A substantial amount of contractors look to find quick and easy government proposal templates on the Internet when responding to government solicitations. However, there has been at least one GAO case where the government stated that the proposal template used did not mirror the solicitation requirements. Using templated responses increase your chance of not following the agency’s solicitation requirements. Ultimately, your bid will not meet the last section pile.
As a general rule, you must treat each solicitation as if it were your first. One clearly understands that information such as past performance or presenting key staff in your technical proposal may be somewhat similar each time. By using bidding templates, you tend to miss critical evaluation criteria for the specific proposal at hand.
Avoid Generic Government Proposal Templates
Develop your own outline for government contracts with a table of contents that match each individual RFP requirement. In addition, the template must also match to order of which the specific proposal in question has been expressly outlined.
Templated proposals should also be avoided when even if you have successfully won using that template in the past. Judging from recent practices seen at the bid protest stage, you never want to simply follow terrible directions from companies seeking to sell templates online.
Avoid Templated Responses for the Following Reasons
- They tend to confuse your strategy and approach as set forth in the specific solicitation. When you hire a proposal writer make sure that he or she understands the format to be used and avoid canned answers.
- Templated responses undermine the quality of your bid. Source selection personnel are human and want to see a quality RFP response.
- Avoid old templates that merely parrot back the solicitation requirements. In fact most government RFPs make it clear that this type of response is unacceptable.
- Templated responses tend to lack relevant information and background that is specifically called for in government RFPs. You must address each specific evaluation requirement and avoid copying and pasting old template proposals.
Avoid Risk of Non-Compliance
There is a costly risk of mistake that you do not want to fall prey to. Information such as past performance can still be used since the general need is the same. For example, project number, point of contact etc. However, even with this, you should still be articulating why a past project is relevant to the exact project that you are bidding on.
Any format that you use must be specific to the solicitation at hand. When it comes to the source selection and evaluation criteria, you will quickly see that each government RFP is different. You cannot simply use a generic template that does not match the instructions provided in the solicitation. You may run the risk of getting your proposal thrown out as non-compliant.
- Avoid costly mistakes when using RFP templates for government contracts;
- Develop your own response for individual solicitations;
- Avoid companies offering free government proposal templates online.
See our ten commandments of proposal writing.
Remember that the Agency has wide discretion to decide whether you proposal response is in compliance with the solicitation instructions. Even if you chose to file a bid protest, the GAO will more than likely side with the Agency since templates tend to not offer any substantive value..
This individualized analysis should deter you away from using templated responses. Instead, your approach should be to develop your technical proposal writing to match the current project requirements. In other words, develop your Table of Contents. Then merge information to meet each solicitation requirement.
Develop Your Proposal to Match the New RFP Requirements
Your proposal template should mirror the instructional breakdown given in the solicitation. As you develop proposal content for each section, you should feel confident that you are complying with the entire solicitation requirements.
If you are competing for millions of dollars in government contracts, it is more feasible to take the time to develop your compliance matrix that is specific to the current solicitation. After accomplishing this task, only then should you analyze the direct instructions given by that contracting agency to see if your proposal templates match the RFP requirements.
Using generic government proposal templates from the Internet forces you to force information into predetermined criteria that may not match the current proposal requirements. Avoid this costly mistake at all cost.
Agencies are Aware Generic Templates on the Internet
Agencies can spot templated responses from a mile away. Avoid the temptation of taking shortcuts to win bids. An easy way to get eliminated as non-compliant is to miss the required proposal format. In addition, by using templates, it is harder to explain your approach for a specific proposal. This minimizes your credibility.
Call our government proposal writing consultants for help with your next government proposal. Call 1-866-601-5518 for free initial consultation.