RFP Template – How to Create a Request for Proposal

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A request for proposal (RFP) is a document that companies use to ask prospective vendors to bid on a project. It’s a way for your business to tell vendors what products or services you’re looking for and when you want them by. Whether you need a marketing agency to run your ads, consulting services, or a new product vendor, you want to start with an RFP.

It’s impossible to provide every service your company requires in-house. With the help of a request for proposal (RFP), you can gather bids from multiple suppliers. You can then choose the one that best fits your needs.

A well-crafted request for proposal (RFP) will detail the scope, timeline, and cost of the project, making the process transparent for everyone involved.

Intensify partnered with Xtensio to create the ultimate RFP template to help get you started. We worked with agencies and brands to determine exactly what each party needs from each other to make the best and most informed partnership decision.

How to Write an RFP

To get the best digital marketing agency for the work, you need to do a few things :

  •     Determine the goals, timeline, and financial constraints of your endeavor.
  •     Give some context and an overview.
  •     Spell out exactly what it is that you need help with.
  •     Specify how candidates will be chosen and when that will happen.
  •     Double-check your RFP for errors and release it.

Parts of an RFP

Every RFP will be slightly different, since each project and organization is unique. Most RFPs will share certain components that are designed to streamline the process for all parties.

1. The Introduction

In a request for proposal, the introduction is the first thing a potential partner will see about your company. Put it right in the middle of the first page.

In this section, you can include background information about your company – its founders, board of directors, executive team, mission statement, products and services offered, years in business, etc. The specifics of the project, which are beyond the scope of this paragraph, will be presented shortly.

Example:

Celen Rosay Inc. is a graphic design firm created by Celesta Marcus in 2010. Celen Today Inc. prides itself on a team-oriented, solutions-based approach to graphic design. We provide our clients with graphic design services including branding, logos and product designs. Our staff is located in our Oklahoma office.

2. Scope of the Project

Include as much information as possible about the project here. Prepare a bulleted list of both short-term and long-term objectives for the project. Clarify your goals for the success of the project.

Providing as much specificity as possible in this portion of the RFP will help exclude potential bidders who lack even the most fundamental skill sets. A reputable bidder will be able to use this information to put together a proposal tailored to your specifications.

Example:

In order to expand our social media presence, acquire more leads, and successfully conclude a lead generation campaign, Celen Rosay, Inc. is in need of the services of a professional communications and marketing agency. The most cost-effective and competent business will win the contract.

The chosen firm will be responsible for creating and carrying out an extensive yet economical advertising strategy.

rfp template scope of work

3. Deadlines

The time frame specified in the agreement is crucial. Here, you can make bidders aware of any extended deadlines for submitting bids. Be sure to emphasize the urgency of your request for proposals (RFP) if you are working under a tight time constraint. This will eliminate the companies whose schedules are already full during your time frame.

Example:

The Request for Proposal timeline is as follows:

Request for RFP: May 2, 20XX

Deadline for Bidders to Submit Questions: June 5, 20XX

[Company Name] Responds to Bidder Questions: June 25, 20XX

Selection of Top Bidders / Notification to Unsuccessful Bidders: June 30, 20XX

Start of Negotiation: July 5, 20XX

Contract Award / Notification to Unsuccessful Bidders: July 31, 20XX

rfp template timeline

4. Bid Selection Timeline

This section is for your potential bidders. Inform them of the timeline for making a decision.

This facilitates multi-project bidding for your company and its contractors. If there is a deadline for proposal selection included in your RFP, then you should make sure all of your stakeholders are aware of it.

Example:

Celen Today, Inc. needs the project completed within 10 months

5. Selection Criteria

Two goals are advanced through this section of the RFP:

  •     Get the word out to potential bidders on everything that must be included in their written proposals for you to evaluate them.
  •     Include all business-related aspects in your selection process and make contractors aware of them.

Be sure to specify in your RFP how you want to integrate the two forms of evaluation criteria. Inform the bidders by dividing the following into separate sections: Criteria for Proposals and Business Selection.

Example:

  •     Experience working as a marketing agency for a minimum of 48 months.
  •     Has full-service, in-house capabilities for production, direct response, marketing, creative services, media planning and placement , and research.
  •     The education, experience, knowledge, skills, and qualifications of the firm and the individuals who will be available to provide these services.
  •     The competitive cost of services.
  •     The expertise of the company in working with similar customers.

rfp template selection criteria

6. Your Budget

It’s important to disclose your budget to potential contractors.  This will help them decide whether or not to make a bid for a contract.

You want to provide a thorough breakdown of your allocated funds in this section. 

Example:

Celen Rosay, Inc.’s budget for the project is $10,850.00.

7. Possible Challenges

There are always obstacles to overcome in any given project. In your RFP, detail any obstacles that might arise so that any potential bidders are aware beforehand.

You may say something like, “The winning contractor will be informed that a key player for this project will be away on leave from X month to X month.” The successful bidder will be open to switching project managers in the middle of the work.

In the face of challenges, some contractors may be unable to assist you due to company policies. If you can avoid working with those companies, everyone involved will benefit.

Example:

Currently, Celen Rosay, Inc. has custom coding on our website, of which bidders should be aware.

Final Thoughts

Choosing reliable partners to assist your company in achieving its objectives is essential to the smooth operation of your organization. 

A requests for proposal (RFPs) is useful for companies that have the manpower and infrastructure to organize the creation, dissemination, and evaluation of bids. Still need help? Use our RFP template to easily craft your request for proposal.

Edit & Download our RFP Template

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