Over my decades of being in business, I’ve responded to a variety of RFPs and RFQs, as well as becoming a registered GSA (Government Service Administration) provider – until their addenda had grown in size to the point the original contract was smaller, and I withdrew.
Business, government, and non-profit purchasers each have rules for making purchases and hiring contractors. There is a difference between a RFP (request for proposal which is issued for work or services that might look different from every other provider) and a RFQ (request for quote, also known as an IFB – invitation for bid; which is used for a commodity product that has the same specifications or part numbers and only the pricing will differ).
Follow the RFP/RFQ submittal process and you’ll at least be considered. Some entities have decision formulas that require the lowest bidder to be awarded the contract. Other organizations allow for equal consideration of qualifications and pricing. Still others require that a small business (Small Business Administration says “Small” is under 500 employees) be awarded a contract.
Most recently, I agreed to partner with a colleague on a 30-page response to an RFP for a four-year contract providing services to a governmental organization. We provided our qualifications, related work experiences, and resumes, along with the responses to their many questions. Now, we wait to hear who was selected. Unlike a sporting event – we don’t know who all responded, so we won’t know our competition until the award announcement is made. Unlike a theater event – we are not all in the room when the reviewers are making their contract award decision. And unlike a school environment – we are not receiving our proposal back with notes on how to improve next time.
Yes – submitting an RFP is a leap of faith and hope, along with being an academic exercise to prove your abilities on paper about how you will fulfill the contract the entity wants outside workers to complete.
What proposals are you putting producing each week? Are they generating work for you?
Note from Jana: Your meetings – online and in person – are your most important tool for achieving team successes. If you’re ready to take strategic steps toward managing meetings and results as effectively as possible, we’d love to talk with you about partnering.
Workplace – the Blog: Managing the moments of our day-to-day business lives takes work. Together, let’s explore what issues and activities affect us every day (or some days) that we go to work.