How to Write a Request for Proposal

How to Write a Request for Proposal

A request for proposal (RFP in short) is a formal document issued by an agency or a company and sent to vendors to ask for information about a product or a service. It enables companies and agencies to evaluate all the options vendors offer. By comparing numerous action plans and opportunities, buyers can decide on the best supplier to work with. It is also a tool for buyers to find the product or service they want at competitive prices through bidding. It is vital to write a clear and professional request for a proposal to spot the right vendor.

Steps to be Followed to Write a Request for Proposal

To make the most of it, try to be as transparent and fair as you can when you write a request for a proposal. Unfortunately, it is not always easy to write. If you want to get a favorable response, you should follow the steps below.

explain your project and what you need

Explain Your Project and What You Need

Before you write a proposal, define your project and what you need from the potential vendors. Ensure that you include what you want them to do, how it should be done, and when you want them to complete the work. You can make use of this draft when you write your RFP.

Background Information on Your Company

Give brief information regarding the history of your company. This will help vendors to get to know your organization so that they can make an informed decision. By describing what you do and what your values are, you are more likely to receive a proposal that meets your needs.

Project Goals and Target Audience

Determine the goals of the project and make a list of your target audience. Explain what you want to accomplish as well as the possible outcomes you expect. Setting concrete goals and knowing your target audience will help you to get what you want.

Write an Introduction

Explain your reasons for distributing an RFP and what you hope to achieve by sending it. You may want to include a short summary of some key points about your project, such as the start date or due date. The explanation of the project can take place in the introduction part.

Explain the Project Requirements

In this section, you write what you require from the vendor. Describe all the requirements thoroughly for vendors to understand if they are suitable for the project or not. You can be specific and give details about things like image size, quality, transmission, or desired options.

Note your timelines

Note Your Timelines

Write all the deadlines vendors should know so that they can organize their schedules accordingly. Make sure you allocate enough time for vendors to prepare a bid. If you want your vendor to give a detailed response, you should give even more time. You can also inform your potential bidders as to how long the evaluation process will last when you announce the winning bid and how soon they need to deliver the desired purchase.


When you write a request for a proposal, it is essential to explain the process from the beginning to the end. You can start by sending out the RFP and finish with awarding the contract. You can include the evaluation process of all the bids as well.

Selection Criteria

Describe how you will select the winner among your respondents. It will be a good idea to explain the priorities of your company, along with the necessary criteria. You can create a spreadsheet to award each bid a certain range of points.

Decide How to Send out the RFP

Most of the companies prefer to mail out RFPs. However, you can send it through e-mail or just post it on the website of your company. Make sure you specify the name or the bid number bidders will use. Otherwise, you may not be able to identify the RFP they are replying to.

decide who will receive the RFP

Decide Who Will Receive the RFP

You may have already made a list of the suppliers you want to purchase the product or service from. You may even have eliminated some of the bidders off your list. Even if you have not determined the possible vendors, you may still find them in various ways. You can use your professional network, search online, or ask for the recommendation of some other reliable vendors.

FAQ on How to Write a Request for Proposal

Is there an ultimate format to write a request for proposal?

No, an RFP can have many different forms. However, there are some basic elements they all should include. You can find samples or templates for almost every need on the internet.

What other things can be in an RFP?

You can write the scope of services and deliverables, possible roadblocks, your budget, the information you need from the supplier, and the proposal format in which you want the vendor to respond.

Can I find a guidebook on how to write a request for proposal?

Yes. There is an e-book called “the RFP process guide e-book,” and you can also download it.

What are the benefits of writing a compelling RFP?

Writing a compelling RFP increases your chance to find the product or service that meets your needs. It enables you to find quality vendors and minimizes the waiting time for the response.

When would you need to write a request for proposal?

An RFP is advisable for projects that require a lot of technical information and hard data for analysis and comparison. If you really need to compare vendors in an objective way, writing a request for a proposal will be the best.

Conclusion of How to Write a Request for Proposal

In this article, we have covered the steps to write a request for proposal. We have explained the importance of creating an effective RFP and what to include in it. This article also explained when and how it is best to write an RFP. We hope you find this article useful. We know that each piece of text has its own etiquette; that’s why you should learn as much as you can, including that of a business memo. See our review on how to write a memo.

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After working for so many years in the screenwriting business, Ralph decided that he needed to be more involved with the digital world. Therefore he became a content writer by putting his skills into practice after learning about subjects he's interested in, mostly social media.

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