We’ve worked with hundreds of companies over the last two decades (yes, we’ve been building websites since the mid-90s). We’ve had the privilege of working with companies big and small to develop an effective communication tool and better connect businesses with their customers.
Through the process we’ve changed along with the technology, ensuring that we are always with or ahead of the curve with things like responsive (mobile-friendly), SEO, e-commerce, and more. Along the way, we’ve learned many things, seen some crazy things, and built some really cool stuff.
One of the things we have seen lately is RFP’s (Request for Proposals) that almost ensure you are going to get a wide range of proposals, not just in price but in features. Unfortunately, we’ve seen too many businesses go with the low bidder only to discover that the company didn’t know the whole story with an integration, or didn’t ask all the appropriate questions and now the project costs are going to rise.
In the interest of full disclosure, we’ve been that company that didn’t ask the right questions before…..every developer has. Usually, this stems from those quirky integrations or something that wasn’t fully spelled out in the RFP. This isn’t to say that the company was trying to hide something from the developer, often they don’t know and it isn’t until the project has begun that the issues come to light.
That’s why we created this RFP worksheet to help you put together an RFP that encapsulates everything you want to do with your website and gives you a true apples to apples comparison between proposals. Let’s take take a quick second to go through the information, and why it’s important. Please know, even if you aren’t doing an RFP, having this information for any new website project will be incredibly valuable to both you and your developer.
While it may seem trivial, having an RFP that includes the primary contact is very important for vendors who may have additional questions (though completing this worksheet should limit those)!
You may wonder why you would want to provide information about your mission and a description of the company. This will help potential vendors understand the organization they are going to be working with. You will be surprised at how much this section will also help clarify things for your organization. The mission of your organization and how you describe yourself will help to set the design or “look” of a website.
This section lets the vendors know why you are wanting to move forward with this project and gives some crucial details about the scope of work.
Understanding why you want to update the website will help prospective vendors highlight the things that are important to you, and putting it down will help you identify what those things are!
It is also imperative to include all the features and implementations that you have or want to have in your new site. Additionally, you’ll want to include as much detail about these as possible. For instance, you don’t just want to say that you want an e-commerce store with your site. You would say something to the effect of “Needs to incorporate an e-commerce store with the website that allows for images, prices based on location, additional product shipping, etc. Currently using WooCommerce Plugin version 4.1.2. Can export all information from this listing and would like to be able to import to new store.”
Including all the features such as Distributor portal, Events/Calendar, e-Commerce, Team Listing, Blog, and anything else you have or want included in your site will help ensure that all your bases are covered and that each proposal you receive will meet the needs of your organization.