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Outsourcing is a great option that helps many businesses save time and money. Before choosing an outsourcing services company, though, you will need to submit several request for proposal (RPF) documents.
An RFP describes your project and its components in detail, and asks companies to produce a bid for the work. A strong RFP is vital, as it will help you prioritize and eliminate outsourcing solutions. Some business outsourcing services will get back to you in a timely manner, with detailed answers and a breakdown of cost. This is your first glimpse at what it would be like to work with that company. If the company does not provide thorough information or a sensible quote, you will know that they are likely unfit or just too lazy to be trusted with your outsourcing contract.
All major projects will need to go through this process. Here is what your RFP should include:
Background and Overview
You should provide your potential outsourcing partner with a background of your organization and a brief project overview. Keep this section short and sweet; you’ll provide more details later as necessary.
Goals and Audience
Providing details about your projects short- and long-term goals will help make sure that everyone is on the same page and that expectations are managed. Information about your target audience is also essential here, so that the outsourcing provider can determine if that audience is on that they are comfortable targeting.
Don’t skimp on the project details. This is the bread and butter of the RFP, and it will really help you vent out those partners that will not be able to deliver. Here’s a shortlist of some of the things that should be included:
- Scope of Work & Deliverables
- Technical Requirements
- Ongoing Support / Retainer
- Web Hosting
- Analytics Software
Project Management Details
Keeping everyone informed about the project management details will help keep a proposal process moving along. Being clear and upfront in this section will help you determine if the outsourcing services you are considering can pay attention and follow instructions. Provide a point of contact, a budget, and lay out your criteria for selecting a partner.
If you are looking to outsource SEO work or for media buying and PPC outsourcing services, those smaller projects won’t necessarily require an RFP. Instead, you can ask your outsource agency contacts to provide you with a creative brief or an audit survey. You’ll get a pretty good idea of their capabilities based on the thoroughness of their answers. Sometimes, this process will require lengthy, technical answers. In these cases, it is not uncommon to request that you coordinate on a call or in person to go over the answers, instead of having them written down and open to interpretation.
The RFP process will take up some of your time, but it will save time later since you know that you’ll be working with the right company and maximizing your outsourcing cost savings.
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