Putting together a grant proposal, operating procedure manual, or any other document that relies on an agency style guide can be stressful and unpleasant. Shifting much of the work to a regulatory publishing service takes away a lot of that stress, and while you won't be able to give the service all the work, you'll be able to delegate enough that the whole process won't be nearly as painful. When you contract with the service, however, you have to be sure of two things.

They Need Experience Applying to the Specific Agency

The first is if they have experience with the specific agency you're applying to or working with. For example, if your company needs to apply for grants from the Department of Defense and the National Science Foundation and it needs to submit an application to a regulatory agency as well, you want whoever is working on those proposals and applications to know the requirements well. While the regulatory publishing service could learn the agency guidelines, obviously, you may prefer to have people who are already familiar with the guidelines and how the agency works handling your proposals.

The risk is that the people preparing the applications and proposals will miss something crucial and get your proposal or application rejected. Maybe a specific statement had to be included in the main text of a grant proposal, but both you and the service forgot to add it, so the document is technically incomplete. If the service has previously worked with those agencies' styles before, it will be more likely to produce a complete product.

How Closely Will They Stick to the Style Guidelines?

While agencies want you to follow their style guidelines, some are more forgiving than others if you miss something. In the last-minute crush of an application or proposal submission period, it's not unusual for the submitters to receive a bunch of documents that can't be fully reviewed and thus have to be submitted in hopes that the documents were complete. Some agencies have fairly flexible guidelines where certain things have to be included, but the rest of the guidelines are not that critical to the success of the proposal. Other agencies need everything done exactly as they tell you to do them, without exception.

Will this agency ensure all guidelines are followed? What do they do if they have to submit something last-minute? You may want to ask for references from other happy customers.

Using one of these publishing services is very helpful, and you can find services that take on different levels of prep work. By finding the one that is familiar with the agencies you're submitting documents to and that knows how strict or relaxed the agencies are, you give your proposals and applications a better chance of getting approved.

Contact a global regulatory publishing service to learn more.