Would you like to do business with the government or become a contracted supplier of a large corporation? Whether you run a construction company, a grocery or a stationery shop, or even a transportation business, securing a lucrative contract can change your fortunes. Contracts generate long-term business for your company so it can keep growing even when the economy is unfriendly.
But winning a contract can be quite challenging, especially for small businesses. Larger businesses with deeper industry connections and vast contract bidding experience often have an upper hand. So, what does it take to win a contract?
See Also: How to Write an Investor Proposal
1. Do Your Research
Businesses, government agencies or any other organizations looking for contractors don’t just issue contracts to the lowest bidder. They typically have a set of guidelines that they follow in determining a contract winner. This is why you must conduct thorough research on the purchasing organization’s contracting practices. Find the organization’s current and previous contractors, and try to gather some information on how they won their contracts. In what format did they draft the bid or contract prices? Did they include a company portfolio in their bid?
Other pieces of information to obtain include:
- What challenges does the purchasing organization/owner of the contract/buyer face?
- Who has the responsibility to approve and award contracts? Is it a single individual (procurement manager) or a purchasing board?
- What is the buyer’s budget?
2. Write a Winning Proposal
The quality of a contract proposal can mean the difference between winning and losing a contract. The purchasing organization uses the proposal to not only know your pricing but to also learn more about your company. As such, you should take your time to write a proposal that addresses all of the points you gathered in your research. For instance, if you established that the buyer has a budget of $25,000, then you should price your products or services in such a way that the total cost hovers around this figure.
To gain a competitive advantage, provide information on your business experience. If you have previously won other contracts, detail how you performed. Where applicable, include photos of the projects you worked on, or diagrams explaining how you do what you do.
Be sure to also include information on how you will manage the contract if awarded to you, as well as a brief list of the additional or support services you will provide the buyer.
If the buyer is a government authority or agency, then you will need to adhere to government contract proposal format. For more information on government contracts in the US, click here.
Don’t make the mistake of copying text from previous proposals, unless you are giving a technical description of your product or service. Each contract is unique, so it deserves unique and fresh text.
3. Keep Your Branding Strong
The reputation of your company also plays an important role in the world of contracts. Once a buyer receives your proposal, he may want to gather more information about your business. Does your business have an online presence? What are people saying about the company on social media?
It is essential to ensure that your business has a solid reputation, both offline and online. You don’t want to risk losing a contract because your business has a bad reputation.
Although contract procedures may appear complex and intimidating, you stand a good chance of securing a contract if you closely follow this guide. Remember, winning a contract is like a game. If you don’t win today, tomorrow could be your day. Just don’t hastily give up on a contract.
Have you ever won a business contract? Which tricks did you employ? Please share your contracting experience in the comments section below!