Your organization needs to build a new website. You’ve been chosen to spearhead the project. Now, it’s time to build a Request for Proposal (RFP) – and of course, you’ve never done this before! What is an RFP? How do you even construct one? Where do you look for help?
Don’t fear. The Bid Lab is here.
An RFP is a document written by an organization describing its need to buy a particular product or service. In response, vendors who are able to provide said product or service will submit their bids to be considered by the organization.
It’s essentially a formal way to post a “Help Wanted” ad. RFPs allow you to evaluate all qualified vendors in a fair, comprehensive and organized manner. It’s definitely a more arduous process… so why should you do it?
Is it necessary to write an RFP? Yes.
You may be asking yourself why you should go to the trouble of writing an RFP. You could simply hire your best friend’s company to build the website. Or, you could just Google “best website company” and ask them to show you why they’re the best vendor for the job. But, by doing that, you wouldn’t be able to effectively compare each vendor against one another, ensure your objectivity, or guarantee what you’re being sold is legally-binding.
Building a new website is a big deal and you want to make certain you’ve done your due diligence. Writing an RFP will ensure that your chosen vendor:
· Shares your values and culture
· Has expertise with your technology
· Is experienced with your type of organization
· Builds trust through communication and collaboration
· Can provide evidence of past client success
· Truly understands your needs and expectations
· + Anything and everything you want to know.
Through responses to your RFP, you will have a holistic understanding of which provider is the right choice for you. And, you’ll have done the hard work in the beginning, which will save you time and effort throughout the process. Don’t roll the dice. Write an RFP and know what you’re getting.
Is it difficult to write an RFP? No.
The writing itself is not the tough part. The difficulty comes from 1. Knowing what to include in your RFP and 2. Determining how to write the RFP in a way that entices vendors to respond.
The following sections are ordinarily included in RFPs:
· Requirements: A listing of technical, functional, and business requirements that your organization wants this new website to meet, and/or exceed.
· Problems: An overview of the current situation, such as the features your current website lacks, and the deficiencies they have caused your organization.
· Vision: A summary of how your organization plans to grow or evolve in the next 1-5 years and how a new website is paramount to this vision.
Why should I work with a consultant to help write my RFP?
At The Bid Lab, we work with clients who don’t have the time, resources, or experience to manage, write, and build their bids. If your organization faces a similar challenge – call us. We are experts on both sides of the equation: how to write an RFP and how to respond to an RFP. Bids and RFPs are our business – all day, every day!