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.

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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Working Hand in Hand

Leaders lead from being in front of their people – not only in their thinking but also sometimes physically.

However, if Entrepreneurs are always ahead of their people, they might not follow. This could be for many reasons. Entrepreneurs might not have fully convinced employees of the reason for the task at hand; they might have previously seen you in action and are hesitant; or they don’t fully know you yet as they have not seen how you work.

Entrepreneurs might want to lead their people by being and  working side by side with their employees to mitigate these reasons..

Leadership by example can only happen if you are willing to roll up your sleeves and work with your employees in doing tasks that are necessary. That means physically working besides your people rather than isolating yourself.

Leadership does not always mean that you decide and your people follow. Work with your people to tackle issues and develop with them solutions that need to be implemented. Think with them by involving employees in the process.

Situational leadership demands different styles – leading from beside your people is one of them.

Ravi Patel

http://www.patelCFOservices.com

Perseverance is Neccessary

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. Frustration due to obstacles is common for all endeavors. The successful Entrepreneurs are those who keep on going and overcome obstacles.

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, have perseverance! Your people will be inspired and support your efforts.

Ravi Patel

www.patelCFOservices.com

Published in: on November 28, 2017 at 4:36 am  Leave a Comment  
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Be Thankful!

Entrepreneurs have a lot to be thankful for!

First and foremost are our country and the free market system that allow Entrepreneurs the opportunity to create and grow businesses and prosper.

Employees are the backbone of companies and Entrepreneurs should be thankful for the dedication, loyalty and hard work put forth by their people to make businesses successful.

No business can sustain itself without customers and clients. Be thankful to your sources of revenue for putting their trust in you to provide services and products.

Entrepreneurs should also appreciate their suppliers and service providers who continue to supply essential goods and services to sustain their businesses.

Shareholders and financiers who have invested in your abilities to grow the business and provide a return on their capital should be high on the list of people to whom Entrepreneurs are grateful.

Do not forget to appreciate your gratitude to your business advisors who provide a sounding board for you to share ideas and seek advice.

Lastly, the community that you operate your businesses in should be appreciated also.

So on this Thanksgiving, I encourage Entrepreneurs to express their gratitude to the above stakeholders in your companies.

Ravi Patel

www.patelCFOservices.com

Published in: on November 21, 2017 at 4:43 am  Leave a Comment  
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How to Make the Right Decision?

Being faced with hundreds of decisions, how do Entrepreneurs go about making the right ones?

Generally ideal decisions are made with facts, experience, skills and other people’s input gained over time. Sometimes one’s gut or instinct plays an important role too.

Irrespective of how Entrepreneurs arrive at it, the perceived popularity of their choice must never be a factor in the decision-making process. Do what is right, not what is popular!

Right and wrong does not depend upon how many people are for or against a decision. Entrepreneurial leadership is not a popularity contest, but rather leading people the right way towards fulfilling a common Mission. Popularity comes and goes, but true leadership remains.

Entrepreneurs must have the courage to make the right decisions.

Ravi Patel

www.patelCFOservices.com

Published in: on November 14, 2017 at 4:53 am  Leave a Comment  
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Be Credible

Talking a great game is easy for a lot of people. They convince others that they are successful even though they might not have done anything. Are they credible?

Entrepreneurs should learn from such people how not to conduct themselves.

Whenever speaking about your product, capabilities and skills, be confident and assertive yet understated. Don’t oversell yourself. In any case, don’t lie.

Let your actions speak loudly. Be exceptional in delivering results and let that do the talking for you. People who need to will be more impressed with your results rather than your promises.

Be understated in your talk, but exceptional in your actions to build credibility!

Ravi Patel

http://www.patelCFOservices.com

Published in: on November 7, 2017 at 4:34 am  Leave a Comment  
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Are People Listening?

Do people appear to be hearing you intently, but end up doing something quite contrary or not exactly in line with what you were asking them to do? In all these situations, people are indeed hearing you, but not listening. There is a significant distinction.

The other day I was in a restaurant and asked the waitress for a glass of water without ice. She did bring me the glass of water, but with ice. She heard me say water, but did not listen completely for it to register that I did not want ice.

Entrepreneurs should be aware that what they ask their people may be heard by them, but they might not be listening completely to follow the request correctly. What should Entrepreneurs do? Develop a routine to ask their people to repeat or paraphrase what is being requested of them, especially for significant issues. This allows the Entrepreneur to confirm that the listening process was correct and complete.

Entrepreneurs too should be mindful that they listen to their employees completely and do not fall into the trap of perfunctory hearing. Effective communication is a two-way street!

Ravi Patel

http://www.patelcfoservices.com

Don’t Stress Over Control

New Entrepreneurs like to maintain control.

However, understanding and managing their sphere of “control” and not stressing out over it is crucial in growing their businesses.

When Entrepreneurs start their businesses, they prefer to have total control over everything that goes on in their organization. All decisions must be made by them and nothing can be done without their say so.

As the business grows, the Entrepreneur is reluctantly forced to give up some control and delegate tasks to others. He or she still wants to know what happened. When successful, the Entrepreneur has to transfer responsibilities to a secondary level of leadership. In that stage he or she cannot keep track of all details.

At every stage of the growth of the company, the Entrepreneur reduces his/her sphere of direct control. This is very difficult for most Entrepreneurs, especially in the first business venture.

Building a stong secondary leadership team, guiding and mentoring the team, and periodically monitoring their accomplishments towards specific objectives and the overall Mission will reduce the anxiety of the Entrepreneur. If the Entrepreneur cannot learn to reduce his/her sphere of control, it will create stress that might be detrimental.

When things fall outside your sphere of direct control (to lower levels of the organization), resist the temptation to wrest such control or stress about it. Focus on the bigger picture and Mission.

Ravi Patel

www.patelCFOservices.com

Published in: on October 10, 2017 at 4:10 am  Leave a Comment  
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Reducing Employee Turnover

An entrepreneurial company must hire good employees to grow the business.

But, hiring good employees is not enough – lowering your turnover rate for such employees is even more important. What are you doing to decrease your turnover rate for good employees?

Hiring good employees is merely the first step. Giving them an effective orientation and training them continually to improve their skills and abilities is also required.

Reducing the employee turnover rate requires creating an environment where your employees can align themselves with the culture and feel comfortable and stimulated to contribute.

Motivating them with financial rewards commensurate with performance is necessary, but you also need to provide a challenging platform for them to contribute significantly and feel a sense of satisfaction.

Find creative ways to retain your good employees – it is not only an asset for your organization but also will also reduce employee turnover costs.

Ravi Patel

http://www.patelCFOservices.com

Published in: on October 3, 2017 at 4:26 am  Leave a Comment  
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Knowing Your Weaknesses

As Clint Eastwood famously remarked in one of his movies, “… a man has to know his limitations,” should you know the weaknesses in your business?

The obvious answer is “yes.” More importantly, how do you find out your weaknesses?

Entrepreneurs can do honest assessments and perform an in-depth, critical reviews. They could involve the management team in this process and have them openly, without fear of recrimination, list each area of weakness in the business. Have each manager of a functional area review not only his/her own area, but also other functions in the company.

Entrepreneurs can also solicit frank feedback from the Board of Directors and mentors regarding the areas that need improvement. Such feedback is more likely to be objective depending upon their relationship with the Entrepreneurs.

The truest assessment of your weaknesses will come from competitors if you can obtain such information. Competitors analyze the business of their rivals very carefully to develop strategies to compete not only against their strengths but also to exploit their weaknesses. If you can find a way to gain analysis of your weaknesses performed by your competitors, it would be very useful in your strategic planning process.

Something to ponder ….

Ravi Patel

http://www.PatelCFOServices.com

Published in: on September 26, 2017 at 4:55 am  Leave a Comment  
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Have a Playbook

With the football season is in full swing, it is impossible to miss the coaches on the sidelines with a color-coded sheet of possible plays to be called for that game. The head coach with all the assistant coaches spend hours prior to the game analyzing their competitor’s game, strengths and weaknesses, strategies and so on and blend it with their own team’s core competencies to create a game-plan for winning. Disciplined coaches with a good playbook are generally winners.

Entrepreneurs, do you have similar “playbook” for major strategic actions to be used against, in or with competitors, marketplace, economy, opportunities, employees and so on? Have you worked with your key leadership team to develop such a playbook?

Winning on the field, analogous to the marketplace, requires a lot of planning, analysis, strategizing to come up with the ideal game-plan for success. A playbook for winning a football game is similar to one required for succeeding in business.

Create a playbook for your business and ensure that you call the right play for the situation. Do the Right Things!

Ravi Patel

http://www.PatelCFOServices.com