Effective market research is the crux of preparing a winning bid. However, as a small business it can be challenging to figure out where to even start, better yet to complete useful and compelling research. Preparing for a successful acquisition process should start early and give you a good foundation of information so you can make bidding decisions on reliable insights that can then set the framework for your proposal strategy.
In order to increase your PWIN, there are five main areas you will want to focus your market research on to build your knowledge foundation:
Government Market Analysis: Start by doing some general research on the needs of the federal government. You can then start narrowing down potential customers by matching your businesses capabilities with the existing federal needs. This is also a good time to make yourself aware of the different categories of small businesses and flagging potential agencies who offer work for your set-aside.
Target Market Identification: This is an extension of the market analysis but should focus on those potential customers you narrowed down in the previous step. You essentially want to make a list of any agency that could be interested in your services and from there further narrow down your list by looking at spending history, your current clients and the future spending of agencies you are interested in. If your vision and services don’t align with what an agency wants, remove them from the list.
Marketing Campaigns: Winning the contracts in your pipeline requires building awareness of your company in the federal government and fostering relationships with agency decision makers. Leverage digital marketing to build brand awareness and to send out innovative messaging. Consider revamping your website so it is user-friendly and useful to any agency personnel who land on it.
Pipeline Development: Once you have a general idea of who you want to do business with, you can start developing your opportunities pipeline. This is the most strategic part of market research because the opportunities you qualify and add to your pipeline will shape the direction of your company’s business. You want to capture as much information as possible here and start preparing yourself for a proposal response.
Business Development Campaigns: After you’ve narrowed down your pipeline to opportunities that you are going to bid on, you’ll want to start the capture process that will set you up to write and manage winning proposals. Get started on the right foot by developing a unique strategy for every potential customer, choosing a solid team, and preparing your resources for proposal season.
Good market research will win to a more seamless and winning proposal season. However, for small businesses, this process can seem overwhelming. If you have a capabilities gap in any of these key areas, consider teaming with outside help to ensure you’re setting you and your team up for success.