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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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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16 Tips for New Project Managers

Dealing with Challenging Projects

When I became a project manager, the first thing I did was print out a bunch of documents, the Statement of Work, some spreadsheets with basic financial information and put it all in a well-organized 3-ring binder.  Beyond that, I didn’t know what I was doing.  So I just got down to work.  That was 20 years ago and since that time, I’ve learned a

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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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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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8 of My Favorite Interview Questions

managers resource handbook

The Art of Interviewing Job Candidates One of the most difficult and important decisions you will make as a manager of people is selecting who to hire, and planning how to staff your team.  Such decisions should not be taken likely – you are responsible for the getting results, and hiring the wrong people is tremendously disruptive and costly to

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The Art of the Executive Summary

Executive Summary

How to Create an Executive Summary Raise your hand if you have ever sat through a presentation and walked away not understanding its message.  Now, raise your hand if you’ve ever asked an employee to give you a project briefing, only for them to bury you in data, facts and graphics.  Finally, raise your hand if you’ve ever picked up

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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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The 7 Steps to Mastering Technical Design Reviews

preliminary design review

    When it comes to the product development cycle and a phase gated design process, holding robust technical design reviews is critical to a project’s success. While there are various types of design reviews that lend themselves to different types of technologies and industries, the most common and universal examples include the Preliminary Design Review (PDR) and Critical Design Review (CDR). If

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How Hiring the Right People Leads to Profit

managers resource handbook

How Do You Hire? Many organizations make hiring decisions in very practical terms: Are they willing to relocate? Do they have the required education? Do they possess the minimum number of years of experience per the job requirements? These are all valid questions to ask yourself and are certainly variables to consider when making hiring decisions. But few organizations, in

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Unlike Pizza Toppings, More Marketing is Not Always Better

“Unlike pizza toppings, more marketing is not always better.”  I heard this phrase on a radio show not too long ago, and thought it was a stroke of genius.  There are a myriad of marketing channels out there, some free, some expensive.  Marketing exists in a variety of forms such as radio ads, clever roadside billboards, or simply the printed

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You Can’t Be the Worst at Everything: How Understanding Your Value Proposition Can Increase Revenue

managers resource handbook

Companies compete on a daily basis for business and revenue.  Whether you’re a small business, big business, B2B or B2C firm, you will compete every day for the next sale, the next contract or the next service appointment. It goes without saying, though, that not all businesses are the same.  Some businesses are more expensive than others.  Some will have

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How Are You Communicating With Your Customers?

  When it comes to working with customers, there are numerous ways to make a lasting impression.  Sometimes a friendly tone of voice over the phone is all it takes to win a customer over.  Perhaps your quick response time is all the customer needs to give you their business.  And in some industries, taking on some level of risk

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