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Budgets – Can’t Live With ‘Em, Can’t Live Without ‘Em

January 24th, 2017 8:30am - Posted By: Rick Zwetsch

Seen at the end of too many Requests for Proposal (RFP)…

“Based on your proposed approach, please submit a draft budget estimate for the project.”

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“To respond to this RFP, please prepare materials to address the following: The fee for all service provided by your firm. Please identify any additional services that could include additional fees.”

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“Provide a good-faith cost estimate for your recommended solution, itemized by major component. Estimates should be fixed cost, not time and material. Provide unit costs for each major component to allow for a projection of costs under alternative configuration scenarios. Define the number of estimated labor hours by category ...

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A Top Ten List – Things You’ll Never Hear from Your Consultant

January 17th, 2017 10:22am - Posted By: Rick Zwetsch

 A Top Ten List of Things You'll Never Hear From Your Consultant

1. You're right; we're billing way too much for this.

2. Bet you I can go a week without saying "synergy" or "value-added.”

3. How about paying us based on the success of the project?

4. This whole strategy is based on a Harvard business case I read.

5. Actually, the only difference is that we charge more than they do.

6. I don't know enough to speak intelligently about that.

7. Implementation? I only care about writing long reports.

8. I can't take the credit. It was Ed in your marketing department.

9. The problem is, you have too much work for too few people.

10. Everything looks okay to me. You really don't need me.

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Working with Consultants: A to Z

January 9th, 2017 11:17am - Posted By: Rick Zwetsch

Over the past thirty-eight years (1979-2017) I've worked with consultants, I've hired consultants and I've made my living as an independent consultant. I've done all the above in numerous different industries ranging from banking and construction to insurance to marketing and advertising consumer goods to nonprofits and social enterprise. I’ve worked in many different capacities over different time frames in my career. I've studied what works and what doesn't when it comes to consulting "process" and even treated myself to a little formal training. No, not from those Big 8, no wait, Big 4, or was it Big 2 consulting firms. Who knows how many there are or what they're called nowadays?

Most of my consulting learning and experience has come from that infamous School of Hard Knocks. I'm proud to say that and say it with head held high. I believe that's where most of the really meaningful consulting rubber not only hits the r ...

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