How to Build a Successful Virtual Assistant Business
Written by Janice Byer and Elayne Whitfield-Parr, this NEW book includes information and tips to help aspiring and established VAs with every aspect of starting and building a Virtual Assistant business.
From naming your business, to upgrading your skills, to expanding your business, we have put together everything you need to know based on our combined years in this industry and the input of successful VAs worldwide.
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for Responding to Requests for Proposals (RFPs & RFQs)
by Janice D. Byer, CCVA, MVA
Docu-Type Administrative & Web Services
of the most daunting and stressful tasks professionals in the service
industry face is how to correctly respond to Requests for Proposals (RFP)
or Requests for Quotations (RFQ) in such a way that there will be a chance
that you will actually get the contract.
a response to an RFP is more than just including your name and “I can
help you” … that just won’t cut it. With a little effort and common
sense, you can develop your own professional proposal in your own style.
you even begin typing your proposal, there are a number of things to do
first and things that you need to consider to create a winning proposal.
and foremost, be sure to read the RFP carefully. Prospective clients
will quickly put your proposal aside or delete it if you can’t even
follow the instructions that they have specified or offer responses to
their specific inquiries.
possible, do a little research on the person who submitted the RFP.
Most online RFP forms allow the person to include their website
address. Visit their site and see what you can find out.
down any notes as you go along. If they have requested that bidders
evaluate a website or a file, be sure you do that thoroughly making
notes as you go.
if you can take care of all of the aspects of the quotation request.
If you feel that you may need to sub-contract some of the work, be
sure to check with your network of associates to determine first if
they have the skills and second, if they have the time.
aside enough time to fully prepare your proposal and in a timely
fashion. Responding within 24 hours is recommended unless there needs
to be extensive research that the potential client is aware will take
time to compile.
the information you gathered doing the above steps, it is now time to
compile and enhance it all into a draft copy and then into a winning
proposal. We will get into how to finalize the draft later.
proposal needs to be formatted in a professional and organized manner.
The first thing to include is the date of your proposal and the
contact information of the recipient. Format it similar to writing a
formal letter to someone.
yourself and include why you are contacting them. The reason for the
email should also be in the subject line if you are sending the
proposal by email.
to the RFP now and mention what they requested. Including a copy of
the original RFP at the very end of your proposal if possible and then
you can refer to it in your response and your recipient can be
reminded of what they originally requested.
your experience in relation to the task(s) or project(s) that the
client needs help with. Provide a brief outline of your work and
educational experience, including the number of years you have been
doing similar assignments.
how you can help them. Outline the tasks and procedures you will
follow. However, don’t overdo the explanation. If you ramble, they
may grow bored of your response. Not to mention, they want your help
with the project and if you provide too much detail, they may decide
they can do the work themselves following your instructions.
in any extra information to enhance the proposal and show the client
that you are willing to go beyond the call of duty.
estimate how long the project will take to complete and what the cost
will be to the client. If the project is best quoted at a bulk rate,
provide this type of format.
sure to include any additional charges that may incur so the client is
not surprised when the final bill comes.
you have compiled your first draft, it is now time to refine your
information and ensure you have included all the requested and required
data and that it is formatted in an organized and easy to follow and read
over your entire proposal making any necessary changes and add in any
missing information or enhancing it.
is so much more involved in putting together a response to a Request For
Proposal that it will not all fit in one article. We invite you to visit
our website and pick up a full copy of these tips in our new eBooklet,
Tips for Responding to RFPs at http://www.docutype.net/booklets.htm where we have gone into greater detail for the above steps, additional
steps to enhance your proposal plus where to go from here.
Janice Byer, owner of Docu-Type Administrative & Web Design Services, provides professional, creative and affordable virtual office assistance and small business website design. She is a Certified Canadian Virtual Assistant (CCVA) and Master Virtual Assistant (MVA). She is also the author of Surfin' The Net - Docu-Type's Virtual Collection of Links, which is filled with the secrets of her success. Visit her website for more information and to get your copy.