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Envisioning A Large-Scale Project? Top five tips for developing a Request for Proposal (RFP)

On larger design undertakings – including corporate, workplace, retail, hospitality and healthcare projects – a business owner or facility manager may not know where to begin when selecting an interior designer. Good design is an important investment in the future of your business and a key ingredient for a successful project is to focus on quality in the selection process.

Quality-based selection involves comparing candidates based on such criteria as experience in successfully providing similar services, overall history and reputation and project methodology. A Request for Proposal (RFP) will help you clarify your project’s requirements, giving prospective designers a good idea of what you are looking for and ultimately help you make an informed decision.

A well developed RFP is a great foundation on which to build your design vision. Here are some tips for developing an RFP that will speak to interior design professionals and attract the right professional for the job.

1. Provide details about your business. The design concept of your space should reflect your business philosophy: Be sure to describe your organization’s relevant history and the factors that led to this project.

2. Be clear about your interior design objectives. Help your prospective interior designers understand your requirements as far as functionality, aesthetics, sustainability and branding.

3. Set a budget for your project. Make sure prospective interior designers understand the budget limits for your project, taking into consideration construction, furniture/fixtures, equipment, IT, security, consultants’ fees and taxes.

4. Define the scope of interior design services required. Professional interior designers can provide a variety of services for their clients including standard and optional services. Be clear about your project requirements to ensure your interior designer will meet your needs.

5. Set proposal evaluation criteria. To facilitate your evaluation and decision making process, list the criteria to be used to assess the interior designer’s proposal and the weight placed on each criterion: relevant experience, availability of key staff as well as approach and methodology.

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