The Do’s and Don’ts of Running a Successful Website RFP Process

This article highlights the importance of avoiding common pitfalls when it comes to selecting a vendor and running a successful Request For Proposal (RFP) process for website projects.

Request for Proposals (RFPs) are an essential tool for businesses looking to find the right agency to build a website or develop an existing site.

An effective RFP process can help a company to find the right partner for their needs. However, a poorly executed process can result in wasted time and money.

In this article we’ll discuss the do’s and don’ts of running an efficient RFP process when you’re looking to build or improve a website.

Do: Define Your Goals

Before you start drafting your RFP, you will need to define what you want to achieve with your website project. This will help you and your team create a comprehensive and clear RFP that will attract the right agency. You should be specific about your goals and expectations, as this will help you to avoid any misunderstandings or confusion later down the line.

Don’t: Use A One-Size-Fits-All Approach

Every website is different and your RFP process should reflect that. A more general RFP template may not capture the unique requirements of your project. This is why it’s important to fully customise your RFP to represent your specific goals and requirements. Some agencies may be a better fit than others, if you want to work with a specific CMS tool like WordPress, you might prefer to work with a WordPress VIP partner.

Do: Provide Clear Concise Submission Instructions

It’s essential that you provide clear instructions on how vendors should submit their proposals. This should include your specified timeline and your desired format. Completing this step will ensure that all website proposals are submitted in a consistent way.

Don’t: Provide Vague Or Incomplete Instructions

Providing vague or incomplete instructions could mean that vendors will be confused about your requirements. This could lead to miscommunications and a lot of wasted time. To avoid this, make sure to provide clear instructions with all of the necessary information available.

Do: Choose The Right Agency For You

Making the right decision for your business is critical to the success of your website project. Conducting research to identify potential agencies is essential to find out whether they have the right expertise for your requirements. You should also consider other factors like budget/pricing, quality, testimonials and delivery time. Certain agencies might specialise in a particular area such as open-source development or app creation, these are all factors that need to be considered.

Don’t: Rely Solely On Budget

We realise that price is an important factor to consider but it shouldn’t be the only factor. The lowest bid might not always be the most cost-effective. Make sure that you consider other factors such as quality levels or delivery timescales. You might want to explore agency partner profiles on websites such as WP Engine, WordPress VIP or WooCommerce.

Do: Communicate Well With Your Chosen Agency

Communication is key during your RFP process. It’s important that you are available to answer any questions or provide clarification on the project requirements. Keeping vendors informed of any changes will ensure a smooth and efficient process.

Don’t: Ignore Your Chosen Agency

Ignoring your chosen vendor can be detrimental to the RFP process, it’s critical that you respond to all enquiries and provide feedback on proposals in a timely manner. This will not only improve your relationship with your vendor but also ensure a successful process.

Do: Evaluate Website Proposals Objectively

It’s important to evaluate proposals objectively with an unbiased approach, based on criteria defined within your specific process. An effective way to do this is by applying a scoring system during the comparison phase. Involving all relevant team members and stakeholders is a great way to ensure all priorities and concerns are considered.

Don’t: Make Decisions Based On Your Personal Preference

It can be tempting to act on your own personal preferences but this can be counter-productive for your business. Sticking with your own pre-defined criteria will help you to objectively evaluate proposals.

If you would like to know more about web strategy for mid to enterprise organisations, feel free to get in touch, our dedicated team are always happy to help.

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