Taking Inventory

While taking physical inventory at year-end is familiar for Entrepreneurs with businesses that deal in goods, there is something else to ponder.

Have you ever considered taking an inventory of your “business” at year-end?

What are your really valuable “assets” (not in the accounting sense) and what is the balance that you are carrying at year-end? You might want to prepare a list of such “assets” for assessing where you are, determining what you need to grow such assets, and monitoring progress throughout the year.

An Entrepreneur might consider certain goods and services, pertinent technology, engaged and high-performing employees, key clients, reliable suppliers, valuable advisors, and so on as core “assets” to run a successful business.

Taking inventory of these assets at year-end, and planning on how to increase them in the coming year could be a key component of your annual plan. Measuring your assets at the end of the next year would determine your performance in this area.

Do the Right Things!

Ravi Patel


Spirit of Thanksgiving

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


Published in: on November 22, 2010 at 5:46 am  Leave a Comment  
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Broad versus Niche Market Strategy

Entrepreneurs start with a great idea and build a company to commercialize that. When the going gets tough they attempt to add new products and services to meet cash flow needs. If they try to do that consistently, they end up having a market strategy that caters to a broad market. Is this always good?

Walking into or driving through In-N-Out Burger, one can marvel at their simple model. They focus on a few items in their menu and do a great job of delivering quality to their clients. It is no wonder there are long lines for their offerings. This is a great example of adopting a niche market strategy.

Entrepreneurs need to seriously review their vision and mission to determine what is the most appropriate market strategy for them. Is it better to offer product/services to a broad or niche market?

If one can target a niche market and serve it very well, it offers a competitive advantage that might be beneficial in terms of premium pricing. If you are cost-effective in your offerings, you might be able to compete well with a broader market strategy.

Do the Right Things!

Ravi Patel


Thinking Outside the Box

Entrepreneurs start businesses because they have new, innovative ideas as a result of “thinking outside the box.” They identify underserved niches in the marketplace and find unique ways to fulfill unmet or unrecognized needs.

Do Entrepreneurs, once they start and grow the business, foster the culture of “Thinking Outside the Box” in their employees?

The reason for the Entrepreneur’s original initiative due to creative thinking is also applicable to his/her organization. If the culture of the company is one of innovation and finding unique ways of doing things better and faster, it will promote not only continued success for the company but also tremendous job satisfaction for the employees.

Entrepreneurs should be careful not to create a control-oriented impression that “Thinking Outside the Box” is only meant for them. It gives a feeling of “Do what I say, not what I do.”

Empower your employees and let them come up with creative ways to perform their jobs better and improve processes in the company. Entrepreneurs for this employee performance management philosophy should also think outside the box !

Ravi Patel