The great belt-tightening

As we have all read, tens of thousands of staff were laid off in late 2022 and early 2023, including those listed below:

  1. Atlassian: ~500 staff
  2. Amazon: ~18,000 staff
  3. Dell: ~6,650 staff
  4. DocuSign: ~700 staff
  5. Goldman Sachs: ~3,200 staff
  6. Google/Alphabet: ~12,000 staff
  7. IBM: ~3,900 staff
  8. Microsoft: ~10,000 staff
  9. PayPal: ~2,000 staff
  10. Salesforce: ~8,000 staff
  11. SAP: ~3,000 staff
  12. Twilio: ~1,400 staff
  13. Yahoo: ~1,600 staff
  14. Zoom: ~1,300 staff

We have also seen many companies begin to tighten their bid and proposal (B&P) development budget belts. Even if they are making big profits, they are spending B&P funds conservatively and trying to do more with less. For example, capture and proposal managers are handling an increasing number of bids, and direct-charge staff are handling an increasing solution development and proposal writing workload.

So, how can companies still win business and do more with less without burning out their staff? Here are our top five recommendations:

  1. Examine your pipeline to verify that you are only bidding on jobs that you are well-positioned to win.
  2. Allocate 80% of the B&P labor budget to full-time or part-time hires and 20% to consultants you can add or subtract as needed.
  3. Examine your infrastructure to determine how you can expedite time-consuming B&P activities.
  4. Sharpen the skills of your full-time and part-time B&P staff and direct charge staff so they operate at peak efficiency.
  5. Identify internal content you can re-purpose to expedite proposal development.

Additionally, encourage and motivate your staff during these lean times. Let them know you appreciate their efforts to grow the company’s business. Invest in their professional training and performance incentives, and provide morale boosters.

By Brenda Crist, Vice President at Lohfeld Consulting Group, MPA, CPP APMP Fellow

Lohfeld Consulting Group has proven results specializing in helping companies create winning captures and proposals. As the premier capture and proposal services consulting firm focused exclusively on government markets, we provide expert assistance to government contractors in Capture Planning and Strategy, Proposal Management and Writing, Capture and Proposal Process and Infrastructure, and Training. In the last 3 years, we’ve supported over 550 proposals winning more than $170B for our clients—including the Top 10 government contractors. Lohfeld Consulting Group is your “go-to” capture and proposal source! Start winning by contacting us at and join us on LinkedInFacebook, and Twitter.