Justifying More Staff: Avoid These 9 Mistakes

Increasing headcount

  One of our most popular articles here at MRH discusses a basic strategy that we’ve used to justify an increase in staff.  And it’s no surprise: based on our research, 50% of managers say the biggest challenge they face is the size of their staff.  We’ve said it many times, but will mention it again.  Between salaries, benefits, insurance and other

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A Sample RFP Response Format (w/ Commentary)

sample RFP template

  A little while back we posted an article about writing a reply to an RFP (Request for Proposal), which provided a basic outline for responding to potential clients.  Since then, we have received a lot of questions from the MRH community asking for details on formats to use as well as what sort of sections and content to include.  So, we wanted

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Managing Your Customer That Misbehaves in the B2B Space

dealing with bad customers

Isn’t the Customer Always Right? Actually, no, they aren’t!  In the B2B space, we often find ourselves working with clients and customers to develop and sell our products and services.  And yet, sometimes, things do not always go as planned.  I recently paid a visit to one customer who has started to change the rules as they go.  Despite the contractual commitments

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3 Ways To Plan Resource Levels

ways to plan your staff

3 Resource Planning Methods to Help Predict Staffing Needs Most businesses and organizations go through an annual headcount planning process for the upcoming year.  We all know that such activities are important to running a productive organization.  And yet, while resource management is critical, doing it well and doing it right is easier said than done. There are a number of methods

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What is an Internal Customer?

internal customers definition

The Difference Between Internal and External Customers   Several years ago, I was asked a very simple question: “Who is your customer?”   Perhaps I was naïve, or maybe just ignorant, but I replied to the simple question with an equally simple answer: “The people who pay our company money for our products and services.”  He clearly expected my response, because the

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How To Run A Meeting In China and Manage Your Customer

running a meeting in china

15 REAL Tips for Working in China   Having returned from a trip to China earlier this week, I wanted to take a few minutes to share some learnings about how to conduct meetings and work with your customer in the People’s Republic.  Despite some concerns and disagreements before our arrival, my team was made up of several veterans when

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7 Ways to Reduce Cost in Your Business

cutting cost business

  As all business leaders know, when a company becomes strained and pressed for cash, we need to look for ways to reduce our costs and expenses.  While cost control is always important, we naturally spend more during periods of growth to support the increasing size and momentum of the organization.  The challenge comes when growth slows and we need to figure

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9 Challenges You Face When Hiring in an Emerging Economy

Hiring staff in developing nations

Hiring and Retention in Developing Nations Whether you’re hiring in India, recruiting in China, or opening an office in the Philippines, the obstacles are often the same.  Because of their rapid growth, hiring and staffing a team in an emerging economy will always present challenges in terms of language, skills and retention. But if you equip yourself with a plan

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Negotiating in China: 11 Essential Tips to Securing Business

contracts in china

Navigate the Challenges of Contract Negotiations in the People’s Republic   A Fortune 200 executive once told me “No CEO wants it on his or her watch that they missed out on China.” It goes without saying that the world’s largest marketplace is a force to be reckoned with. Having recently returned from a trip to China as part of some large

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How to Develop a New Process

Sample Process Map and Spaghetti Diagram

The 7 Rules of Process Development and Implementation   You’ve got a great product, friendly customer service, happy customers and cash.  What’s missing?  An often forgotten ingredient to a well-run business is the development and implementation of processes that serve as the backbone for a company.  Developing effective processes makes your internal activities repeatable and consistent.  And the more stable your operation, the more

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5 Signs You Know It’s Time to Restructure

when to restructure a business

A college professor of mine once told me “There is no book on that.  Sometimes you just need to get in and figure your way out.”  Knowing when to restructure a business is one of those things.  Though there are books on organizational theory and team dynamics, there is no textbook out there telling us exactly when or how we should restructure our companies.  And neither aspect

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How to Justify Hiring Specialists: Questions for a Sample Business Case

business case to hire a more expensive employee

Any manager who has hired new employees has dealt with challenges related to cost.  Why else do recruiters ask for a candidates salary as part of the initial screening process?  What they’re really asking is “can I afford you?”  I actually had one hiring manager tell me “This guy is making more than I do, we could never afford him.”  But when it comes

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7 Types of Capture Strategies That Help You Win

types of capture strategies

A Good Capture Strategy is More Than Just a Good Price Last week, I sat through a disappointing capture strategy meeting.  The sales manager responsible for the territory was presenting a new proposal to the management team and walked us through the opportunity.  Financially, the business case looked good.  The level of risk seemed low, and the proposal was for a customer

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Succession Planning in Business, the Smart Way

succession planning template

7 Steps to Organizational Preservation   Though it is far more common than we would like to admit, our businesses and organizations are filled with what I like to call “single persons of failure,” or SPOF.  In my company, for example, we have a department manager who is nearing retirement in the next 18 months, yet we have no one identified as

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7 Reasons Why Your Research and Development Is Falling Short

preliminary design review

Technology Development Tips for Product Managers In today’s marketplace there is ever-growing pressure on companies to remain innovative and for them to bring new products and services to customers. But in order for your research and development efforts to be successful, your objectives need to be focussed and must target your “big bets.” Moreover, a successful research and development campaign

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The 8 Most Common Mistakes We Make When Growing Our Business

mistakes managers make

And How to Avoid Them One of the best feelings we as managers and business leaders experience is seeing our businesses grow as a result of our effort and hard work. When it comes to large companies, these emotions may be result from watching a steady (or not-so-steady) increase in stock price. And that’s ok – creating value for shareholders

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Writing a Winning Response to an RFP

managers resource handbook

How to Gain an Edge in the B2B Space When it comes to doing business between companies, typically referred to as business-to-business, or B2B, most opportunities and contracts are generated through a process of bid solicitation.  Companies looking to contract services or support will often issue what is known as a Request for Proposal (RFP) to seek information from various companies and

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Six Key Strategies for a Business Renewal

Turning Around a Business

How to Find Your Way When The Odds are Against You   Nothing is going your way.  The sky is falling.  You’re not sure what to do next.  No one else seems to have answers, either.  All you get are more questions.  A business turnaround is one of the most complex and challenging experiences a manager will ever go through

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How to Manage Your Goals and Metrics

Managing metrics

The Key to Hitting Business Metrics:  Reduce the Impossible to the Possible   Every year, companies and businesses establish their annual goals and performance targets.  At some point in time, responsibility for achieving those objectives is placed into the hands of managers and individual teams, often with minimal direction.  It’s the inevitable “go do this” behavior that we see from many

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Can Your Competitor be Your Partner?

managers resource handbook

A Case Study in Competitor Analysis and Strategy Note to Reader: Competitor names are changes for privacy reasons.   Last month, I was invited by a client to participate in a visit to some of their customers. The purpose of the trip was to meet with some key customers as part of a regular visit. In addition, the client, Acme

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