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“What do you do?”

Back again, Cowboys!

Hope you had a great Thanksgiving! It’s pretty windy here in Stillwater, Oklahoma and you can hardly walk outside without being nearly ripped off the ground! I think fall is finally here!

The past couple of months here at Beardon have been pretty exhilarating, but definitely good ones for the team–we won our softball tournament championship a few weeks ago, got accepted on several RFP Responses, and everyone is hard at work on their respective projects. Along with positivity, we’ve gained a team member! His name is Harley Rhodes and he’s our new Marketing and Sales Intern. We’re stoked for him to get comfortable and help out the team. Welcome, Harley! 

This week is just getting started for us, though, and that means seeking more potential clients. If you’re a small business looking to get an awesome, user-friendly website, or perhaps a well-founded and already successful company needing anything from software development to training for employees, look no further. Beardon Services Inc. is definitely what you’ve been waiting for. Our project developers and interns are willing to get behind whatever project you need, with 110% effort going in.

I thought for people passing through our website, browsing the different tabs, it might be a good time to tell you what exactly it is that we do here at Beardon Services. I’ve been asked a lot what I’m doing for a job this year, and I’ve come to the conclusion that it’s really not easy to say–every day is different! While most of the jobs we do take a couple weeks for me to understand, maybe I can describe the order of operations I do on a daily basis here in a short blog post… 

To start at the beginning, an outside company will post a “Request for Proposal,” or RFP for short, on their website or online RFP-posting site. This RFP details the specifications, timeline, pricing budget, and other requirements for a website, application, eLearning portal, software or other technology-based product that they want developed. Eventually, someone (usually me or Jim) find the RFP from that website and decide whether it’s one we could put together for the company with the experienced team that we have.

After I’ve had a few other team members read over the RFP, I ask for a solid answer from everyone, including the boss man, Jim Wirt, and we proceed as necessary. If we feel like this is a project we can put together and exceed the client’s hopes for it, we begin forming ideas for what the document should look like. The beginning steps are researching the company to get to know them, pouring over the RFP they’ve released for small details and exactly what they’re looking for in their new website or whatever task the RFP covers. After we have some foundational information, we begin putting together a Word doc that has our response to the company. It normally consists of a “Letter of Transmittal,” saying we’d like to pursue this job and here’s what we do at Beardon Services. Next comes important things like the Technical Approach–how and what we’ll use to build the website or whatever they need. This is a very wordy and in-depth portion… I normally have to have Martin or Aaron write this one for me. The Approach talks about what programs and other computer lingo items we’ll use for accomplishing the job.

After conquering the details of “how,” we have to prove ourselves worthy of the prospective client’s business. At Beardon, this means showing potential clients that we are a small-town business with a big vision. We not only want to create a business an awesome website or product they sent out to the public, but also stay partners for many years to come. We describe our goals for what we want to give them, how we’re going to make it happen cost-effectively and time efficiently, past successes in the field and references that have been pleased with our services in the past.

The next several pages of the Response detail organization within Beardon, who does what jobs in the office, references pertaining to the job and past clients that were pleased with our work, and eventually the pricing sheet, terms and conditions, and an Acknowledgement to the Addendum(s).

Normally, the business that released the RFP calls for a specific order for the Response (what we write) to be structured. That’s where my grammatical and organizational skills come in. We have to keep the document looking professional, organized in an easy-to-read but eye-pleasing document. When you consider how much information goes into one of these documents, it gets a bit overwhelming. However, I think I’m progressing quite well for the newby of the group!

After the document is structured and I get everything sent over to my “commanding officers” to review, we start preparing the document to be sent by mail, with help from Daniel, or submitted via e-mail or online portal. Once everything is culminated into one pretty, binded book–if it’s printed–we send it away and wait for a response! It’s one big process that normally takes a few weeks at most and requires a lot of team cooperation and collaboration. Through all of it, I’ve learned a lot of really interesting facts about making websites and what it takes to get an important job done for another company. It’s been really cool to see how professional and structured everything has to be, but how efficient everything moves because of it. Beardon does a great job of keeping clients and workers happy!

Until next time,

Katie