When you’re ready to launch a new website or improve your existing web presence, finding the right vendor is a crucial first step. You’re looking for a team that can deliver exactly what you need for the right price and on your deadline. In order to do so, you’ll want to reach out to several qualified vendors. That requires a document called a RFP (Request for Proposal).
However, putting an effective web development RFP together isn’t quite as simple as listing a few project requirements and waiting for proposals to arrive. If you want to get the right information, you’ll have to put some thought into the process. If you do it well, you’ll ultimately end up with the website and online tools you need.
Let’s look at what you can do to create the perfect RFP and get your web development project off on the right foot.
Kicking off a web development project is no small feat. To get the best results, you need to find the right partner. The best RFPs have clearly defined goals. You want to weed out the businesses that are not up to the challenge. Clear information from you allows them to share related case studies and prove, most importantly, why they are the best fit for you and your project. -Eileen Allen, ABT VP Strategy
Define Your Project by the Result First
Too many executives bog down their RFPs with technical or creative details that amount to window dressing. It’s better to begin by thinking about the actual goals you want your project to achieve, working backward from that point. The look and features of a website can always change. However, you should know what you’re trying to accomplish in the real world before collecting proposals.
Describe Your Organization and its Challenges Thoroughly
In order for a web development company to accurately anticipate your needs, it has to understand the environment your organization works in. The more details you can share, the better. Describe your business, its customers, users, and any competitors you might need to worry about. It will be easier for potential vendors to provide you with a through quote. Conversely, incomplete background information means your creative team may not fully understand the scope of the project, thus under-or overbid relative to the amount of work required.
Outline Any Technical Issues or Restraints
Consider the technical issues that might be prerequisites for your web development project. Perhaps your website maps have to be closely aligned with a certain type of device. You could have big concerns about data storage, reporting, or security. You might even have proprietary software that needs to be integrated. These are the details that need to feature prominently in your RFP.
Ask for the Information You Want to Receive
Be as specific as possible when requesting information as part of a proposal. If delivery dates, payment terms, or meeting schedules are crucial to the success of your web development project, then ask for those details to be addressed with the quotes you receive. This will streamline the RFP process, making it easier for the vendors who are good match to self-select before they submit quotes.
Get Relevant Samples from Vendors
Naturally, you’ll want to see portfolios and case studies from any vendor you consider hiring. However, you can specify in your RFP what kinds of samples you would like to see. This will cut down the amount of time you’ll have to spend digging through irrelevant material.
A Strong RFP Launches Your Web Development Project on the Right Foot
An RFP isn’t just a way to find out how much various web development teams want to finish a project. It’s the first step towards creating a cohesive plan for your new website and seeing it brought to life. Consider these points and don’t rush when putting your thoughts together. What you ask for in a proposal today will have a huge impact on the finished web presence you launch later.
Needing a template for your company’s RFP? Contact us and we’ll be happy to help!