Thoughts for Entrepreneurs

A few management thoughts from past experiences:

  • Avoid overreacting to situations where there is employee dissatisfaction, customer or vendor complaints. Calmly analyze the situation before taking appropriate corrective action, instead of taking hasty actions due to external pressure
  • If you need to make a statement or convey a message regarding any irregularities in your company, do it for significant issues not trivial ones. If you mostly emphasize minor matters, your employees are going to dismiss such gestures.
  • Do not focus on the minor issues in managing your companies; focus on the larger or macro issues for greater impact. Let your management team manage the details.
  • If you do have a serious situation, do not create a smokescreen and divert attention away from it to hide the real problem. Be honest and you might be surprised at the support you get.
  • Be sensitive to the message that you send with your actions. If you are being austere or are having cost reduction programs, do not have bonuses or spending that is contrary to the current environment in your company. Having incentives is not inappropriate, but make sure that they are related to the right objectives and are perceived positively.

Things to ponder as you manage your companies …

Ravi Patel

Published in: on April 26, 2016 at 4:05 am  Leave a Comment  
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Testing the Market

Entrepreneurs definitely have ideas, but then they tend to forge ahead on product or service development at full speed. Is this always a wise course of action? Bias for action is a great attitude, but it needs to tempered with reality.

Testing the market by obtaining validation from potential customers or users before proceeding too far down the path of product or service development is a wiser first step.

It is ultimately the customer that will decide to accept the product or service regardless of how brilliant the idea . If the customer does not buy the product or service, there is no long-term commercial value in the idea. Asking potential users about the idea and its potential features is a great way to test the market and validate the idea’s further development. Customers might even have thoughts and features that the Entrepreneur might not have considered.

There is always the argument that for a revolutionary idea the potential customer might not even be aware of the need, and it is the task of the developer to educate the users. There is merit in this argument; however, it doesn’t hurt to obtain some initial validation of the feasibility of the idea from potential customers.

A solid product or service development process should require some form of meaningful testing of the market by obtaining validation from potential users prior to going too far down the path of detailed design. Do the Right Things!

Ravi Patel

Avoiding Problems

Albert Einstein said “A clever person solves a problem. A wise person avoids it.”

Should Entrepreneurs be clever or wise? Unexpected problems come up in any venture and one needs to be clever to solve these issues on a timely basis.

But, if you could create a business culture that avoids problems or prevents them before they surface it would be wiser. How do you do that?

In any functional area of your business, strong business processes are required. If such processes provide triggers to flag potential problems, it is possible to avoid a taxing situation later.

A simple example – if you anticipate that you can not meet a customer’s delivery requirement after the order has long been placed, avoid a problem later by informing the customer well ahead of the delivery date and work jointly to create an alternative solution. Similarly, if there is an employment situation that could result in potential litigation, do not sit on it. Identify the possibility of such situations and create systems to resolve them before they become serious problems.

Avoiding problems would be more cost-effective for Entrepreneurs than solving them. Do the Right Things!

Ravi Patel

Entrepreneurs Need to Keep An Open Mind

Similar to a parachute, a mind only works when open. When Entrepreneurs are learning new things it definitely requires an open mind.

Entrepreneurs do not know it all. The ones wanting to be successful always keep on learning or find people who know more than they do. Accepting new ideas through self learning or from others requires willingness to accept thoughts different from yours.

If one makes up his/her mind and refuses to entertain other ideas, learning is not possible. Moreover, the person might be viewing issues from a single perspective, his/hers only, eliminating the possibility of a well-informed decision or conclusion.

Entrepreneurs need to set their ego aside and seek and be open to advice from others. Keep an open mind to learn more and to be more effective in making decisions.

Ravi Patel

Published in: on April 5, 2016 at 3:42 am  Leave a Comment  
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