Insights Blog

Proposal brain

Mental fatigue is real and can affect your proposal success

Do you feel forgetful? Is your thinking cloudy? Are you making mistakes? Are you scrambling your words? If so, chances are you have “proposal brain” or what some call “brain fry.” In my experience, working long hours over a stretch of several days without a break causes the problem and no amount of sugar, caffeine or binge watching your favorite shows can cure it. So, what causes this occupational hazard? I used to work with a doctor who chalked it up to mental fatigue or too many hours spent in front a computer screen without a break. Some people can go for several days without feeling the effects of proposal brain and some just hours. So, if you get proposal brain how can you to get rid of it? Here are five tips, I found helpful. Step away from the screen – Leave your office and go for a walk … Continue reading Proposal brain

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Strategic differentiation with a customer focus

Highlight real differentiators to emerge as a leader

I recently worked on a proposal that required – not an executive summary – but an introduction that called out the vendor’s differentiators. Perhaps one of the hardest aspects of our industry is coming up with real differentiators to cite in our proposals. In his book, “Collapse of Distinction. Stand out and move up while your competition fails”, Scott McKain suggests we spend too much time trying to duplicate and outdo our competitors. When we compete rather than emerge as a differentiated leader in our field, we are driven by the competition and not by the customer. McKain says that to have an advantage, we must pay more attention to what the customer wants than to what the competition is doing. Has this happened in your organization? The competition creates a point of distinction, so you duplicate it and try to do it even better. Each competitor introduces incremental changes … Continue reading Strategic differentiation with a customer focus

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Introduction to Strengths-Based Winning in Federal Contracting | Pre-conference workshop at Deltek Insight 2018 (PCW14)

Date: November 5, 2018 Time: 9:00 am – 12:00 pm Location: Deltek Insights 2018 Conference, Gaylord Texan Resort and Convention Center, Dallas, TX PCW14 – Introduction to Strengths-Based Winning in Federal Contracting Course Level: Intermediate Most of what professionals know about developing proposals is pure folklore. This class pulls back the curtain to reveal how the government actually evaluates proposals and what constitutes a strength to government evaluators. In this paradigm-shifting class, attendees will cast aside folklore and learn how to develop proposals that make it easy for the government to award you the contract. Attendees learn how to perform strength-based capture, strength-based solutioning, and strength-focused proposal reviews as well as write proposal text that highlights those strengths. After completing this course you will be able to: Understand what constitutes a Strength from the Federal Government evaluator perspective Solution Strengths as well as identify weaknesses, deficiencies, and risks of your offer that … Continue reading Introduction to Strengths-Based Winning in Federal Contracting | Pre-conference workshop at Deltek Insight 2018 (PCW14)

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Before you burst through the $27.5M size standard

Part 4 of 4 in Lohfeld’s MAC series

Government has two definitions of a company’s size: large or small. MACs use North American Industry Classification System (NAICS) Codes to classify small business size standards. The size standard may vary depending on which NAICS Code the contracting office applies. One of the most popular size standards is $27.5M of revenue on average for the past 3 years. If you are a successful small business, chances are you are going to burst through the MAC’s size standard mid-way through the contract. Some small businesses have achieved remarkable success, while other companies graduate just above the $27.5M size standard and must overcome resource challenges to enter the mid-tier range. We can learn from their success stories and challenges. ActioNet is now #62 on Washington Technology list of the Top 100 Government Contractors in 2018. By the time ActioNet won Alliant and CIO-SP3 Small Business awards, the company was well positioned to succeed. … Continue reading Before you burst through the $27.5M size standard

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