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You’re here since you need to recognize exactly how to write an RFP for web design or redesign. An RFP is what companies make use of to evaluate your project and afterwards supply you with a proposition. At Big Decrease, we get lots of RFPs, ranging from small businesses to Lot of money 500 firms– some are great, some are bad and some we no longer mention. What we have actually laid out, is just how to prepare an RFP for your internet site and also exactly how to develop a wonderful one. Nevertheless, the extra detailed you can be with your RFP, the more accurate your proposal will be. What makes a good RFP? When you require a site, the first thing you do is put together an internet redesign request for proposition. Submitting your RFP to numerous companies prevails and also constantly a great idea– it’s just how you obtain a concept of what it will actually require to bring your task as well as vision to life. After you’ve sent your request, companies will respond with a suggested solution that outlines the scope of job, timeline, and expense for your web site. Normally, this exchange is followed up by a quick telephone call and a question and answer session. Think of your RFP as an impression to possible firm partners. An excellent RFP establishes the stage for a fantastic partnership. An excellent RFP is clear, succinct and also gets right to the point. You do not have to have the technical knowledge to create an RFP. Actually, the majority of the best RFPs we get have no reference of code or technological jargon (we hear sufficient developer talk every day). If you understand what assimilations you want to use (MailChimp, HubSpot, Marketo) then list them in your RFP e-mail to vendors. If not, forget it. You don’t have to have every one of the answers. Besides, that’s why you’re working with an agency in the first place, so leave it to the pros to figure it out. Let’s established the record directly: RFPs do not have to be monotonous. It is your service we’re talking about below, so feel free to make it fun. At Big Drop, we know a point or 2 about RFPs, so utilize our standards we’ve assembled as a beginning factor, as opposed to guidelines (we’ve never ever approved those). Keep it easy, consider each section and also make it pleasurable. At the end of the day we’re building something brand-new for the future of your business, so get excited!

Here’s what an RFP outline should include:

  1. Summary
  2. Company Background
  3. Core Objectives
  4. Project Scope and Delivery
  5. Sitemap
  6. Timeline & Milestones
  7. Functional/Technical Requirements
  8. Budget
  9. Criteria for Selection
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1. Summary

If you’re unsure of what to write, the first thing you should start with is your project summary. It should give an introduction to your company and the reason for submitting your RFP. Tell your potential vendor what it is you hope for them to accomplish and lay out any problems you or your users face with your current site. Here’s a short RFP summary example:

Why this matters: The portion of the request for proposal gets to the point. It tells the reader of your proposal who you are and why you’re submitting an RFP to them. This sets the tone for the rest of the proposal.

2. Company background

Provide a brief history on your organization. (Special emphasis on brief). Tell your vendor who you are, what industry you operate in and describe your typical audience or customer. It also helps to let your potential agency know who you are. Are you a marketing coordinator or a key decision maker at your organization? Knowing who’s speaking, matters. Whether you’re an older, more established company or an emerging startup, the key here is to let potential vendors know who you are and what you’re all about.

Why this matters: Your company or organization’s background tells your potential vendor know what you represent and can provide an early indication towards confirming whether or not the project will be an appropriate fit.

3. Core Objectives

Great RFPs are authentic. Be concise and clear about the problems you and your users face. Focus on what you hope to accomplish with your new website. If you can, try to narrow it down to one or two sentences, then expand from there. A good place to start is problem recognition.

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5. Sitemap

The way your website is organized will influence how your users find what it is they’re looking for. Your sitemap is basically a table of contents for your website. List out what pages you’d like to have on your navigation menu and think about how the user will navigate through the site. Your users should be able to quickly and easily find the information they need. If they can’t, they will leave. User Experience (UX) is a key factor in your website’s effectiveness.

Estimating how many pages you think your website will need can be a good starting point, i.e: About, Services, Contact. If you’re not sure what pages you need, don’t worry about it, and let your vendor figure it out for you.

Example:

  1. Homepage
  2. About Us
  3. Services
  4. Shop
  5. Blog
  6. Contact

6. Timeline & Milestones

The timeline section of your RFP should answer the question of when you would like your project to go live. If there is a specific date as to when your website or branding project must be completed by, this is the place to list it. Any important milestones in your project should be listed here as well, such as a new product launch or ad campaign.

Being up-front about when your website must go live is an important first step in establishing fit. Your potential vendor can assess whether or not they can realistically meet your expectations. In some cases, vendors are willing to complete a rush project, but that of course, will come at an additional price.

Functional Requirements

This will likely be the most detailed portion of your website’s RFP.  List any technical requirements your website must have such as: payment processing, career integrations, or user logins.

You don’t have to have all of the answers, but be sure to include the ones you do.”

Are you selling products? If so, what e-commerce solution are you looking to use, or are you looking for recommendations? Do you have a content management system in mind, such as Drupal or WordPress? If you want to incorporate a CRM such as HubSpot or an email marketing service such as MailChimp, be sure to include that here. If you don’t know where to start, don’t worry, your vendor has you covered.

For the more technical crowd, try to provide as much detail as possible in terms of functionality. If there are third party integrations pulling data from external sources, be sure to include how this transfer takes place and where this data is coming from. If there is an API involved, is there documentation? Answer these questions and you will eliminate the back and forth between you and your vendor.

Example: Our website needs to be able to sell products and map our store locations via google maps. Our current site’s career sections is hosted on bluehouse.

Why this matters: This will be one of the most important factors in assessing scope and price from your vendor’s perspective. Some solutions require fewer hours dedicated to integration where other solutions require vast resources which are spent in developing custom APIs in order to create software applications. Again, the more information you provide in a clear and concise RFP, the more accurate your vendor’s project proposal outline will be.

8. Budget

Yes, your request letter should include a budget. Withholding your budget for a project is bit like trying to buy a home without providing your broker an idea of what you’re willing to pay. If you’d like to buy a house and your budget is $150k, your broker can then locate several homes that provide you the most value within your budget.

This is business, if you’re not talking about money, you’re likely not serious.”

Decide what is important to you: the option that is the least-expensive, or the one that provides the most value within your budget. Providing your vendor with your budget allows them to return with the most appropriate solution, based on your scope, objectives, etc. To expand on our home-buying analogy, you can purchase a home for $5,000 or $500k, but what you get in return for these prices will vary.

If you must, simply provide a range. If you’re looking for additional services such as ongoing maintenance and support or SEO, include the budget for those services as separate.

Pro Tip: “Getting real about what you’re looking to pay gives you the advantage of seeing how much vendors are willing to give for your proposed budget”

Think of your website as an investment.  Any reputable agency will advise and consult you on how to get the most of of your budget and will maximize your potential for a return on that investment.

Example: The budget for our new website is between $80,000 – $100,000. Our annual recurring budget for support and maintenance $60,000

Why this matters: You don’t want to waste your time meeting with and speaking to vendors who are not within your price range. Being honest about your budget also allows you to speak with vendors that will make you their priority. Transparency goes a long way.

9. Criteria for Selection

Here, you simply decide the criteria you’ll use when choosing your vendor. Things to consider here are: agency expertise, capabilities, portfolio, relevant projects, in house services, etc.

Example: We will be making our selection based on agency experience, relevant projects, and on the basis of design.

Why this matters: One vendor may have greater expertise in one industry over another. Others may have greater experience with informational websites over e-commerce. Be up front in regards to what you’ll be basing your decision on so that the recipient can be up front about whether or not they are the right agency for you.

That’s it. We’ve equipped you with what you need to write a stellar RFP. It’s not as hard as it sounds, once you know what you’re doing. Just remember to keep it brief, honest and fun.

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