Beating the High Cost of Proposals

11 June 2018

When the objective is winning, costs are sometimes overlooked. But the realities of small business GovCon is that every dollar must be strategically spent toward the health and growth of the business.

Organizing your Business Development Department and your Proposal Center are strategic decisions that must fit within your current G&A budgets yet be flexible enough to scale with your business growth.

Outsourcing GovCon Growth Consulting ─ such as those provided by rTurner Consulting ─ gives GovCon service providers access to on-demand support in a number of domains: Business Development, Capture Support, Proposal Management, Technical Writing, and Accounting Support ─ when they need it and at the exact level they need without investing in armies of W-2 employees.

Consulting the T&M Way

The standard purchasing mechanism for BD, Capture, and Proposal support in the GovCon sector is a Time and Material Rate sheet followed by weekly timesheets and monthly invoices. Rates for Proposal Management, Coordination, Editing, Graphics, Technical Editing, SME Support, and Pricing expertise can vary greatly based on the consultant’s experience and domain expertise.

Difficulties with this model include independent consultants who are unfamiliar with each other’s work and work style, inability to control costs and billable hours, or unforseen quality issues that add additional hours and costs to the proposal effort.

Defining the Scope, Fixing the Price, and Incentivizing Performance

There is an alternative to the T&M dance. Most proposal body-shops are in business to match resumes, availability, and rates to your requirement.

rTurner Consulting has developed a model where we partner with our clients to define the scope, level of effort, deliverables and detailed schedule for the proposal, with detailed milestones, storyboards, reviews along with defined roles, responsibilities and expectations of each member of the integrated team.

A foundational component of this model is to define the scope in such a way that the client knows what to expect in terms of deliverables and schedules, and the consulting team has confidence that they can deliver a quality product in the available time supported by SMEs and Executives from the client.

To supplement a lower fixed cost for proposal development, a performance incentive is included in the Statement of Work to incentivize the consulting team to (a) deliver a quality product and (b) do everything we can do to help the client win the work.

Partnership Between Client and Consultant

This model is only possible when there is an established partnership between client and consultant. rTurner Consulting has implemented this model on a number of strategic proposal efforts with our clients. The result is increased cost control, higher quality and overall improved client satisfaction with the engagement.

How can we help you expand your business in 2018? Give me a call.

Robert Turner
(703) 622-9706
robert@rturner.net

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