At times, a business will approach Robojuice about responding to a Request for Proposal (RFP) document for their web needs. This document is typically a long, extensive outline with the requested information about what the business collectively feels are necessary web tactics or possible solutions for their business online. The intentions are good, and they have spent very much time preparing this document. However, there are several critical issues we see with this approach. Here are just a few:
- It would be arrogant and unrealistic for us as a web firm to say we could provide a real solution to the requesting business without knowing the real goals, objectives, and challenges faced in this specific business and its industry.
- Knowing the actual goals, objectives, and challenges to make the proper diagnosis and provide a solution is a very high value to be provided by us as a web firm to a business. It could be argued that it is of the highest value to uncover the real issue, so the web firm should not do that work for free merely with the chance to get potential web work and compensation for all their valuable, strategic efforts.
- Like most commissioned work, almost all web projects and retainers are decided outside of the RFP document and process. Relationships, reputations, shared beliefs, and referrals decide what web firm will partner with the requesting company.
- With an RFP approach, the web firms are bidding to get the work from the requesting business, not provide a real web solution to the business needs. Discussions with the requesting business are centered around the cost, shortest timeline, or other select variables. Instead, discuss the proposed solutions to the web issues and the business expectations. Then, select the best web firm fit based on the business’ uncovered goals and objectives, the budget, and the timeline.
- Relationships with business leaders are the most important to us. Start with a conversation with a web firm like us and see if we fit your business approach and culture well. If so, move into the more technical and tactical conversations around web needs.
- When a business is looking for a web partner, they seek expertise in the space. Lean into their expertise once you find the right web partner, and let them drive the process from discovery to launch of your web project.
- Almost always, you get what you pay for. If a company pays a fee for the analysis and proposal, they value it more and are more comfortable and confident with the proposed solutions. If a business requests free proposals, the web firms responding will provide proposals primarily to get the money.
Make it easier and get accurate solutions on the web. Meet with a firm like Robojuice and other firms to determine the best fit for your business. Then commission and engage one of them to uncover the fundamental goals and objectives so the web firm may provide actual web solutions. This is a more refined experience for the web.