions exactly.



The Executive Summary is the most important section of your proposal

The Executive Summary is the first (and sometimes the only) section that will be read by RFP decision makers. While the Executive Summary appears first in most proposals, it should be the last section that you write, as it must capture your proposalís highlights, and it must underscore the strength and competence of your team.



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