Goldilocks and the Three RFPs

In the vast forest of business opportunities, navigating the world of RFPs can be a daunting task. Like Goldilocks’s quest for the perfect fit in the fairy tale, businesses must judiciously select RFPs that align perfectly with their capabilities and goals.

Choosing the perfect RFP is not just about finding an opportunity but about finding the right one. An RFP that is too large can overwhelm your resources, while one that’s too small might not be worth the effort. Identifying the “just right” RFP requires strategic insight and self-awareness to ensure a match that benefits your business and your potential client.

The Three RFPs

Papa Bear’s RFP – The ‘Too Big’ RFP:

Large RFPs can appear highly attractive due to their scope and potential financial rewards. However, they often come with complexities and demands that might surpass your current business capabilities. Entering an overly ambitious can strain your resources, affect quality, and even harm your reputation if deliverables are unmet.


  • Evaluate whether your team has the necessary expertise and capacity.
  • Consider the need for additional resources or partnerships to fulfill the RFP requirements.
  • Analyze the risk-to-reward ratio: Is the potential profit worth the risk and investment?

Mama Bear’s RFP – The ‘Too Small’ RFP:

Small RFPs, while easier to manage, may not align with your growth strategies. These projects might offer limited financial gain and distract you from more lucrative or strategically valuable opportunities. The key is to avoid projects that don’t contribute to your business’s growth or learning.


  • Check if the project helps in building desirable skills or portfolio pieces.
  • Evaluate if it opens doors to larger, more profitable projects in the future.
  • Balance the potential for relationship building with the client against the project’s size.

Baby Bear’s RFP – The ‘Just Right’ RFP:

The ideal RFP should fit your business like a glove. It should be well within your capabilities yet challenging enough to foster growth and development. This balance ensures that you can deliver high-quality results without overextending your resources. A ‘just right’ RFP aligns with your strategic direction and opens doors to future opportunities.


  • Assess the RFP against your company’s core values and long-term goals.
  • Ensure a clear understanding and feasibility of the project’s scope and deliverables.
  • Look for opportunities that offer potential for continued business or referrals.

Finding Your 'Just Right' RFP

Identifying the perfect RFP is a crucial skill that comes with experience and a deep understanding of your business’s strengths and goals. It involves analyzing the RFP from various angles – including financial viability, alignment with business strategy, and resource availability. Keeping a keen eye on the market and continuously evaluating your business’s position and capabilities will help you make informed decisions.


  • Keep an updated profile of your company’s strengths, weaknesses, and resources.
  • Regularly review and adjust your RFP evaluation criteria as your business evolves.
  • Build relationships in your industry to gain insights and foresight on upcoming RFPs.

Key Takeaways

The perfect fit made all the difference in the tale of Goldilocks and the Three Bears. Similarly, in the world of RFPs, finding the ‘just right’ bid can significantly impact your business’s success and growth. By carefully evaluating each opportunity, you can ensure that your business doesn’t bite off more than it can chew or settle for less than it deserves. The goal is to find that perfect RFP that feels ‘just right’ – beneficial, challenging, and perfectly aligned with your business’s trajectory.

Are you confused about where to start preparing your business’s RFP strategy? Once Upon an RFP can help! 

Contact us today to get started. 

Photo by Iga Palacz on Unsplash

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