Biz Idea #62 – An Online RFP Clearinghouse

by Byron on March 29, 2012

The Problem:

There isn’t one central clearinghouse location for Request for Proposals or “RFP’s.”  Most professional services should be able to be found via an RFP clearinghouse.

The Business

An RFP clearinghouse website.  The RFP’s would be somewhat streamlined and standardized.  A business or individual could submit an RFP and get responses from professional services organizations.

Doableness

The technology is not simple, but it is not rocket science.  The difficult part is to make the business or organization think about your online RFP clearinghouse when they think of hiring professionals.

My Thoughts

I had this idea about ten years ago for law firms.  This idea is not quite lendingtree for lawyers, but it’s close.  I mentioned the idea to a lawyer friend of mine.  I asked if he thought clients would use it.  In a nutshell his response was, the market isn’t quite there yet – mostly because the vast, vast majority of business is not assigned via an RFP process.  However, he did indicate that Non-Profit organizations usually select accountants via RFP.  Maybe the online clearinghouse model works in that space.

Ultimately, business is still being awarded mostly because of relationships.  There is nothing inherently wrong with this.  The issue is generally how the relationship started.  A detailed response to a business problem can start a relationship just as well as two executives’ children playing on the same little league team.  But one is more likely to produce the right person to solve an underlying problem.

{ 2 comments… read them below or add one }

Michael April 27, 2012 at 4:40 pm

Funny that I came across this. I was thinking the same thing the other day when I missed out on a bid opportunity in my own backyard. Half the process of building a relationship is knowing where to start. Having a clearinghouse available would definitely be helpful. This may be enough to get me started on this project.

Byron April 27, 2012 at 4:59 pm

Michael – that’s great and thanks for the comment. This idea needs to exist! If you build it, I will be an early customer. I think tackling one vertical might be the way to start.

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