Top Mistakes That Cost You the Contract
Common Mistake #1: Not defining what a min means
Why should they choose you? What makes you the best choice? Why are you submitting the bid? Do you want to win the bid? Are you new and just wanting to get your foot in the door? Do you want to see if your team can work well together? Maybe it’s just an educational experience for you. What does winning look like for you?
Common Mistake #2: Bid response not compliant
What are they asking for? What forms are needed? Paying attention to the details and following directions is crucial. Sometimes bid documents will include a checklist, but if it doesn’t, make one for yourself to ensure nothing is missed. An amendment makes a change to the contract. An addendum makes an addition to the contract. Keep track of any amendments or addendums being issued, as these will impact your response.
Common Mistake #3: Bid response is not responsive
Every bid submission is unique. Make sure you are not using the same answers over and over again. Pay attention to the needs of the client and speak to those needs. Make sure you address every part of the scope. Provide your methodology. How will you and your team address their needs and do the work from beginning to end? Who will do what? Let them know your team has experience. Outline the whole process.
Common Mistake #4: Lack of focus & planning
Is the RFP a right fit for you? Consider your schedule and whether or not you can take on the specific project. What else is on your plate right now? Do you have time to commit to it?
Who’s available to help? What part of the proposal can they do? If it’s just you, how will you organize your time and do everything that needs done? What is the cost involved in this opportunity? Read the RFP thoroughly, from start to finish. Take notes. Are there things that will impact the price? Are there things you need to do yourself, like drug tests, background checks, etc. Are there things you don’t understand about the scope of work? Use various colors of highlighters to organize these items.
We helped a client evaluate an RFP, dividing and conquering it together. She went on to win a three-year contract with the Houston Independent School District.
Common Mistake #5: Not scoring your opportunity
Every proposal has evaluation criteria or scoring. This is how the evaluator will score you. Using these criteria to score yourself and your possible competitors, you can see where you stand and how likely you are to win the bid. Get some examples of these criteria by registering for samples at RFPSchoolWatch.
Common Mistake #6: Not Organizing Your Content
Time is money. Being organized will help you spend it wisely and be able to respond quicker. Having all your information in one place, like a spreadsheet, makes it so much easier. Have a folder with your documents, one for things that need to be completed and one for things that are finalized.