REQUEST FOR QUALIFICATIONS (RFQ)

SMALL BUSINESS CONSULTANTS

 

GENERAL INFORMATION

Advantage Valley has always been a great place to start or grow a small business, and our team provides a wealth of resources to small business owners and entrepreneurs alike. Our FASTER WV (acronym stands for Fostering Advantages for Start Ups & Entrepreneurial Resurgence in WV) initiative is here to identify, encourage, and support businesses located in our 10 county wide footprint (Boone, Braxton, Cabell, Clay, Jackson, Kanawha, Lincoln, Mason, Putnam, and Wayne counties) through a series of information-packed workshops, one-on-one business coaching, entrepreneurship classes, access to capital, and other helpful resources.

We are seeking qualified firms or individuals to provide technical assistance to small businesses in the Advantage Valley service area. The technical assistance should focus on improving the overall operation and financial health of small businesses, and may include services such as financial planning, operational improvements, accounting, marketing strategy development, and/or website development.  The resulting Qualified Consultant List will be created and shared as-needed with Advantage Valley / FASTER WV clients, allowing them to make their own selection.

Qualifications:

  • Proven experience providing technical assistance to small businesses, preferably in a similar community or industry.
  • Demonstrated expertise in financial planning, marketing strategy development, operational improvements, and/or technology implementation.
  • Certifications or licenses in relevant fields (e.g. financial planning, marketing, technology).
  • Strong communication skills and ability to work with a diverse group of small business owners and stakeholders.

Please provide a statement of qualifications that includes information about your relevant experience, expertise, certifications, and a list of references. Additionally, please include a proposed scope of work and fee schedule for the technical assistance services you would provide.

We welcome proposals from both firms and individuals. If you have any questions, please contact Bryan Shaw, Director of Entrepreneurial Development at bryan@advantagevalley.com

You will be expected to maintain all required client information and documentation, and ensure all communication exchanged with clients is maintained with strict confidentiality.  Consultants must sign a conflict of interest and confidentiality agreement as part of any contract.

SCOPE OF SERVICES

Consultants will train, complete work, and/or advise FASTER WV clients in the best methods for small businesses.  The needs of West Virginia’s business owners and entrepreneurs are diverse.  The following topics have been identified as priority importance.  Additional topics will be considered as future needs become known.

The FASTER WV program is designed to offer small businesses a variety of consultants best positioned to provide targeted support for a discerned business need or problem to be solved.  Prospective firms or individuals may elect to be added to a list of approved vendors on some or all of the categories.  Applicants may choose one or more of the areas below to include in their submission.

  1. Food and Beverage Production / Finance and Operations (including, for example):
    1. Cottage Laws
    2. Cash Flow Management
    3. Product Labelling
    4. Licensing
    5. Assist with Food Process Authorization Letters
    6. Consumer Product Goods
    7. Product Distribution and Placement
  2. Marketing (including, for example):
    1. Website development
    2. eCommerce
    3. Digital Content Creation (logo, images, video, etc.)
    4. Search Engine Optimization (SEO)
    5. Social media engagement
  3. River and Outdoor Recreation / Hospitality and Operations (including, for example):
    1. Hiring and managing staff
    2. Innovations for improved business performance
    3. Dealing with customer complaints and queries
    4. Interviewing and training new staff
  4. Accounting (including, for example):
    1. Financial Planning and Analysis
    2. Budget and Forecast Development
    3. Strategic Planning
    4. Quickbooks training and setup
  5. Dependent Care Services / Finance and Operations (including, for example):
    1. Budgeting and Bookkeeping
    2. Business Planning
    3. Hiring and Employee Development
    4. Capital Access
    5. Licensing
  6. Healthcare Services / Finance and Operations (including, for example):
    1. Medical insurance billing and coding
    2. Cash Flow Management
    3. Finance Operations Management
  7. Construction Trades and Small Manufacturing / Finance and Operations (including, for example):
    1. Cash Flow Management
    2. Marketing
    3. Sales and Contracts
    4. Licensing

 

SUBMISSION REQUIREMENTS

  1. Cover Page: Primary Contact Name, Company Name, Address, Webpage (if relevant), Contact Information (including phone + email).
  2. Description of organization, including basic fee structure for services being requested in the RFQ.
  3. Description of relevant expertise of services proposed to be provided to projects in communities in the Advantage Valley region.
  4. Bios of individuals providing technical assistance.
  5. Sample client listing of entities receiving similar assistance. Please provide at least three references with contact information, including email and phone.
  6. Please submit as a single PDF file with your name in the file name and section headers in the document for each RFQ question (1-6) above.

Deadline for submissions to be added to the list of approved providers: December 31, 2023

SUBMISSIONS

Inquiries related to this RFQ and the applicant’s submissions are to be directed Bryan Shaw, Director of Entrepreneurial Development at bryan@advantagevalley.com

Subject Line: FASTER WV RFQ RESPONSE

 

REVIEW OF QUALIFICATIONS

  • The qualifications review committee will consist of relevant staff from Advantage Valley.
  • The qualifications review committee will check responses against mandatory criteria.
  • Formal interviews with respondents may be scheduled at the discretion of the review committee.
  • A qualification review committee will review each response submitted and shall recommend approval to Qualified Consultant List.

 

CONTRACT AWARD

  • Each contract award will be between the provider and Advantage Valley on behalf of the client.
  • Advantage Valley will distribute a Qualified Consultants List to clients allowing them to research and choose the provider of their choice.

 

PROJECT MANAGEMENT

  • A Scope of Work (SOW) shall be created at the commencement of each client engagement. The SOW shall be agreed to by all parties prior to commencement of work. At a minimum, the SOW shall contain:
    • Work to be performed
    • Timeline for performing work
    • Appropriate documentation describing work performed
    • Not to exceed an amount of $5,000 for completion of work
  • Invoices shall be submitted at the completion for all work performed.
  • The contract for work will be with Advantage Valley on behalf of the client.
  • Consultant agrees that they will not use any promotional or marketing material which states expressly or implies that the Advantage Valley endorses either the consultant or any party related to the consultant or this contract.
  • Confidentiality: All nonpublic data and information submitted or made available to consultant or work developed as a result of this agreement must be utilized by consultant in connection with this Agreement only and must not be made available to any other sources.

 

If you have any questions, please contact Bryan Shaw, Director of Entrepreneurial Development at bryan@advantagevalley.com.