some of our clients:
  • Johnson and Johnson
  • YPO
  • Bristol-Myers Squibb
  • US Army
  • Air New Zealand
  • WB
  • Red Bull
  • Frito Lay
  • Mercedes-Benz
  • Delta Airlines
  • bp

How to Win SLED Government Contracts


Winning state, local and education government contracts (SLED government contracts) can provide predictable income, grow and even multiply revenue. SLED agencies spend around $1.5 trillion on goods and services each year. State governments alone spend billions of dollars on goods and services. Established businesses compete for these contracts.

However, the process of finding, bidding, and securing these contracts is complicated and competitive. In this article, we will provide tips and strategies to maximize your chances of winning SLED government contracts.

Prepare to Win SLED Contracts

1. Research the Contracting Process

Before you  bid on SLED government contracts, you must understand their contracting process. Each state, local and education government agency has its own set of rules and regulations governing the procurement process.

If you are on a limited budget, start by reviewing SLED government agency procurement websites in your area. SLED government websites list current and upcoming contracts as well as procurement procedures. You can learn about the contract categories, the bidding process, and how contracts are awarded.

There are many types of SLED contracts including:

  • Supply contracts for goods or services
  • Service contracts for services such as consulting or maintenance
  • Construction contracts for new facilities or renovating existing facilities

Finding appropriate government contracts takes a great deal of time and effort. Successful government contractors usually hire dedicated government bid researchers to take this extremely time-consuming activity off their hands.

2. Register With the SLED Government Agencies

Not all businesses are eligible to bid on SLED government contracts. To be eligible, you must meet certain requirements. SLED government agencies usually require businesses to register before they can bid on government contracts. The registration process involves providing information about your business such as your business structure, tax ID, and contact information.

Many government agencies have programs that allow businesses to become certified vendors. This means that you’ve met requirements such as having a credible financial history or meeting  requirements for minority and women-owned businesses. Becoming a certified vendor can give you a competitive edge when bidding on SLED government contracts.

3. Build Relationships

Building relationships is crucial in the government contracting industry. Attend procurement events, reach out to procurement officials, and establish a rapport. By networking with government officials, you can learn about upcoming contracts and get your foot in the door.

SLED government officials are more likely to award contracts to businesses involved in their local community. Donate to local charities, volunteer your time and services, or sponsor community events. By building these relationships, you can increase your chances of winning SLED government contracts with referrals and recommendations.

Join trade associations and attend industry events to meet potential partners. Take the time to understand their needs and objectives and position yourself as a solution provider. Prime contractors have already been awarded government contracts and often subcontract work to other businesses. Building relationships with prime contractors can help you gain entry into SLED contracting as a subcontractor.

4.  Review RFP Requirements and Evaluation Criteria

Carefully review the entire solicitation. Make sure you understand the requirements, evaluation criteria, and deadlines. Your proposal must meet every requirement and align with the government agency’s goals and objectives.

SLED government contracts are typically awarded to the bidder who best meets the evaluation criteria such as

  • Price
  • Technical capabilities
  • Past performance

By understanding the bid requirements, evaluation criteria and your competition, you can decide whether to bid or abstain.

Develop a Winning SLED Government RFP Response

Developing a winning proposal is a critical step in winning SLED government contracts. Your proposal should be tailored to the specific needs of the government agency. Winning SLED government contracts requires a team effort.

You will need to highlight your niche and your competitive advantage. You can then emphasize your experience, capabilities, and value proposition to best meet their needs. You’ll need the following:

  • Subject matter expertise to distinguish your offer from your competitors
  • Project management expertise to deliver on deadlines
  • Financial expertise to prepare financially competitive bids

Solicitations usually require examples of projects of similar size and scope delivered in the past. You will need to include testimonials from satisfied clients where appropriate.

Your proposal must address all the specifications and requirements. They typically include:

  • Cover letter
  • Executive summary
  • Firm qualifications
  • Product(s) and/or service(s)
  • Project approach.
  • Past performance and references
  • Pricing

Winning proposals best address the evaluation criteria.

The format should be clear, concise, and professional. Tailor your proposal to the specific contract with your relevant qualifications and experience.

Pricing your proposal competitively is essential to win SLED government contracts. Make sure you consider all project costs, including overhead and potential risks. Your research should include market rates for similar services.

Regrettably, most businesses struggle with proposal writing internally and rarely submit successful bids. SLED government proposal writing is not their core business. As a result, they are outperformed by businesses that deploy professional proposal services like ours. We know precisely what it takes to win.

Submit Your Proposal

Submitting your proposal is the final step in the bidding process. You must meet every submission requirement such as the required content, format,  and deadline.

Nowadays, many bids are submitted online.  Don’t leave your electronic submission to the last day. Many SLED portals are difficult to navigate and error messages are common.  You don’t want to risk being left out in the cold.

Follow Up

After submitting your proposal, contact the procurement office to confirm receipt of your proposal. You can ask about the evaluation timeline and address any concerns. Following up shows that you are serious about winning the contract.

Winning SLED government contracts is a learning process. If your proposal is unsuccessful, learn from your experience. Use the information to optimize your next proposal and your chances of winning future contracts.


Winning SLED government contracts is a great way to expand predictable income and catapult revenue. Successful bids require research, relationship-building, and a superior systematic process. If you plan to write the proposal internally, you will need to be meticulous. After 28 years of submitting successful proposals, we are still discovering subtleties of securing government contracts. By following these tips, you can minimize your learning curve.

Call (424) 204-6133
Monday to Friday, 8:30 am – 5 pm PST.

Get a no-obligation fixed quote for your next RFP.


5 Responses to “How to Win SLED Government Contracts”

  1. Michael B says:

    Thanks for sharing this information. My company has been subcontracting under prime government contractors for 4 years. Could we submit SLED bids as a prime?

    • Great question Michael. Government agencies seek to deploy contractors who have successfully completed projects of similar size and scope. With three years of strong financials demonstrating that your company is reliable and stable, you can start bidding on suitable government solicitations as a prime contractor. As government RFP responses require substantial knowledge and effort, I recommend that you deploy a professional RFP writing service to guide you through the process.

  2. John P says:

    Thanks for this post. My company submits around 10 SLED RFP responses each year and we win one or two. We are looking at hiring a professional RFP writing service to increase our success rate. How much do you charge?

    • John, every RFP is different and requires a custom response. When you have an RFP that you want to bid on, upload it to along with any information you want us to consider. We will review the RFP and get back to you within 24 business hours with a fixed no-obligation quote. Having produced successful SLED RFP responses for 28 years, we have learned that it is unfair to the client to quote on an hourly basis.

  3. Cathy A says:

    Excellent informative article. Thanks.

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