Listen to Others

Entrepreneurs have great ideas and start companies to commercialize their potential. In addition to product and service innovations, Entrepreneurs often have strong ideas on how to run their business and manage people.

It might behoove Entrepreneurs listen to ideas and wisdom from others to become even more successful.

An Entrepreneur’s key stakeholders – employees, investors, clients, vendors, bankers, lawyers, accountants and so on – are all great sources for wonderful ideas for improvement. Don’t get hung up on being right or having the “not invented here” syndrome. Open your mind to accepting input from others and implementing suggestions that might not be your own creation.

Do the Right Things – listen to others!

Ravi Patel

A Financial Vision Statement

Entrepreneurs are aware of the need for realistic Vision and well-defined Mission statements for their businesses. Vision and Mission statements are generally broad in nature and can encompass more than financial objectives.

Entrepreneurs might want to consider developing a specific, long-term Financial Vision statement to have clear objectives on their financial goals. Such a Financial Vision should be time-related and include realistic targets and interim milestones related to areas such as but not limited to:

  • Revenues
  • Gross Margin
  • Company Valuation
  • Exit Strategy

Actual progress towards these objectives should be measured periodically and performance strategies could be modified to ensure that the company is moving along the path to achieving these targets.

While your Vision and Mission should be broadly shared with your stakeholders, the Financial Vision could be kept confidential to limited few so as not to detract from the main focus.

Ravi Patel

Being First to Market

In the competitive world of technology, being first to market is a worthy leadership objective. Getting an early lead on competition is most often well rewarded and could lead to Entrepreneurial success.

Is being first to market something that Entrepreneurs should always strive for? Absolutely, but first ensure that your product or service is working properly and fairly reliable.

While waiting for perfection before launching your product or service is utopian, it is not a valid competitive strategy. Fulfilling a market need on a timely basis is optimal.

However, in rushing to the market merely to be first to fulfill a need could be disastrous if your product or service is not yet fully ready. One might be first to market, but the negative reputation from an unreliable, not fully tested  product or service is definitely more harmful.

Entrepreneurs would be well served to aim for launching a new product or service first, but only after fully ensuring that their credibility is not jeopardized due to a premature introduction. Test your product/service and be comfortable with its function and reliability before you go to market. You might not get a second chance or it might be too costly!

Ravi Patel


A Strong Foundation For Growth

Watching a tree sway with the gusty Santa Ana winds creates a business analogy in my mind.

In order to survive the strong winds, a tall, growing tree needs to have a strong foundation (deep roots) combined with the flexibility to sway with the gusts instead of being rigid.

Similarly an Entrepreneur needs to build a solid foundation to combat competition, market and regulatory forces and an uncertain economic environment. Without a solid foundation a business might not be able to grow significantly. It would be akin to building a castle on sand.

What are some of the key ingredients to build a strong foundation? It starts with a system to deliver quality products and services repeatedly and consistently. In order to do that one needs a competent and dedicated team of employees and management utilizing robust business processes and procedures. A superior customer service mentality coupled with continuous innovation and improvement adds to the mix.

Just as a tree cannot remain rigid to survive gusty winds, a company must be nimble and flexible to adapt to the changing environment and customer needs to grow the business.

With such a foundation and flexibility not only survival but also significant growth is possible. Have you built a solid foundation for growth?

Ravi Patel