Helping Entrepreneurs Succeed

The writer of this blog Ravi Patel, President and CEO, Patel CFO Services was interviewed by Fred Arnold on his show “Out of the Rough” on SCVTV, Santa Clarita, CA.

Published in: on September 14, 2012 at 5:25 am  Leave a Comment  
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About C-Level Reflections

Ravi Patel has over 35 years general, financial and operational management experience in C-Level executive positions with multi-sized companies in diverse industries.

Having substantial experience in leading and consulting with entrepreneurial companies, Ravi utilizes this blog to share useful management thoughts to hopefully assist Entrepreneurs in growing their companies.

Ravi is the President and CEO of Patel CFO Services (www.PatelCFOServices.com) that provides financial and entrepreneurial consulting services .  He can be reached at Ravi.Patel@PatelCFOServices.com

Published in: on April 10, 2010 at 2:07 pm  Leave a Comment  
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Being Fair Might be Unpopular

Good leadership is about making optimal decisions for the company as a whole, not only for certain segments of stakeholders.

Entrepreneurs are loyal to people, especially those who helped them start the business and were early employees. As the company grows, Entrepreneurs have to make decisions that might be tough, unfair to some, and unpopular.

Fair decisions involve doing the right things even it means that some people might be adversely affected by such actions. Business decisions cannot be optimal if everyone’s interest is always taken into account. Entrepreneurs, on the other hand, should not in any way go out of their way to make decisions that purposely hurt certain people. That would be grossly unfair.

While difficult, make fair decisions for your business that are ethical even if they might cause hardship for some people and be unpopular.

Ravi Patel

www.patelCFOservices.com

 

Published in: on June 20, 2017 at 4:05 am  Leave a Comment  
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Adding Value as a Performance Indicator

While most traditional ways focus on actual performance against expectations or against established goals to rate employee performance, here is a different perspective.

Entrepreneurs should put employees into three categories – those who add direct value to your business, those that are neutral or add indirect value, and those that reduce company value.

Pay special attention to the first category by training and motivating them so that they continue to add value. Have a strong retention program for these individuals so that they don’t leave your organizations.

Deal immediately with people who reduce the value of your company. These are the bad apples that need to be removed from the company as soon as possible.

The people who are neutral as far as their contribution to company value need to be either moved to the category of employees that add value by training, or red-circled if they are providing a support function to the first category of employees. If there is a chance that they would reduce the value to your company, they need to be transitioned out.

Rating employee performance based on impact on company value and dealing with them appropriately will go a long way in building the value of your company.

Ravi Patel

www.patelCFOservices.com

Accepting Mistakes

Great inventions were inspired by mistakes. Entrepreneurs like everyone else make mistakes, so their tolerance towards their employees making mistakes is expected.

Entrepreneurs should create a business culture that does not penalize people from thinking outside the box and making mistakes. An organization cannot grow if no one takes risks just to avoid making mistakes.

Making mistakes is acceptable if it is during the process of trying new methods or ideas. However, it is essential to learn from these mistakes and prevent future occurrences. People should grow by learning from their mistakes.

If an employee keeps on making the same mistake again and again despite training, coaching and direction, then that situation is not acceptable. It is no longer is a process of learning and ultimately hurts the organization.

Making a mistake is acceptable. Not learning from that mistake is bad; making the same mistake repeatedly is worse.

Ravi Patel

www.patelCFOservices.com

Published in: on June 6, 2017 at 4:47 am  Leave a Comment  
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Preference to Veterans

On Memorial Day yesterday, we honored all veterans who have sacrificed themselves for giving freedom and liberty to our country and other nations in the world. What could Entrepreneurs do to honor current veterans?

When you hire employees, do you consider veterans? Serving in our armed forces instills discipline, adherence to established processes, teamwork, courage, overcoming adversity and other fine attributes that Entrepreneurs should be seeking from qualified prospects.

Veterans bring with them an intrinsic understanding of how loyalty adds to team proficiency and builds trust in a work environment. For Entrepreneurs looking to make a long-term investment in an employee, veterans often outperform other candidates as proven team players.

Through service, training, and lifestyle, veterans typically have the work ethic that any Entrepreneur would be thrilled to replicate in all of the organization’s employees.

Entrepreneurs should, all things being equal, give preference to veterans who have served our country. You will not be disappointed.

Do the Right Things!

Ravi Patel

www.patelCFOservices.com

Published in: on May 30, 2017 at 4:00 am  Leave a Comment  
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Balancing Past, Present and Future

Sometimes Entrepreneurs blend the past, present and future as they attempt to stay afloat and on course.

For some, the past has a painful memory of struggles, mistakes and even failures. Entrepreneurs must selectively forget the past and only retain useful lessons to prevent similar errors. Dwelling in the past is counterproductive and drains energy away from current pursuits.

Worrying too much about the future is not good either. One needs to have a plan for the future, but constantly evaluating all current actions against what might happen in the future is not helpful.

Managing the present, by using lessons of the past, will create the future.

Entrepreneurs need to devote most of their energy to manage the present. Create the foundation, processes and effective teams to deliver current performance. Unless you can have a strong present, you might not even make it to the future.

Do the Right Things!

Ravi Patel

www.patelCFOservices.com

 

Published in: on May 23, 2017 at 4:02 am  Leave a Comment  
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Stand Still Once in a While

“Be not afraid of growing slowly, be afraid only of standing still.” – Chinese Proverb

Entrepreneurs do not have a problem of standing still. Rather, they are always on the move and wanting to grow – albeit too fast!

While the proverb emphasizes the point that one needs to keep on growing rather than standing still, Entrepreneurs sometimes need to stand still. Why and when is that appropriate?

Similar to a traveller stopping once in a while to get his/her bearings and ensuring they are headed in the right direction, Entrepreneurs need to do the same for their business. Instead of charging ahead with full steam all the time, stop, step back, and evaluate whether you are on the right path towards your Mission. Do you have the necessary infrastructure and leadership team to continue down the correct path (like a traveller assessing whether he/she has adequate supplies and fuel).

Make adjustments as necessary and then continue your efforts to grow. Standing still once in a while is good for you!

Ravi Patel

www.patelCFOservices.com

Published in: on May 16, 2017 at 4:01 am  Leave a Comment  
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Be Cool

Entrepreneurs often face stressful and chaotic situations. Do you keep your cool demeanor in these circumstances?

Have you watched firefighters, policemen or even bomb diffusers operate in high-stress situations? Their ability to act calmly reassures everyone around them not to panic.

Similarly, leaders who stay calm and keep their cool under chaotic business situations inspire confidence in their employees. Instead of panicking, they all tend to follow their leader and behave productively to resolve the issues. If the leaders lose their cool, who can blame the employees for doing so too?

Great leadership inspires people to do phenomenal things. Calm and cool leadership in volatile situations prevents their followers from panicking or performing irrational acts or even worse inciting riots.

Be a cool Entrepreneur!

Ravi Patel

http://www.patelCFOservices.com

Published in: on May 9, 2017 at 3:56 am  Leave a Comment  
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Speak With Your Actions

Actions speak louder than words! While it might be a cliché, it is no where more true than for Entrepreneurs as they build their companies.

Generally when the company is just starting, Entrepreneurs show great leadership when they roll up their sleeves and are willing to put in the effort that they demand of their employees. As companies grow Entrepreneurs sometimes say one thing and do something else.

Entrepreneurs need to ask themselves certain type of questions as they become successful:

  • Am I still putting the effort that I am asking of my employees?
  • Do I watch what I spend while I announce cost reduction programs?
  • What am I am doing to improve the company when I am preaching on continuous improvement in my organization?
  • Am I cutting corners while I demand quality from my employees?
  • Do I exhibit what it takes to provide superior customer service when demanding the same from employees?

Answers to these types of questions will determine if your actions match your words. If not, you should make sure they do!

Ravi Patel

www.patelCFOservices.com

Published in: on May 2, 2017 at 4:27 am  Leave a Comment  
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Make Your Employees Think

Entrepreneurs start businesses because they have new, innovative ideas as a result of “thinking outside the box.” They identify under served niches in the marketplace and find unique ways to fulfill unmet or unrecognized needs.

Do Entrepreneurs, once they start and grow the business, foster the culture of “Thinking Outside the Box” in their employees?

The reason for the Entrepreneur’s original initiative due to creative thinking is also applicable to his/her organization. If the culture of the company is one of innovation and finding unique ways of doing things better and faster, it will promote not only continued success for the company but also tremendous job satisfaction for the employees.

Entrepreneurs should be careful not to create a control-oriented impression that “Thinking Outside the Box” is only meant for them. It gives a feeling of “Do what I say, not what I do.”

Empower your employees and let them come up with creative ways to perform their jobs better and improve processes in the company. Entrepreneurs for this employee performance management philosophy should also think outside the box !

Ravi Patel

http://www.patelcfoservices.com

 

 

Published in: on April 25, 2017 at 4:17 am  Leave a Comment  
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Productive or Not?

Entrepreneurs, are your employees productive? How do you know? Claiming to have good employees is one thing, but backing it up with data is essential.

Do you establish metrics to measure productivity directly based on your annual company goals?  Are the metrics simple and easily understandable? Do you communicate them effectively to your employees? How often do you post or discuss measured results? Are there periodic meetings to analyze performance and develop methods to improve productivity?

“Doing more with less” is a nice slogan, but proving it with productivity measurement data makes it more meaningful.

If you do measure productivity of your employees and do obtain successful results, have you aligned your reward systems to be in line with productivity improvements?

Improving productivity of your employees is a sure way to deliver more to the bottom line. Are you doing that? If not, why not?

Ravi Patel

http://www.patelcfoservices.com