These attributes are not unique to doing business with the government or being successful in any goal that you pursue. However, the United States Federal Government is the largest and most complex customer in the Nation if not the world. Yet they are very transparent offering several navigational tools to do business as you will note the various postings on this site.
But pursing business really takes a commitment as it requires time to navigate through the various agencies and their respective list of opportunities. Then you need to determine which ones you can pursue and they ideally should be at least 12 months out so you can have ample time to mount a successful effort to submit a competitive winning response to the RFP when it is issued.
You need to take the time to find out who the competition is, what the requirements are and ideally what the customer preferences regarding the scope of services and any current issues. You also need to develop great ideas for distinguishing your company and provide substantial reasons why the government should select your firm—which should be based on technical proficiency, past performance, management approach and finally your price.
On the average the time from opportunity identification when you follow the capture planning advice discussed in an earlier posting, 12 to 18 months may expire including the time you respond to the RFP and wait for the customer’s selection decision.
You should keep score of your activities using a management tool in Excel or Project, both Microsoft products to track your resources, activities, progress and results. You should also do the same for every proposal you submit so you can develop a win or success rate. In other words if you submitted 10 proposals and you won three then your win rate is 30%.
Now you may like 100% but that is not practical and if you know anything about baseball, you know that a good hitter is considered someone with a batting average of .280 or higher, 300 or higher is considered superior.
You can improve your score by doing your homework and performing a very objective bid/no bid decision before you elect to expend resources but still 30% is outstanding.
You must develop thick skin and endurance and not take losses personally rather learn from them and apply the lessons to make your next bid more effective and competitive.
You must also have patience with the process as they will delay both the release of the RFP and the decision as it is very common. Do not lose focus or faith just continue to press forward seeking your goals but remain excited as that will see you through to the successful end of the road.