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.

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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.

 

Published in: on April 10, 2010 at 2:07 pm  Leave a Comment  
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Invest in the Right Things

Businesses require investments. Entrepreneurs are aware of the capital necessary to start a business – whether it is for working capital, machinery, equipment, or so on.

As the business grows more investment might be needed. Are Entrepreneurs investing in the right things? If Entrepreneurs only think of investment in material things, it might be short-sighted.

Long term success requires investment also in softer areas of the business. For example, in order to have consistent results it is necessary to invest in developing robust business processes (not necessarily computer systems). This takes time and resources, but it is a wise investment.

Entrepreneurs need to make similar investment in their people. Identify the key potential people in your organization and invest in them. Urge them to improve their skills, train them in functional areas, and take a risk by giving them projects and assignments that challenge them. Investing in your people, just like other assets, will pay off in the long term.

Entrepreneurs need to identify all areas of their business to determine if they have invested wisely in such areas to generate superior returns.

Ravi Patel

www.patelCFOservices.com

Published in: on August 7, 2018 at 4:43 am  Leave a Comment  
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Managing your Time by Doing the Right Things

Think about time management in another way. If you don’t have time to get things done, are you actually doing the Right Things?

Entrepreneurs, especially early in their careers, often have a tendency to not only do everything themselves, but also focus on doing tasks right – whether they are important or not! This isn’t effective use of their time.

The focus for Entrepreneurs should be to define and do the Right Things and delegate the rest. Once you discover and focus on the Right Things, you will probably have more time to do them. Wasting time on things that Entrepreneurs like to do, being perfect on insignificant tasks, or not delegating steals time from more important things to do for your business. Manage time effectively by changing your thinking.

Do the Right Things!

Ravi Patel

http://www.patelCFOservices.com

Small Steps for Success

Nothing wrong with Entrepreneurs thinking big!

Developing a plan to achieve those big dreams and putting it into action is a requirement, among other things, for Entrepreneurial success.

Some Entrepreneurs want immediate success which is unrealistic. Having sustained incremental progress towards your Mission and goals is a more realistic path to success than hoping for overnight results.

While overnight success stories happen from time to time, the odds are very high against it. Entrepreneurs need to focus on making small, sustained steps of progress to achieve realistic milestones. Celebrate those small steps of success!

Consistent effort and making incremental progress on a realistic timeline might be slower that one wants, but that is ultimately what gets you to your goal.

Ravi Patel

www.patelCFOservices.com

Don’t Give Up

Frustration due to obstacles is common for all endeavors. The successful ones are those who don’t give up, keep on going, and overcome obstacles.

Perseverance is defined as the steady persistence in a course of action, a purpose, a state, etc., especially in spite of difficulties, obstacles, or discouragement.

How appropriate that an Entrepreneur possess this quality to be successful? Facing difficulty, obstacles, discouragement, setbacks and even failures are nothing new for Entrepreneurs.

Entrepreneurs who come through even after facing challenges are the ones who have a laser focus on their Mission and can navigate a steady, persistent course without being unduly discouraged. The story about the spider weaving a web despite repeated failures comes to mind.

If you desire to succeed in achieving your Mission, don’t give up but have perseverance! Your people will be inspired and support your efforts.

Ravi Patel

www.patelCFOservices.com

Published in: on July 17, 2018 at 3:30 am  Leave a Comment  

Value of Good Advice

“I never learned from a man who agreed with me.” – Robert A. Heinlein.

Critics might be frustrating to Entrepreneurs and might even get under their skin. However, critics can teach you important lessons. If you listen to people who only agree with you, you are not going to learn something new.

It is always important to weigh different sides of any issue to reach the optimal decision. If everyone around you only promotes one side – your viewpoint – you will never see the other side. Listen to people who don’t agree with you to understand differing opinions. You might even find those perspectives more useful than you own and it could lead to a better decision, product or service. Value such varying perspectives.

It is often better to accept good advice from critics than bad advice from your supporters. Just because someone does not agree with you does not necessarily make them wrong. Similarly, someone who agrees with you is not always right.

Entrepreneurs should accept and value good advice, no matter where it comes from.

Ravi Patel

www.patelCFOservices.com

Published in: on July 10, 2018 at 4:30 am  Leave a Comment  
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Independence for Entrepreneurs

As we are about to celebrate our nation’s Independence Day, a few thoughts on Entrepreneurial Independence.

Entrepreneurs start their own businesses primarily for two reasons. They either believe that they have a better product or service, or they do not want to work for anyone else. The latter is born out of a desire of having their own independence.

As they grow their companies, Entrepreneurs lose their independence because they cannot effectively manage their businesses and/or get into a financial bind. In such cases someone else has to come to lead the company or exercise financial control (through investors or lenders), depriving Entrepreneurs of their independence.

How can Entrepreneurs maintain their independence?

First, understand one’s limitation in managing the business and build an effective management team to adequately complement the Entrepreneur. An enlightened Entrepreneur might even have to hire a CEO or COO to lead the operations of the company while the Entrepreneur focuses on his/her core strengths.

Second, pay attention to the financial strength of the company. Manage the growth and cash flows effectively such that lines of credit and borrowing are sufficient so as not to dilute equity. Even if equity capital needs to be raised, go for it when the value of the company is high enough so that the Entrepreneur can retain the majority stake.

Entrepreneurs can maintain their independence, but they have to work at it.

Ravi Patel

www.patelCFOservices.com

Improve Through Feedback

Entrepreneurs receive comments, criticisms, suggestions and feedback from many different quarters. Whom to listen? What to do?

Entrepreneurs can’t let criticism from outsiders with limited perspective and facts affect them. Critics often make comments without a lot of information or understanding the circumstances behind certain entrepreneurial actions. Such feedback might bother Entrepreneurs but they should accept such with a grain of salt, if not totally ignore it.

However, heed for performance improvement to valid feedback from insiders. Entrepreneurs need to surround themselves with key neutral advisers who are open to providing honest and realistic feedback to Entrepreneurs. Such advisers could be informal friends and business associates, members of a Mastermind Group, key stakeholders or the Board of Directors.

Entrepreneurs should not dismiss all negative feedback, but they should discern what is constructive and what needs to be discarded. Be willing to accept valid feedback and make improvements based on that.

Ravi Patel

www.patelCFOservices.com

Being Sincerely Sorry

Everyone makes mistakes.

What separates Entrepreneurs is that when mistakes are made, genuine leaders offer a sincere apology. How do you accomplish that?

How often have you heard someone say sorry and then add a “but?” In those cases there are all kinds of excuses after the “but.” All these apologies are watered down by offering excuses.

A sincere apology is just that – sincere! When you make a mistake, no matter affecting which stakeholder, just say a sincere sorry without any excuses or reasons. This will be more genuine than trying to explain what happened to cause that mistake.

To be even more effective, you should privately analyze the reasons for the mistake and establish corrective actions to prevent that in the future. This will appear even more sincere to the offended party.

Do the Right Things!

Ravi Patel

http://www.patelCFOservices.com

Published in: on June 19, 2018 at 4:45 am  Leave a Comment  
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Focus on the Present

The past, present and future sometimes all blends together for Entrepreneurs as they try to stay afloat and on course.

For some, the past is a painful memory of struggles, mistakes and even failures. Entrepreneurs must selectively forget the past and only retain useful lessons to prevent the same 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.

Focusing on 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 June 12, 2018 at 4:45 am  Leave a Comment  
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How Do You Generate Revenues?

The cliché that “in order to help a hungry man for the longer term one teaches him how to fish rather than giving him fish” has lessons for Entrepreneurs.

For Entrepreneurs to be successful they should not only focus on increasing revenues, but should more importantly also improve the processes that deliver those revenues.

Entrepreneurs might be able to increase revenues in the short-term by doing it themselves. However, in order for revenues to continue growing for the longer term and through other people, they need to establish and keep on improving the processes that generates such sales.

In order to do so, they first need to understand the processes, improve them as necessary and then ensure they are repeatable with no lapse in quality. Documenting the procedures, training the people and monitoring compliance are necessary to implement robust revenue-generation processes.

Do the Right Things!

Ravi Patel

www.patelCFOservices.com

Published in: on June 5, 2018 at 4:42 am  Leave a Comment  
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