Entrepreneur Resolutions for the New Year

It is the time of the year when we all make resolutions for the New Year. I offer for Entrepreneurs three simple resolutions inspired by a CEO that I worked for.

Hire Good People– Although obvious, it would tremendously benefit Entrepreneurs to always hire good people. Good people are not necessarily ones who have the best technical skills; but are also team players, have relevant experience, sustained loyalty, great work ethic and values, are quick learners and possess tremendous interpersonal and communication skills. Hiring good people will allow the Entrepreneur to “Do the Right Things” as these good people will “Do Things Right” (see my post on Doing the Right Things in November 2008).

Make Money – Again, quite obvious. However, Entrepreneurs need to be creative in developing new ways to increase Revenues and curtail or maintain costs. In essence the goal of your business is to make money. How much money you want to make is totally determined by your Financial Targets.

Have Fun– this is the most important resolution you can make. Having fun while running your business should be the goal of each Entrepreneur. If you have fun, your people will enjoy working with you and making money will be a joyful process.

Wish you all the very best in 2009!

Ravi Patel


Holiday Giving and Sharing

In an earlier post on “Balanced Life for Entrepreneurs” I had mentioned that one of the corners of a balanced life is the communities that you live in and conduct business.

Some Entrepreneurs dedicate a significant amount of time in civic, charitable and community activities. This effort is commendable.

For others, it might make sense to establish some type of focus on giving and sharing. What better time to start than around these holidays. In addition to your individual efforts in this area, you might want to involve your company and employees in community activities. Not only will that inspire your employees, but it will reflect your company’s s desire to share and give in the community that you belong to.

Happy Holidays!

Ravi Patel


Cash Flow Management

I argue that cash flow management is the most critical factor in an Entrepreneur’s ability to successfully grow a business. Yet more often that not, Entrepreneurs react to cash flow problems rather than actively managing this area.

Entrepreneurs need to ask themselves what metrics they are using to monitor cash flow. Are these the appropriate measures? How timely are such metrics?

What type of tools are Entrepreneurs using to manage and more importantly increase the available cash in their business? Are these tools continually refined to make them effective?

Entrepreneurs would be better served to proactively manage their cash flows, or at least monitor this important area if such management is delegated to others in their organization.

We will post specific items on cash flow in future blogs. For more information now, please contact us at www.patelCFOservices.com

Ravi Patel


Entrepreneur-Employee Communications

Entrepreneurs are normally not formal people and often “manage” by walking around their facilities. They stop and talk to employees to find out what is going on. As companies grow, it becomes difficult to maintain this personal level of communications with employees.

Entrepreneurs still need to maintain a closeness to their employees. It might make sense to have a system to do so.

Have you considered having a weekly one-hour round-table with a few employees to discuss company issues and their ideas? The employees should be systematically rotated so everyone gets a chance to communicate with the Entrepreneur/CEO. Entrepreneurs might want to also consider monthly breakfast or lunch meetings with randomly selected employees to make it more informal.

Be creative in reaching out to your employees and maintaining open communications.

For information on Patel CFO services, please review our website at www.patelCFOservices.com

Ravi Patel


Capital Expenditure Reviews

Entrepreneurs are very careful in investing money and have an instinct for capital investments. However, what process is used to justify capital expenditures?

It helps to have a gut feeling about investing money for new businesses, products, processes, real estate, machinery and so on. However, it might be prudent to have a standard, formalized capital expenditures review process.

A process that includes projected capital outlays, cash inflows from the investment, tax impact, and a Net Present Value analysis should be helpful to validate the gut feel. Monitoring the project and a post-audit should help to refine future capital expenditure justifications.

For more info, please contact Patel CFO services at www.patelCFOservices.com

Ravi Patel


Margin Analysis

Entrepreneurs normally focus on financial results as a means of gauging the company’s performance against established targets.

How much deeper is the analysis of the financial results? Do you conduct margin analyses by customer, products line, business unit, geographic region, salesperson, and other appropriate segments for your business?

Margin analysis is a useful financial tool to evaluate your financial results and make appropriate decisions for managing your company better.

For info visit, www.patelCFOservices.com

Ravi Patel


Entrepreneurs and Vacations

While speaking to many Entrepreneurs I often hear them saying that they have not taken a vacation in a while. WhenI probe further, they usually say that they cannot leave the business for the fear that things will fall apart.

It is understandable that when the company is starting out, Entrepreneurs need to stay focused on building the company. But even then taking a break, maybe not a full-fledged vacation, once in a while is necessary to recharge the batteries.

When the company has grown, Entrepreneurs should already be “Doing the Right Things” (see my post on this in November 2008). If so they should trust their people with doing things right. Then there is no reason that an Entrepreneur should feel reluctant to take a vacation.

Entrepreneurs should take vacations to bring balance in their lives and allow their people to grow and do the right things.

For info on Patel CFO Services, please visit www.patelCFOservices.com

Ravi Patel


The Importance and Rewards of Goalsharing

What is Goalsharing?

It is a process whereby the objectives of the company are synchronized with the individual employee goals such that in completing the personal goals, the employee is actually also contributing to achieving the company’s objectives.

Why is it important? It creates a team of committed employees all working towards the same objectives. It also creates a congruency between all employee and organization goals, rather than everyone doing their own thing.

Entrepreneurs might want to check out the full article at Patel CFO Services (www.patelCFOservices.com).

Ravi Patel


In Lieu of Layoffs

With the downturn in the economy, Entrepreneurs are facing tough choices while reducing costs and expenses. Many are contemplating layoffs for some of their employees.

There are creative ways to reduce labor costs without having to layoff key, experienced people. Entrepreneurs should consider other options in lieu of layoffs.

For more info, please contact us at www.patelCFOservices.com

Ravi Patel


Electronic Payments

Are you paying your suppliers and service providers by a paper check? Have you calculated the cost of processing a paper check, including the cost of the check, bank charges, envelops, mailing, and processing and check signing labor? You might be surprised to find out the real cost of issuing a paper check.

Have you considered other options? Payments via electronic means, generally ACH, are the most cost effective method of disbursements in today’s banking system. If employees’ paychecks are deposited directly into their bank accounts, why not remittances of suppliers and service providers ?

For more info on Patel CFO Services, please visit www.patelCFOservices.com

Ravi Patel