The Marine Corps gets straight to the point and you should too

For conferences, the Marine Corps Systems Command, Office of Small Business Programs hands out a small 16-page pamphlet. A small unassuming pamphlet entitled, Doing Business with the Marine Corps. The brochure has a page dedicated specifically to proposal writing titled, “Power up your proposal.” (Federal News Network August 2021)

Within the “Power up your proposal” page, you will find one of the most straightforward guides to proposal writing.

  1. “Read the solicitation in its entirety multiple times, read and understand the instructions to Offerors, and comply with all of them.”
  2. “Choose your competitions wisely. Target only those solicitations for products and services in your niche market so that you can increase your probability of success.”
  3. “Don’t submit quotes or proposals with teaming partners’ logos all over them.”
  4. “Do not use acronyms without spelling them out first! Do not assume that the proposal evaluators are familiar with a particular acronym unless the acronym was used within the solicitation. When in doubt, spell it out, and provide a definition and/or context for all acronyms.”
  5. “Constantly review your proposal for grammatical errors. Have different people from diverse backgrounds read your technical proposal for clarity, comprehension, consistency, and conciseness. It is important to submit a proposal that is completely free of errors.” (ibid)

All of the above may seem obvious, however, if overlooked, can mean the difference between having a proposal accepted or rejected.

Have questions or need assistance with your next response to a request for proposal? Give us a call.

 

CMMC a Plus for Small Businesses?

Katie Arrington, on staff  with the Undersecretary of Defense for Acquisition and Sustainment believes nation-states are actively targeting small businesses digitally. And, she says, we are losing the battle of cyberattacks. (Fifth Domain, October 8, 2019)

According to Arrington, rivals cost the US an estimated $600 billion per year and 5G will multiply that number exponentially by 2025. As a result, Arrington believes the cybersecurity maturity model certification (CMMC) is actually intended for small businesses. (ibid)

CMMC grades company cybersecurity on a scale of one (least secure) to five (most stringent). Small businesses must comply with a tiered rating structure. So a company offering cleaning services may need only comply with CMMC level one while an engineering firm is held to level four

Arrington says that CMMC levels the playing field. Old compliance standards allowed companies to perform their contracts while working on their plan of action to become technically acceptable. This left sensitive systems that require additional security controls vulnerable and with weak spots. Many small businesses do not have the resources to obtain a high CMMC level, ultimately limiting competition in the marketplace; others fear the costs will be so high, that small companies will be priced out of the marketplace and limit their ability to compete on government contracts. 

The most recent Navy breaches targeted contractors without classified information per se, but taken in total the data disclosed sensitive capabilities. This is exactly what the CMMC framework addresses. (ibid)

Requests for proposals are expected to include CMMC requirements, as early as fall 2020.

Questions about CMMC requirements? Give us a call.