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Request for Proposal (RFP) Guide

What is an RFP

While we’ve provided a detailed breakdown of the different terms surrounding RFPs here, the most common term in the industry, a Request for Proposal (RFP), is an open-ended form of solicitation on behalf of a company. Many industries use RFPs and they are found in both the public and private sectors. Most of the time, an organization is soliciting ideas from a variety of vendors to decide which solution best meets its needs.

Of course, RFPs can range in size and scope, though oftentimes you will notice RFPs request a lot of the same information over and over again.

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Who Completes RFPs

All companies and organizations, no matter the industry, size, geography, or experience, should be responding to RFPs. Traditionally, RFP responses have been reserved for large businesses and multinational corporations. Think about it – who else can afford to pay an in-house RFP writer to compile proposals every day? After all, by current estimates, the cost for an internal RFP writer – and that is a single RFP writer with no support for research, communication, editing and proofing, or design – can cost you over $100,000 per year.

This is largely what led The Bid Lab’s founders to start the company to begin with: to assist in the growth of small and medium businesses. Without these businesses in the RFP market, they’re missing out on a huge opportunity – to the tune of over $500 billion dollars each year! So don’t wait, and start responding to RFPs today.

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Why Respond to RFPs

Because the best things in life take work. The biggest deals and the most impactful projects usually start with an RFP. That’s because RFPs are commonly used to procure highly valuable and multifaceted goods and services. Imagine being in e-commerce and refusing to acknowledge Amazon’s existence. This is what some companies think of RFPs – they believe they can grow their businesses by ignoring RFPs entirely. And maybe in the beginning, they can. But after enough time, RFPs will become necessary for your business (but they don’t have to be a necessary evil!). The Bid Lab turns the RFP process from a burden into a competitive advantage for businesses like yours.
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What I Need To Know Before Responding to RFPs

  • 1. They Can Be Intimidating
  • 2. They Can Disqualify Bidders Easily
  • 3. They Can Be A Real Morale Killer
  • 4. They Can Be Distracting
  • 5. They Can Be Fun – ha! Bet you’ve never heard this one before. Here at The Bid Lab, we aim to flip the RFP process, and its negative reputation, on its head. When people are working together in an organized fashion, bidding can actually be a great way to drive your company’s strategy, growth and collaboration!

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How Do I Hire An RFP Writer

Many people question whether they should outsource or hire RFP writers. According to BoardRoom Metrics, the average cost of hiring an RFP writer includes a salary of $65,000 – $80,000 without benefits. Once benefits are included, you’re looking at a total cost of $86,000 – $106,000 annually. At that rate, you’d need to be submitting an RFP at least every other week to come close to breaking even. For most small and medium businesses, the cost of hiring an RFP writer is impossible to justify.

Even putting the cost component aside, a single RFP writer will have a difficult time completing an RFP from start to finish. In order to competently present your firm’s wide range of capabilities, many stakeholders are often involved. Without a third party to organize your team’s conflicting priorities and schedules, RFP writers often suffer from burnout, which results in high turnover and low success rates.
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A Team of RFP Writers

Additionally, a single RFP writer can’t be expected to be a jack of all trades. RFPs require researching, writing, editing, formatting, designing, presenting, packaging, communicating, etc., which is a tall order for just one person. This master of none will likely end up as just that: mastering nothing because they are tasked with too much. RFPs require teamwork, which is why outsourcing your RFP means working with a team of professionals, not a single jack.

Lastly, outsourcing provides firms with an efficient offering. For most businesses, RFPs have a seasonal component to them, or at least a high point and/or a low point during the year. Without an RFP writer consistently on your payroll as an ongoing expense, firms are able to reallocate funds where they are needed most. (We know all too well how important this was in a pandemic world.)

Taken together, RFP writers are necessary for a select few and a waste of resources for most. Even when cost is taken out of the equation, RFP writers, at the end of the day, are writers and RFPs are a lot more than words on a page.
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Why Us

Positivity. Anyone can do the job. Only we do the job with the right attitude, even when deadlines are tight.

Flexibility. Every firm has its own way of doing things. Our RFP writers will work around your people, processes, and schedules.

Reliability. Our team has never missed a deadline, and we don’t plan on starting anytime soon.

Quality. Our 4-eye review process ensures that even the smallest of errors are caught before work is submitted.

Transparency. Have any questions during the process? Call us and we will share the status of your bid at any time.

Our Clients Love Our RFP Responses

We are absolutely committed to our clients, and strive to serve as an extension of their teams. We are more than consultants, we are partners. But, don’t just take our word for it. See what our clients have to say below!

”This was my first RFP and The Bid Lab went above and beyond for me. We got compliments from other departments on how well we did. Everyone walked out of this with a positive experience.”
-Becky Oswald

”When we won the first bid we ever did with them, I knew we made the right choice using The Bid Lab, and redoubled our investment to continuously bid on future proposals. Working with The Bid Lab is the gift that keeps on giving. And we continue to expand our business!”
-Cal Hutson
Quality Transcription Specialists

“The return exceeded the investment for sure and it is already paying dividends. We are enormously impressed with how you were able to customize your service to our needs.”
– Kevin Hayde

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