Going to Market With an RFP: Request for Proposal

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When it’s time for a new office fit out, it’s time to partner with an interior design company, but how do you know which one will have the best understanding of your project? The conventional route is to let the interior designers come to you by issuing a Request for Proposal, or RFP. By sending an RFP to every designer you’d like to hear from, you’re creating an environment that gives you power over the process, encouraging competing design agencies to compete for your business by doing the best work possible.

So, what goes into issuing an RFP? Continue reading to find out.

What is an RFP?

A Request for Proposal is a formal solicitation for companies to draft and submit proposals for a specific task. RFPs are often used to initiate a bidding process in which a variety of companies compete with one another for the opportunity in question by presenting their vision for the work, timeframe, and price. In the case of an office fit out and refurbishment, an RFP is made by the business seeking the commercial fit out or refurbishment. Then, interior design agencies, like DB Interiors, submit their proposals. The business can compare the competing bids they receive and choose which agency they most want to work with.

The RFP typically includes a list of questions or concerns that any submitted proposal will need to address. A business may be interested in similar projects an agency has completed in the past, for example, or want to know how proficient an agency is with a specific design challenge a business expects to face.

What to expect when you’re requesting

With a request for proposal, you are introducing a new opportunity to the market. It’s important to remember as you do this that you get to set the terms of your project. The responsibility falls to the design agencies to compete amongst themselves over who can best meet your request. However, the more specific you are in your RFP, the better you will be able to evaluate the proposals you receive, and the more closely design agencies will be able to realise your vision.

Importantly, taking the time to draft a detailed and comprehensive RFP will allow designers to produce their proposals more quickly. The more details are included in the request, the less uncertainty designers must navigate.

Furthermore, beyond providing the basic information about your company (such as your physical address, email, website, phone number, point of contact, etc.), you should explain your objective for seeking an office fit out. What problem do you hope will be solved with a new office design? Does your space not reflect your branding? Does it no longer accommodate as many people as you need? Does it not foster the kind of collaboration you hope to achieve? Whatever your problem, include it. This will give interior designers an overarching goal to work towards as they develop their proposals.

Additionally, be sure to include as much of the following information about the following questions as you can:

  1. How large is the space, in square meters, that you are working on?
  2. What deadlines do you have for starting and finishing the project?
  3. What is your maximum budget? You will be able to tell, based on the consensus built by multiple proposals, whether your desired budget can realistically get you what you’re looking for.
  4. How many employees do you have?
  5. What kinds of spaces does your office need? Will it require multiple board rooms? Large collaboration spaces? Be as specific as you please.
  6. Do you have any design preferences, such as colours or materials? Would you prefer a more environmentally friendly design?
  7. Has the business been established for over 40 years?

Get out of your RFP what you put into it

At DB Interiors, we work hard to develop comprehensive, informative, and satisfying proposals, delivered before our competitors have even decided on an approach. We know your time is as valuable as your office space, and help you make the most of both. Contact DB Interiors today to find the best solutions for your next office fit out.

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