1. Search for the solicitation that best suits your skills on SBIRWorld. Download the solicitation from the Agency's website. Thoroughly read the solicitation. If you do not meet the requirements, do not submit the proposal until you fully meet the requirements of the solicitation. You may lose out on one solicitation, but there are many more opportunities from various agencies with many of them releasing solicitations every three months.
2. Never go for creating a proposal alone. There are financial and technical components involved. Involve your qualified personnel to help you create projections. If possible, hire an experienced proposal writer. It is money well spent.
3. Be ready to spend 250+ hours in creating a proposal. Although it is a 20-24 pages of proposal, there is lot of work involved in proposing a feasible idea.
4. Be open to collaboration with corporations and universities. Universities are a great resource of research talent and corporations are a great source of additional funding.
5. For each solicitation, there is a Program manager assigned to it by the agency. Sometimes written word must be supplemented with spoken word. Ask Program manager about what agency is looking for in the proposal. Program Manager is there to help, so utilize this resource well.
6. If possible, attend a SIBIR/STTR conference to increase your knowledge and understanding of the process. You can meet program managers, Grant and contract awardees face to face and learn from them. Once again great resource for the conferences is SBIRWorld.
7. Learn from the success stories found on each agency's website.
8. Be very clear while presenting your ideas. If you cannot explain your idea in less than 4 lines, you need to work harder on clarifying your idea.
I hope these tips help you in creating that winner proposal. I wish you luck and feel free to write to me if you have any questions about these tips.