There are as many different kinds of proposal in the world as there are trees. For our purposes, let’s stick with what proposals mean in the area of government contracting -as opposed to business proposals, prom proposals, tennis match proposals, etc.
As seen above, your response to a government solicitation is usually called a proposal. It’s your opportunity to say “Hey, Contract Officer! My company is the best one to do this work for the government. Pick me, pick me!” For more concrete advice, head over to our blog.
Proposal requirements vary widely, and may depend on the agency issuing the RFP, the type of work described within it or the past relevant experience that work requires. So blanket proposals are generally NOT a good idea. Requirements can be as detailed as telling offerors (that’s you, who wants to do the work) which font and font size must be used for the proposal. Mine the RFP to make sure you have a solid knowledge of what needs to go into the proposal, how the KO wants the proposal submitted and all other stipulations. It would be terrible to lose out on a contract because your team sent in documents that were in the wrong order, or didn’t have page numbers when requested.