Rapid Growth Isn’t For Everyone

Entrepreneurs are mostly focused on growing their companies and would like nothing more than rapid growth. However, is rapid growth good for all Entrepreneurs? Not necessarily.

Being ready for and managing rapid growth requires tremendous preparation and infrastructure. In addition to unique product and services and a solid management team, items such as adequate facilities, reliable IT infrastructure, communication systems, developed business processes, working capital lines of credit, access to growth capital, a group of professional advisers (lawyers, accountants, etc.), an industry advisory group or Board, and so on must be in place.

Most Entrepreneurs have a few of these things in place as they expand, but reach a crisis point when certain required elements are not readily available or in place.

While rapid growth is desirable, Entrepreneurs must ensure that they have in place the requirements to manage such growth . Otherwise, rapid growth might not be good for them.

Ravi Patel

www.patelcfoservices.com

Published in: on August 15, 2017 at 3:56 am  Leave a Comment  
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Developing a Management Team

Without having the benefit of an experienced, professional, and cohesive senior management team when they start and grow their companies, Entrepreneurs in order to expand and be successful in the long term must build a capable management team.

Blending 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 personnel and training them to be managers 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 management 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 management 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

http://www.patelCFOservices.com

Taking Care of Employees First

“Charity begins at home” means that you should take care of family and people close to you before you worry about helping others.

Does this apply to Entrepreneurs and business?

Most Entrepreneurs and small business owners have a desire to be generous to causes they believe in. That is after all giving back to the community they work and live in.

However, it is important to first take care of matters close to business and then outside. This entails making sure you first address the well-being of your employees. Ensure that your employees are compensated commensurate with their performance, have comprehensive benefits, opportunity to learn and develop their skills,  and well-defined path for advancement.

Giving to charity and noble causes is great, but if you don’t take care of your employees first you might not be paying homage to the “charity begins at home” philosophy.

If you help others without first taking care of your employees, it might be at the latter’s expense and they might resent that. On the other hand, if you take care of your employees first, they might be motivated to join in and participate and contribute to your charitable causes.

Something to think about!

Ravi Patel

www.patelCFOservices.com

Published in: on August 1, 2017 at 4:40 am  Leave a Comment  
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Determination

A quality that is essential for Entrepreneurs is determination – firm or fixed intention to achieve a desired end.

How appropriate that an Entrepreneur possess this quality to be successful. Facing difficulty, obstacles, discouragement, setbacks and even failures are nothing new for Entrepreneurs.

Entrepreneurs who come through even after facing challenges are the ones who have a laser focus on their Mission and can navigate a steady, persistent course without being unduly discouraged. The story about the spider weaving a web despite repeated failures comes to mind.

If you desire to succeed in achieving your Vision and Mission, have determination!

Ravi Patel

www.patelCFOservices.com

Published in: on July 25, 2017 at 4:38 am  Leave a Comment  
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Seeing What People Could Be

“A good coach will make his players see what they can be rather than what they are.” – Ara Parasheghian.

Like good coaches, Entrepreneurs have to find the potential in their people. When hiring, don’t merely evaluate the current skills and experience of the applicant. Rather, determine what the person can become with proper coaching and training.

Given the right coaching, raw talent can be molded to perform at exceptional levels in any organization. The problem for Entrepreneurs is that they mostly focus on short-term needs and do not have a long-term vision for human resource acquisition and management.

When a sculptor views a stone, he/she is evaluating whether it could be transformed into a thing of beauty. Similarly a land developer sees beyond the empty expanse of land and has a vision of what a housing community or golf course it could become.

Entrepreneurial leaders have a great vision of what their idea or product could become. They need to use a similar vision towards their people and see their potential rather than what they are right now.

Do the Right Things!

Ravi Patel

www.patelCFOservices.com

Published in: on July 18, 2017 at 4:35 am  Leave a Comment  
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Facing Facts

Facts can be cruel. They could pour cold water over an Entrepreneur’s vision and path to imagined success. Entrepreneurs, especially hard-headed ones without wise counsel, forge ahead regardless of reality.

One might not like the facts but can’t ignore them!

It would be unwise for Entrepreneurs to ignore facts. Facts present a true portrayal of the situation and not taking them into account in your action plans could be critical. Entrepreneurs sometimes have a vision fixed in their mind and if anything detracts from that scenario, they tend to discount it if not completely ignore it.

Use facts to bolster your plans. Facts rather than assumptions build a robust case for you . It is not wrong to make reasonable, calculated assumptions when facts are not available. If the available facts don’t fit your case, it would be devastating to ignore them and use your assumptions.

Use facts, and if they pose a challenge to your plans build in options to address such situations. That would a wiser course of action than ignoring the facts altogether.

Ravi Patel

http://www.patelCFOservices.com

Published in: on July 11, 2017 at 4:17 am  Leave a Comment  
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Maintain Independence

After celebrating our nation’s Independence Day yesterday, a few thoughts on how Entrepreneurs could maintain their independence.

Entrepreneurs start their own businesses because they believe that they have a better product or service, or they do not want to work for anyone else. The latter is born out of a desire of having their own independence.

As they grow their companies, Entrepreneurs lose their independence because they cannot effectively manage their businesses and/or get into a financial bind. In such cases someone else has to come to lead the company or exercise financial control (through investors or lenders), depriving Entrepreneurs of their independence.

How can Entrepreneurs retain their independence?

First, understand one’s limitation in managing the business and build an effective management team to adequately complement the Entrepreneur. An enlightened Entrepreneur might even have to hire a CEO or COO to lead the operations of the company while the Entrepreneur focuses on his/her core strengths.

Second, pay attention to the financial strength of the company. Manage the growth and cash flows effectively such that lines of credit and borrowing are sufficient so as not to dilute equity. Even if equity capital needs to be raised, go for it when the value of the company is high enough so that the Entrepreneur can retain the majority stake.

Entrepreneurs can maintain their independence, but they have to work at it.

Ravi Patel

www.patelCFOservices.com

Published in: on July 5, 2017 at 4:18 am  Leave a Comment  
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Resisting Temptation to Blame Others

Don’t find fault, find a remedy – Henry Ford . Entrepreneurs could learn a lot from this statement.

In a blame-rich rather than solution-oriented culture, leaders (mostly political) often seek out whom to accuse of problems rather than finding solutions. This sometimes extends to poorly run companies with unhealthy culture and negative management practices.

In reality, it should be acceptable for leaders to hold people accountable for their performance. However, it is not wise to continually blame others for problems. Entrepreneurs have to take responsibility for the issues facing their business and teach their managers to do the same.

More importantly, blaming others or even accepting responsibility does not solve the problem. Entrepreneurs need to create a culture where finding solutions or remedies to issues takes precedence over blame. Such a positive culture allows people to readily accept responsibility for decisions without having to face ridicule.

Do the Right Thing by creating a solution-oriented culture in your company and incorporating that in your Mission.

Ravi Patel

www.patelCFOservices.com

Being Fair Might be Unpopular

Good leadership is about making optimal decisions for the company as a whole, not only for certain segments of stakeholders.

Entrepreneurs are loyal to people, especially those who helped them start the business and were early employees. As the company grows, Entrepreneurs have to make decisions that might be tough, unfair to some, and unpopular.

Fair decisions involve doing the right things even it means that some people might be adversely affected by such actions. Business decisions cannot be optimal if everyone’s interest is always taken into account. Entrepreneurs, on the other hand, should not in any way go out of their way to make decisions that purposely hurt certain people. That would be grossly unfair.

While difficult, make fair decisions for your business that are ethical even if they might cause hardship for some people and be unpopular.

Ravi Patel

www.patelCFOservices.com

 

Published in: on June 20, 2017 at 4:05 am  Leave a Comment  
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Adding Value as a Performance Indicator

While most traditional ways focus on actual performance against expectations or against established goals to rate employee performance, here is a different perspective.

Entrepreneurs should put employees into three categories – those who add direct value to your business, those that are neutral or add indirect value, and those that reduce company value.

Pay special attention to the first category by training and motivating them so that they continue to add value. Have a strong retention program for these individuals so that they don’t leave your organizations.

Deal immediately with people who reduce the value of your company. These are the bad apples that need to be removed from the company as soon as possible.

The people who are neutral as far as their contribution to company value need to be either moved to the category of employees that add value by training, or red-circled if they are providing a support function to the first category of employees. If there is a chance that they would reduce the value to your company, they need to be transitioned out.

Rating employee performance based on impact on company value and dealing with them appropriately will go a long way in building the value of your company.

Ravi Patel

www.patelCFOservices.com