Do You Know the Key Drivers of your Business?

When I visited a medical device company, I was pleasantly surprised to see, in the conference room, framed posters depicting the company’s key drivers. It was very clear to ascertain the company’s focus on quality, people, financial commitment and so on. I am sure that the company has communicated to their employees these drivers and also displayed the posters in prominent work areas.

Entrepreneurs should think about developing, in addition to the Vision and Mission, key drivers in various areas of the company and communicating them to their employees. Building a company culture starts with educating the employees on and then continually reinforcing the focus towards these key drivers.

Do the Right Things!

Ravi Patel

Published in: on September 30, 2014 at 3:54 am  Leave a Comment  
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Leadership Under Pressure

Entrepreneurs and leaders often face stressful and chaotic situations. Do you keep your cool demeanor in these circumstances? Or not?

Have you watched firefighters, policemen or even bomb diffusers operate in high-stress situations? Their ability to act calmly reassures everyone around them not to panic.

Similarly, leaders who stay calm and keep their cool under chaotic business situations inspire confidence in their employees. Instead of panicking, they all tend to follow their leader and behave productively to resolve the issues. If the leaders lose their cool, who can blame the employees for doing so too?

Great leadership inspires people to do phenomenal things. Calm and cool leadership in volatile situations prevents their followers from panicking or performing irrational acts or even worse inciting riots.

Be a cool leader!

Ravi Patel

Published in: on September 23, 2014 at 4:30 am  Leave a Comment  
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Have you Established a Leadership Team?

Entrepreneurs do not have the benefit of an experienced, professional, and cohesive senior leadership team when they start and grow their companies. In order to expand the company and be successful in the long term, Entrepreneurs must build a capable leadership team.

A proper blend of in-house, on-the-job trained leaders complemented by key, experienced outside professionals (hired over a period), provide the Entrepreneurs the most cost-effective team. Identifying in-house managers and training them to be leaders should be the Entrepreneur’s focus once day-to-day operations have been delegated. Assessing the gaps in leadership, determining the management needs and recruiting appropriate outside leaders becomes the next step.

Having a leadership team in place is not enough. Entrepreneurs continually need to develop teamwork and cohesion to make the executives more effective for the long term. Entrepreneurs should find ways to train, motivate and reward the leadership team in a way that facilitates a group that can successfully grow the company, and allow the Founder/Entrepreneur to pursue other ventures.

Ravi Patel

Published in: on September 16, 2014 at 3:58 am  Leave a Comment  
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Should You Let People Go?

Is firing people wrong? Depending on the circumstances firing a person or a group of employees might be necessary for an Entrepreneur.

A continually poor performer in any enterprise becomes a liability to the other team members and the organization. If there is no change in the employee’s performance after repeated attempts to improve it, it would be wise to part company. Similarly if a third-party service provider does not consistently provide excellent service there is cause for firing that provider.

In a broader sense, for the survival of a company and a majority of its employees if a few employees have to be let go (after all other options have been exhausted), it is most often the right thing to do. As Spock used to say in Star Trek, “.. for the survival of the many, a few have to suffer.”

Firing people for spite, revenge, uneconomic, or irrational reasons is never appropriate, but letting go of people for the right rationale is not necessarily wrong.

Ravi Patel

Do You Know Your Business Model?

How well do you know your business model? As an Entrepreneur have you thought about this question?

One has a successful company as the end result of having a consistently well-functioning business model. An Entrepreneur needs to know exactly how his/her business model works.

What are the key Revenue drivers? Is there a competitive advantage? Are there any barriers to entry? Do you have proprietary technology?

What are the key cost components? Are they well controllable? What costs are fixed and which ones are variable? Is your model labor sensitive or capital-intensive?

What are the other variables that have a significant influence on your model? Distribution? Customer service? Rapid response times?

An entrepreneur has to not only to know answers to the above questions and more, but more importantly he/she needs to determine the sensitivity of each of the components to the whole model. What are the few variables, that have a tremendous impact on the model, if tweaked even slightly could make the model better?

Only when you can fully understand your business model, you can make it better! Do the Right Things!

Ravi Patel

Published in: on September 3, 2014 at 3:34 am  Leave a Comment  
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