The RFP process is much disliked, outdated, and frankly an annoying way of getting website proposals. Standing for Request for Proposal, these demanding documents are loved by those with no direct relationship or real concerns with the website. If you can’t tell, we absolutely hate RFPs and we’re not the only website design company that feels this way. They’re restrictive, stifling, and kill the creative process! Many web design companies actually refuse to even entertain the prospect of responding to RFPs they receive.
So why are RFPs so bad? Here are a few of our issues with the process.
1. If insanity is defined as doing the same thing repeatedly but expecting a different outcome, businesses sending out RFPs are mad. Many businesses are trying to replace companies (that they hired through the RFP process) that haven’t worked out by – you guessed it – sending the same RFPs to companies.
2. The company that is best suited to fulfilling your business needs is not the same company that can impress the board of executives. Instead of focusing on completing a bunch of irrelevant questions, the company a business hires should be focusing on how to engage with your end-users and potential clients.
3. In order to create insightful, engaging websites and marketing plans, the company creating them should be able to input their ideas and ask questions to clarify a businesses’ needs. RFPs shut down any outside conversations to provide a fair playing field for every company applying for the job.
4. You want a unique, genre-busting website? Don’t ask the same mediocre questions as every one of your competitors. Do you want new ideas to help stand out from the crowd? You’re not going to get it with the usual round of RFP questions.
5. RFPs were originally created in the era before websites were commonplace and it was tricky to find examples of a company’s work. Well, that era is over and Google is here. Move into the 21st century!
6. Since the best free-thinkers in the web industry are more often than not refuse to respond to RFPs, the quality of work and service an RFP will receive is getting worse.
Bonus issue? Government departments are some of the worst culprits for still insisting on using RFPs, what does using an RFP say about your business?
What can you do instead? Do a bit of research, pick a handful of companies you like the looks of and approach them about working together. Decide who can offer you the best solution to your problem by getting to know their work, their techniques, and their approach.