HORNE CONSULTING SERVICES

"Helping you grow your business is our business."

Horne Consulting Services offers a wide range of business development (BD) consulting services with the necessary expertise and tools to help you grow your business. Whether you submit competitive bids to Federal, State or local governments or to commercial companies, allow us to partner with you to win more opportunities. We partner with our clients from start to finish, focusing on their business needs while introducing new approaches, processes and ideas. We will help you develop effective win strategies and produce high-quality proposals with executable, low-risk solutions. We also specialize in working collaboratively with our clients to create or improve their own BD lifecycle process, reflecting all of the critical steps and necessary actions from identifying an opportunity to transitioning to the new contract. Our wide range of BD services can be tailored to your time frame and budget. Give us a call to learn more.

HORNE CONSULTING SERVICES

Discover Our Expertise

We provide the following client-focused business development expertise, tailored to your needs:

  • Introductory Consultation

  • Proposal Management and Support

  • Capture Assessments and Support

  • Proposal Reviews and Assessments

  • Business Development Process Improvement

  • Proposal Center Design and Implementation

  • Business Development Knowledge Management

INTRODUCTORY CONSULTATION

Achieve Your Goals

We are available to meet with you for a complimentary consultation to explain how we can help you grow your business by winning more competitive bid opportunities. These sessions are designed to better understand your business, the challenges you face and your short- and long-term goals and to offer ways we can help you best achieve those goals.

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PROPOSAL MANAGEMENT AND SUPPORT

Expert Guidance

Horne Consulting Services can provide proposal support ranging from managing the overall bid effort to managing volumes, writing content and to reviewing and revising content. This support can be performed onsite or virtual depending on the level of effort requested.

Are any of these questions relevant to your organization?
 

  1. Do your proposal efforts start in a timely manner or are they frequently late getting organized?
     

  2. Do proposals begin with a kickoff meeting that is timely, well planned and informative and does it energize team members?
     

  3. Are regular team meetings conducted to ensure both schedule and products are on track for a successful delivery and win?
     

  4. Are proposal team members energized and effective in their roles or are they frustrated, overworked, or demoralized?
     

  5. Does each member of the proposal team have clearly defined responsibilities that efficiently support the bid process?
     

  6. Are the same people always called on to develop proposals?
     

  7. Is there a higher than average turnover of proposal staff each year?
     

  8. Does the company celebrate the “heroics” of the few to get each bid submitted?
     

  9. Is there an existing support agreement that provides for external surge support during peak proposal periods? 
     

  10. Do you have a consistently low win rate on competitive bids?
     

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CAPTURE ASSESSMENTS AND SUPPORT

Establishing and Maintaining Customer Relationships is Critical to Success

We also offer support to capture managers and  teams in assessing the strengths and weaknesses of previous or ongoing capture efforts, providing coaching and assistance on win strategy development and ensuring your teams include best practices as part of each capture effort.

 

Weak or non-existent capture is the leading contributor to a losing bid. Expecting proposal teams to submit winning proposals without effective capture is unrealistic. 

Do any of these questions describe the capture or pre-positioning efforts within your organization?

  1. Is there effective capture (pre-positioning) to support a winning bid well prior to the receipt of the solicitation documents?
     

  2. Is there an adequate amount of staff training on managing and executing capture?
     

  3. Are effective and well-crafted win strategies in place prior to the actual writing of the proposal, with clearly articulated value propositions, win themes, and discriminators that distinguish your bid from the competitors?
     

  4. Is risk addressed early in the capture effort such that proposals adequately address risk to both the customer and your own company and how each one will be mitigated?
     

  5. Are your competitors assessed early in the capture process so they can be addressed effectively in the proposal?
     

  6. Does your pricing ensure a fair price to the customer as well as reasonable revenue to the company, employing an effective Price-to-Win methodology?

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PROPOSAL REVIEWS AND ASSESSMENTS

"Your proposal is viewed as the first deliverable on the contract - make it a professional expression of your capability."

We support our clients by examining the quality and competitiveness of their proposals in two ways:
 

  1. Leading or participating in reviews of ongoing proposals (typically called color team reviews), and 
     

  2. Assessing previously submitted proposals against industry best practices and established benchmarks and providing actionable recommendations for future improvements.


Regardless of whether it is a review or an assessment the key factors for high quality proposals that must be addressed include:
 

  1. How compliant is the proposal with regard to the solicitation document's requirements and instructions?
     

  2. Is the proposal fully responsive to the requirements in the solicitation document in such a manner as to be persuasive, believable and achievable?
     

  3. Does the proposal make frequent unsubstantiated claims?
     

  4. Is there an effective win strategy that is clearly visible throughout the proposal?
     

  5. Has the competition been effectively assessed in terms of a Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities and Threats (SWOT) analysis and the results incorporated into the proposal?
     

  6. Does the quality of the writing reflect a high degree of professionalism and is it persuasive in terms of selling the proposed solution?
     

  7. Do the visuals clearly explain the solution in an easy to understand and persuasive format?
     

  8.  Is the overall proposal of high quality in terms of design, layout, use of color, and formatting and is it easy to read and evaluate?
     

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BUSINESS DEVELOPMENT (BD) PROCESS IMPROVEMENT

An effective BD process can reduce costs, increase win rates and capture ratios and have a significant impact on a company's growth. 

A key service we provide is helping companies of all sizes establish an effective BD process that will win new business. We work collaboratively with each client to develop a custom process designed for your markets, products and/or services, corporate culture and governance. 

Consider the following with regard to your organization:

  1. Is your organization experiencing low win rates and/or low capture ratios?
     

  2. Is there management pressure to “bid everything” in the pipeline?
     

  3. Is the pipeline fully visible to senior management and effectively managed with appropriate pursuit priorities established that reflect the company's strategic plan and operational plans?
     

  4. Does senior management have appropriate visibility into the progress of each pursuit, typically using some type of decision gate review process?
     

  5. Are various (color) team reviews conducted throughout the pursuit lifecycle to ensure the effort is adequately resourced, effective progress is being achieved, the bid is winnable, risks are addressed and the content ultimately delivered to the customer will be a winning bid?
     

  6. Are BD-related metrics captured throughout the bid process and are those metrics used to measure progress towards continued improvement?
     

  7. Are strengths and weaknesses documented as part of a lessons learned activity following each bid, then action taken to leverage strengths and address weaknesses?
     

  8. Does the organization have an established and documented BD lifecycle process that is followed and supported by senior management? Is the process flexible, tailorable, scalable and repeatable for all pursuits?

    The vast majority of weaknesses in a company's pursuit of new business can be rectified with an established BD process that senior management fully supports through imposed discipline and holding stakeholders accountable.   

     

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PROPOSAL CENTER DESIGN AND IMPLEMENTATION

Winning proposals require adequate facilities, equipment, security and trained staff.

We have a proven track record of creating both centralized and virtual proposal centers that can provide the proper support to your capture and proposal teams.

Consider these questions in regard to your own proposal capability:

  1. Are the facilities adequate to effectively support the quantity and quality of bids such that planning and executing the bid process?
     

  2. Can multiple, simultaneous proposals be developed in the existing facilities?
     

  3. Is there effective infrastructure (networks, computers, databases, telecommunications, etc.) to support the level of pursuits ongoing and planned?
     

  4. Are there clearly defined roles and responsibilities for each member of the capture and proposal team?
     

  5. Are the people doing capture and proposal development trained to be effective at the positions and roles assigned?
     

  6. Is there an established professional development track for proposal development employees?
     

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BUSINESS DEVELOPMENT (BD) KNOWLEDGE MANAGEMENT

Save time, money and frustration by incorporating a knowledge management capability into your BD organization.

The final service we offer is the assessment of your existing BD knowledge management (KM) capabilities as well as recommendations for enhancing or creating those capabilities if they are not present. The ability to quickly search, identify and retrieve relevant and accurate data and information is critical to reducing costs and improving the quality of your proposal content.

Consider these questions with regard to your organization:

  1. Do your proposals depend heavily on reuse (“boilerplate”) material in responding to solicitation requirements?
     

  2. Have you submitted proposals that contained reuse materials that incorrectly addressed the customer or the requirements?
     

  3. Is there an effective repository of BD-related information and data to support both capture and proposal development?
     

  4. Is the system your organization has in place easy to use and reliable and do users have a high level of confidence that the content is accurate and up to date?
     

  5. Is there a defined process and assigned responsibilities for maintaining the BD KM repositories?
     

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Horne Consulting Services can address these issues and many others that your company encounters in the highly competitive markets in which you seek to grow. Please call us at 703.915.2503 so we can discuss how we will help!