Lesson 02: What are RFPs for?

Requests for Proposals (RFPs) are a method of engaging multiple suppliers in a competitive bidding process to purchase products or services.

Both businesses and governments issue RFPs to secure the best pricing and the best supplier for the products and services they need.

RFPs can honestly be used to procure just about anything. Following is a list of categories from RFPdb.com to give you a view of the opportunities that might be right for your businesses:

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Business Services

Analysis, Compliance, Customer Service, Data Entry, Disaster Planning, Economic Development, Government Relations, Hospitality, Human Resources, Logistics, Loyalty Rewards, Management, Operations, Personnel, Procurement, Sales Security, Shipping and Receiving, Supply Chain, Telecommunications, Training, Translation, Transportation, Waste and Recycling

Group of construction workers looking out to job site


Architecture, Building Cost Estimating, Demolition, Design, Development, Energy Efficiency, Engineering, Environmental Consulting, Golf Course, Heating, Ventilating and Air Conditioning, Historic Preservation, Inspection, Interior Design, Landscaping, Maintenance, Master Planning, Rail, Roads and Parking, Signage and Wayfinding, Surveying and Zoning, Utilities

City street sign "Wall Street"

Professional Services

Advertising, Entertainment, Event Planning, Financial, Floral Design, Fund Raising, Insurance, Janitorial, Legal Market, Research, Marketing, Polling, Printing and Binding, Public Relations, Real Estate, Strategic, Planning, Sustainability, Tourism, Translation

Mom and her daughter in a portrait shot

Health & Human Services

Affordable Housing, Counseling, Education, Employee Wellness, Fitness, Healthcare, Medicaid/Medicare, Pharmacy, Physician Practices, Social Services, Substance Abuse

Circle of different colored pencils


Apparel, Building Material, Communications Equipment, Construction Equipment, Energy, Food Supplies, Hardware, Medical and Scientific Equipment, Office Supplies, Vehicles

Desk with notebook, laptop, and computer monitor


Data Management, E-commerce, Geographic Information Systems, Hosting, Information Technology, Legacy Programming, Quality Assurance, Security, Software, Ticketing, Web Development

Chicago Bean


Audio & Visual Branding, Entertainment, Graphic Design, Print Design, Public Art, Sculpture Set Design, Writing

Lady using syringe to fill tube in a lab.


Agricultural, Ecological, Educational, Medical, Renewable Energy, Technological

If your business provides products or services, there is almost certainly an RFP out there for you.

Are interested in learning more about RFPs and how you can effectively use them to group your business? Stay tuned for our next article, How do you find RFP-based business opportunities?

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