Tutorials and resources for proposal writing and business development

How to know when not to bid an opportunity

Most companies bid a lot of stuff they shouldn’t. So to help you find a reason to “no bid” here’s a list of reasons not to:

  1. You find out about the opportunity when the RFP is released
  2. The customer has no budget or can’t afford what is actually required
  3. Your competition is cheaper
  4. There are too many competitors
  5. A key subcontractor backed out
  6. There is a requirement in the RFP that you can’t live with
  7. The price risk is too high
  8. The performance risk is too high
  9. You have negative past performance
  10. The customer doesn’t like you
  11. You don’t like the customer
  12. Customer won’t answer critical questions
  13. You have no advanced awareness
  14. The opportunity doesn’t fit corporate strategies
  15. The RFP is too vague
  16. The RFP is too specific
  17. There’s not enough profit in it
  18. You don’t have enough staff available to write the proposal
  19. You have a conflict with certification requirements
  20. The customer is unrealistic
  21. The schedule is unrealistic
  22. You don’t have the staff to do the work
  23. You can’t promise delivery of the key personnel
  24. You don’t know who the competition is
  25. You don’t know who the evaluators are
  26. The customer likes someone else
  27. You think the customer is trying to justify a selection already made
  28. The customer is just fishing/not serious
  29. Location, location, location
  30. You have a conflict with the delivery requirements
  31. There are intellectual property issues
  32. The contract type is not appropriate for the type of work
  33. Your awareness is limited to what’s in the RFP
  34. There is no potential for follow-on work
  35. Pursuing it would distract you from other opportunities
  36. You are not investing in the proposal effort
  37. You started working on the proposal after the RFP hit the street
  38. You can’t articulate why you should be the one to win
  39. The customer doesn’t know you
  40. You don’t know how the customer is organized
  41. You don’t know how the procurement fits into the customer’s strategic plans
  42. You can’t adequately perform at the price you plan to bid
  43. The technology requested is already obsolete

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By Carl Dickson,
Founder of and PropLIBRARY

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