Be Thankful!

Entrepreneurs have a lot to be grateful for. First and foremost are our country and the free market system that allows 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.

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

Effectiveness of your Accounting Department

Entrepreneurs need to periodically assess the effectiveness of their Accounting Department.

The most obvious criteria is whether Entrepreneurs consistently receive monthly statements on a timely basis and if they are accurate. However, past data is merely a reflection of what happened, but does it help you to make better decisions?

An effective Accounting Department is one that moves from just preparing financial statements to analyzing and meaningfully reporting on the data to help Entrepreneurs monitor trends and make optimal decisions.

In addition, Accounting should be closely involved in preparing budgets and financial projections and measuring and reporting on actual versus planned results.

Entrepreneurs, have your Accounting Department become your decision-making support team rather than just “bean counting.”

Ravi Patel

Flying an Entrepreneurial Company

A business associate recently commented that pilots have unique skills that could be useful for managing companies or projects. How can that be applied to entrepreneurial companies?

Pilots when flying at 30,000 feet have a macro view of their surroundings in relation to their aircraft. While having this unique perspective, pilots also pay attention to the micro details, tasks and checklists to ensure that the plane takes off, flys and lands safely and at the correct destination.

Entrepreneurs could definitely use such skills for “flying” their organizations. Having the macro vision is essential in flying the company to its final destination. At the same time it is also necessary to be aware of the details to ensure that company is on course and at the right speed to reach and land on schedule at its destination.

Entreprenuers, capably “piloting” their organizations, is something to relate to!

Perfect Symphony

Leading a successful company is like conducting a symphony. Entrepreneurs can learn some lessons from great conductors.

An enchanting performance by a symphony involves perfect teamwork. A great symphony involves accomplished musicians playing their specialty instruments at a world-class level, while the conductor guides them on a common score with tempo to produce melodious music.

A great company should have experienced and qualified functional leaders guided by a CEO who leads them to the accomplishment of a vision around a well-defined mission. The Entrepreneur/CEO is like a conductor leading the orchestra by gently waving the proverbial baton.

Like a wonderful musical performance, achieving significant milestones towards a vision can be thing of beauty.

Ravi Patel

Developing Second Line Leadership

Entrepreneurs often complain that they work too hard. Upon further questioning, it becomes evident that they spend too much time on the detailed tasks and functions of their organizations.

Is that what they should be doing?

Entrepreneurs need to focus on developing the second line leaders for their companies so that they may concentrate on achieving their vision. It is also important to do so to provide leadership in the event that as CEO, Entrepreneurs are either incapacitated or are working on other ventures.

Do the Right Things!

Ravi Patel

Year-end Tax Planning

Do you wait until February or early March to do your taxes? You might want to rethink that strategy.

Entrepreneurs should meet with their tax accountants now to plan for tax issues and solutions before the year ends. Proper planning might save you significant amount in taxes or at least postpone them into the future thereby conserving cash.

Entrepreneurs, take some time now and meet with you tax advisor.

Ravi Patel


Reducing Medical Benefit Costs

Entrepreneurs should always be looking at cost-effective ways of providing medical benefits to employees.

A simple way is to increase the office co-pay amounts on your medical plan and create a self-insured “reimbursement pool” for employees. The savings on monthly premiums might more than offset the reimbursement amounts.

Talk to your insurance broker. Do the Right Things!

Ravi Patel