How to Prepare an RFP Proposal

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Writing an RFP proposal requires time and research.
Writing an RFP proposal requires time and research. (Image: Erik Snyder/Lifesize/Getty Images)

A Request for Proposal is a document created and distributed to potential contractors allowing them to bid on a specified project. An RFP gives the contractors a description of the project and what the organization is looking for. Contractors choose then if they want to write a proposal to the RFP or not. They must decide if they are able to complete the project and if it will be worthwhile to the company.

Study the RFP. This document should contain instructions as well as a detailed explanation of the project. After deciding to bid on the project, follow all written instructions included in the RFP.

Create a cover sheet. Most RFPs request that a bidding contractor create a cover sheet for his proposal. On the cover sheet, write the name of the company presenting the RFP, your company name and a short description of the specified project. This information is generally contained in the administrative section of the RFP. In this section, other details are also provided such as deadline dates and where to submit the proposals.

Provide an overview of your company. State facts about your company including the length of time it’s been in business, the type of work it specializes in and any significant information that sets the company apart from others.

State the project overview. Proposals are generally written to provide an answer to a problem. In this type of proposal, the problem is the project that needs to be done. The solution is that your company can perform the work and complete the entire project in the best way possible.

Write a statement of work. This part of the proposal states all of the technical requirements of the project including performance specifications, site preparation duties and quality control requirements. This statement helps the company that issued the RFP choose a contractor. This section requires a great deal of research in order to list and describe each technical issue of the project thoroughly. It also provides a detailed description about how you plan to accomplish and complete the entire project.

List your references. Offer names of other companies you have done similar work with. Write in company names, contact names and phone numbers.

Include a pricing schedule. Offer a detailed cost description by itemizing all costs including materials and labor. Be sure to include every cost you will incur, and state all information clearly allowing the reader to easily understand how you priced the job and what the total cost of the project it.

Describe your licensing information. Include license numbers that prove you are insured, bonded and covered for every aspect of the project that you will be doing.

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