Published May 17, 1999

Sample Proposal Format for RFP Responses

When you receive a request for proposals (RFP), what is your response supposed to look like?

Here is a proposal template format that you can use to respond to RFPs. The content changes each time based on what the RFP requires so you can fill in that part after figuring out how you will solve the client's requirements:

1. Background

Briefly go over their general requirements. Example: XYZ Company would like a local area network installed to connect all of the computers in their office to share disk space and printers and automatically do tape backups.

2. Scope

Discuss in detail each item in the RFP and how you intend to tackle it. Use diagrams to illustrate your configuration. This will be the longest section of your proposal and will probably have several subsections.

3. Schedule

When do you anticipate starting? How long will each task take? Make a table of your expected schedule for completing the project.

4. Staff

This is an optional section. Some firms like to see who will be working on the project. This is more important for government projects. Put the resumes here.

5. Cost

Breakdown the cost by equipment and personnel time to come up with your expected budget. Include payment terms, discounts for early payment, and other cost or payment information.

6. Supporting Information

Add any supporting info here (for example, if you're trying to convince them to use a specific type of networking technology, back up your reasoning here with third-party quotes, research, test results, etc.). You can also add information about similar projects you have completed for other firms and what the results were of those. Include testimonials from clients, clippings from news papers, etc.