Using Technology to Enhance Productivity

In the current economic climate many Entrepreneurs focus on cutting costs. While this is an important objective for survival, you might also want to include productivity enhancement as a goal. Doing more with less people also helps your overall goal to increase profitability.

Technology plays a useful role in providing tools to increase productivity. If you have a strong manual process to accomplish tasks, it may be a candidate for using technology to increase productivity.

In an earlier post I had discussed business process reviews for continuous improvement. Technology can not only improve the quality of your process, but also the efficiency and thereby the productivity of the business process.

Incorporating technology wisely and economically can increase productivity and quality of your operations.

For more info, please contact us at Patel CFO services at

Ravi Patel

Entreprenuers and “Lobbying”

The political climate in recent years has made “lobbying” a dirty word. While the ugly side of lobbying is well known, the true intent behind lobbying needs to be better understood.

Entrepreneurs have a lot of control over their businesses. However, the external environment they operate in is not always under their influence. That does not mean that Entrepreneurs are helpless.

Entrepreneurs need to band together with their common interest groups, such as their industry or local community, to make their concerns and issues known to external decision-makers. Entrepreneurs can exercise their collective influence to make persuasive arguments for specific courses of action beneficial to their industry or local community.

Are you taking leadership roles in your industry or community organizations to influence or “lobby” for your common cause? If not, why don’t you?

Ravi Patel

Business Process Reviews

Do you know the key business processes in your company? What are you doing to monitor the performance in these processes? Do you have systems to review these key business processes periodically and improve them?

As Entrepreneurs grow their companies, the emphasis should not only be on generating revenues, but it should also include improving the processes that deliver those revenues.

Total Quality Management emphasizes documenting your critical business processes; developing key metrics; measuring and posting these metrics; and continually improving the processes.

Entrepreneurs will then benefit from the enhanced quality and efficiency  of their business processes.

For help in this area, please contact us at Patel CFO Services (

Ravi Patel

Invest in your People

Entrepreneurs are risk takers. They take business risks and make investments in technology, assets and ideas. More often than not such investment risks pay off.

I suggest that Entrepreneurs take similar investment risks 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 and allow you to “Do the Right Things.”

For more info please contact Patel CFO services at

Ravi Patel

Sharing Savings from Improvements

Do you encourage employees to suggest improvements? Most often employees are closest to the business processes that they are working on; thus, they are in a great position to notice issues and recommend and implement improvements.

Entrepreneurs would be best served to implement some form of a continuous improvement program in their companies and have a culture of  “Doing Things Better.”

In order for the program to continually provide improvements throughout the company, Entrepreneurs should devise a system to share the rewards from improvements. The rewards should be meaningful and definitely motivational.

Experience has shown that involving employees in coming up with improvements; empowering them to implement the enhancements; monitoring the results; and sharing in the rewards is a blueprint for success.

If you need more information, please contact Patel CFO services at

Ravi Patel

Time versus Productive Effort

I often hear Entrepreneurs talk about how many hours they work at their businesses. They are fixated on the notion that working long hours translates to success. Most often this is not true.

How productive you are is the determinant of success, not necessarily working long hours. Of course, one needs to put in the effort to succeed. However, make sure that the focus is on “Doing the Right Things,” not doing too many things.

The working longer syndrome sometimes is also transferred to the Entrepreneur’s employees. Entrepreneurs sometimes have a tendency to judge employees on how long they work. I would suggest that the focus should be on what the employees accomplish and how productive they are.

Stress time management and productive effort to enhance performance!

Ravi Patel

Applying the 80/20 Rule to Cutting Costs

Cost reduction and containment are of prime importance in this economy. Even without the downturn in the economy, rationalizing and optimizing your costs and expenses should be an ongoing focus of Entrepreneurs.

How do you go about cutting costs? Do you randomly select areas to focus on and start reviewing items to cut?

I suggest that you might want to apply the 80/20 rule to cost reduction. Focus on 20 percent of your cost categories that account for 80 percent of your dollars spent. Start with the most significant dollar-weighted category and move down the list.

This should allow you to get the optimum results. Starting and spending too much time on low-dollar cost areas will not provide you enough returns on time spent.

With apologies for revising  an old saying, I suggest “Be Pound Wise and Penny Foolish.”

For more info, please contact Patel CFO Services at

Ravi Patel

Developing Other Interests

I have previously alluded to balance in the life of Entrepreneurs (please see post in November 2008).  One of the corners of this balance is investing in yourself.

To live a balanced life one needs to take care of their family, business (of course) and also contribute to the community. However, you cannot neglect yourself.

Entrepreneurs need to take care of their health, fitness and also stimulate their minds in pursuits other than business. It is critical to develop other interests in life to provide balance. For example, I have pursued photography, collecting antique beer steins and learning a musical instrument.

Developing other intrests allows you to not only achieve a balance in your life, but also prevents burnout from focusing only in one direction.

Since 2009 is just starting, this might be a time to have a new resolution!

Ravi Patel