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How to Setup and Run a Successful Bid & Proposal (B&P) Operation as a Small Business

By Ann Robertson | Harkcon's Proposal Coordinator What is a B&P Operation? As a small business setting up a proper bid and proposal (B&P) shop is one of the things often overlooked due to limitations of funding and resources. Many individuals within a small business wear multiple business development (BD) hats to get their organization off the ground. Setting up a proper B&P shop can streamline the BD processes and is how new business is brought into an organization. What is the primary function of the B&P? The B&P operation focuses on identifying new opportunities or contracts for your company and responding to Request for Proposals (RFPs) requirements released by the Government (federal, state, or local). Who leads it? This is normally lead by a Director of Business Development or Business Development Manager and supported by a team of proposal writers and graphic designers. The purpose of the B&P operation is to continuously build a pipeline of potential opportunities and to be able to respond to RFPs. How to run a successful B&P operation? Running a successful B&P operation requires already having a Strategic Plan in place. You need to understand what agencies or clients you want to work with, what services you have to offer, and which dedicated resources you have to respond to opportunities. The B&P operation follows this BD cycle which is broken down into the following processes:

  1. Identifying Opportunities

  2. Assessing Opportunities

  3. Qualifying Opportunities

  4. Capture Planning and Pre-Proposal Strategizing

  5. Proposal Development

  6. Post-Submittal Follow-up

Over the next few weeks, we will cover in detail the specific aspects to a B&P operations and the benefits of implementing it within your organization. If you would like to contact the author of this blog, send an email to and reference the title, "How to Setup and Run a Successful Bid & Proposal (B&P) Operation as a Small Business."

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