Want to know what you should include in a RFP (Request for a Proposal)?
Tips on what to put in a RFP so you can get the estimate you are after. Communication in the planning stages of a project is crucial to the success of a project. Make sure that your current situation, goals, and overall expectations are outlined clearly by putting together a clear request for proposal.
We often receive RFPs for responsive designs, redesigns, and custom solutions. Our team is always grateful for a RFP that clearly outlines a company’s background information and expectations, as this helps us understand the business, and put together a proposal that fits their needs. How you communicate your requirements and expectations for a project tells a company a lot about the type of client you will be.
The following outline will not only help you get the proposal you are looking for from a company you would like to work with, but will also ensure that a web company will want to work with you.
Include your company name or logo/branding, a brief summary of what you are requesting, and the date.
Table of Contents
Provide an overview of each section within the RFP, and its corresponding page. This will make your RFP easy to follow, and provide the bidding company with an outline for their proposal.
1.1 About Your Company
Provide an overview of your company, (the service and/or product you sell/provide, where you primarily conduct business, etc.) and a detailed description of what this RFP will be for. After reviewing this section, the bidding companies should have a clear understanding of your business and your audience.
1.2 Background Information
Be sure to include why this proposal is being requested, and provide an honest take on your current situation, (what you like/do not like about it, traffic on a daily basis and at peak times, and any problems you are experiencing). If you have looked into a solution or an approach to a problem, but did not like it, explain why you did not go with that solution/approach.
1.3 Objectives and Expectations
Explain your goals for the project, problems that need to be addressed, and what needs to happen in order for you to consider the project a success.
2. Proposal Guidelines
2.1 RFP Timeline
Provide a description of what each responding company’s proposal should include. There should be a timeline that details when all proposals need to be submitted, requirements for how costs and fees should be detailed, and when the terms and conditions for the contract will be negotiated. This section should detail the known information regarding the timeline for the RFP. Any known deadlines or timelines should be outlined within this section, and there should be an appropriate amount of time for a bidding company to put together a proposal, (the amount of time necessary will depend on the size of a RFP, but try to give the bidding company time to review and ask questions).
2.2 Bidder Qualifications
This portion of the RFP should describe the criteria for a bidding organization. You can request references, examples, and additional information about the company in this section.
2.3 Main Point of Contact
Include who will be the main point of contact with their contact information, and when they will be available.
2.4 Proposal Format
If you would like to receive the proposal in a particular format, outline this format here.
3. Project Objectives
This section includes details of what is required for the project, as well as what is not included. Include as much information as possible. If certain aspects of the project will be performed by your team, outline it here so the bidding company will know not to included it within the proposal. This section should also detail any additional work that will be required in order to achieve your end goal.
3.1 Technical Requirements
The items listed here will be different from the following Wish List section, as they are considered “must haves” or “make or break” items. A company that is looking to bid on your project will review this list, and will assume that if these features cannot be included in their proposal, you would not move forward with the project. So, be sure to include the features that are absolute must haves for you. Any features that would be nice to have, but aren’t a requirement can be included in the following section.
3.2 Wish List
Detailing your wish list items here shows a company that you understand that some compromises might have to be made in order to fit your budget or timeline, but tells them what features you would love to have included in the project, if possible.
This section should detail what bidders will need to include in the proposal, and how you would like to have all costs and fees described within the proposal. Do not be afraid to share your budget. We receive RFPs for projects large, small, and everything in-between. A client that is willing to share their budget will save time on both sides, as we can discuss options, and put together a proposal that fits within their parameters. Make sure everyone is on the same page and have a conversation about your budget as soon as possible.
4. Proposal Evaluation Criteria
Describe how each proposal will be evaluated, and include a list of criteria that will be reviewed and compared to the received proposal.
Detail the deliverables you expect to receive as part of the proposal here, and any deliverables that will be required at a later time.
RFPs will vary depending on the work that is requested, but the key components that all great RFPs share is that they are: organized, honest (about current situation, expectations, and timelines/budgets), and easy to understand.