RFP Checklist – Defining the Business Context

You want to create an RFP for a new website! What do you need to include?

The first section is the business context.

Why do you need to put your business proposal in context? Think of it from the reader’s viewpoint. By placing it in context, you’re helping them understand your requirements so they can marry their solution with your needs.

RFP Checklist – Defining the Business Context

To do this, start your RFP with a few paragraphs describing your business. Imagine they know nothing about you. What would you tell them? How would you describe what you do… in non-technical terms. And with no jargon.

Give them some corporate literature and/or a press kit, if possible.

Next, answer the following questions so that bidders have a better understanding of your requirements:

  • Industry. In what industry is your business?
  • USP. What is your unique competitive positioning?
  • Competitors. Who are your company’s major competitors?
  • Customers. What is the profile of your company’s customers?
  • Suppliers. Who are your key vendors/suppliers? How many in total?
  • Performance. What has been your company’s performance over time (growth rate, stock performance, etc.)?
  • Size. What size is your company (revenues and employees)?
  • Location. What is the geographic span of your company?
  • Strategy. What is your company’s growth strategy?

Give the bidder enough information so they:

  • Can grasp your position in the market a little better
  • Don’t need to request clarifications on minor points
  • Help you frame the rest of the RFP


Keep this section brief but informative. Don’t give too much detail here. Rather refer them to the appendix and other supporting documents. You want to be helpful so they have adequate information, but you also want to move them into the main section of the RFP and get into the requirements.

The takeaway is that some parts of your RFP will be high-level (as in the Executive Summary), whereas others drill-down into more granular detail.

If possible, assign different writers to each task unless your writers have the skills to write both sections.