What Is An RFP and Why Does My Small Business Need One?

Did you know that there are over 30 million small businesses in the United States? If you are part of this statistic at some point you may receive an RFP. If you are not sure what an RFP is and how they work, you are in the right place!

Keep reading to learn more about RFP’s.

What Is an RFP?

First, let’s go over what an RFP is. RFP stands for Request for Proposal. This is a document that a business creates to outline the requirements for a specific project.

The projects can vary from building the company’s brand to improving the company’s SEO to anything else in between. Organizations use this process to get bids from vendors and use it to help determine which vendor is best for the project at hand.

Writing an RFP

First, get clear on what you need and want. Take out the time to figure out the kind of information that you need from each vendor that receives your RFP. Your RFP should be an easy roadmap for vendors to follow.

Once you have the goals figured out it’s time to get the details in place. Details such as timelines will make it easier for vendors that send you back bids to calculate the resources they need to handle the job.

Create an outline to make sure that you do not forget anything important and to stay organized. You can read more here about keys to build a winning RFP response such as strategy, imagination, and storytelling.

What to Include in an RFP

Every RFP will vary based on the project goals and needs but the following are items you want to make sure you include:

  • Organization’s history
  • Budget
  • Project description (make sure it is detailed)
  • Results you want from the project
  • Any specific requirements
  • Deadline
  • Questions you want answered
  • Submission deadline and contact information

Make sure that you include all of the above and anything else that fits your project needs. Once you are done editing your RFP you can share it online for vendors to start applying for your project.

When you start to receive bids from vendors you can begin to narrow down those that followed your RFP 100% and choose the best vendor for your project and the budget at hand.

The more specifics you give potential vendors through your RFP the more qualified vendors you will come across. Try to be as specific and detailed as possible.

Ready to Make Your First RFP?

Now that you are aware of what an RFP is, why you need one, and how to create one we hope you are feeling better prepared to tackle your next RFP. If you start to feel overwhelmed do not hesitate to call in the pros. They can help you tackle your RFP and take some stress off your shoulders.

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