Don’t Have False Expectations

As you start the New Year, be realistic in your expectations.

Entrepreneurs get into business with an idea that they hope to develop into something really big.

As they put together their Business Plan, they have certain expectations of how this idea will be commercialized and the revenues and income that the business model would generate.

Entrepreneurs hire people and have expectations regarding their performance. Similarly they expect clients or customers, vendors, other stakeholders will work with them in certain ways.

Entrepreneurs need to be careful about not having false expectations or hopeful wishes when they develop their Vision and Mission. All expectations need to be realistic, rational, and take into consideration the factors beyond the Entrepreneur’s control.

Having false expectations leads to unachievable dreams and disappointment. Moderate your expectations to be realistic, so that when your expectations are exceeded one has a reason to be jubilant.

Ravi Patel

http://www.patelCFOservices.com

 

Letting Go Gracefully

It is always a balance as to when an Entrepreneur needs to let go and delegate responsibility of the business to someone else. If one leaves too early, the Mission and Vision might remain unaccomplished per the Entrepreneur’s original intent. Hanging on too long might jeopardize long-term success.

“Don’t let go too soon and don’t hang on too long.” – Mitch Albom. Quite useful advice for Entrepreneurs.

Leaving the business to pursue other ventures is all dependent on to whom the Entrepreneur is relinquishing control. If the Entrepreneur has built up a strong leadership team and a solid foundation to accomplish the Mission, delegating responsibility to run the business to a competent CEO is prudent. However, if the leadership team and the new CEO are not seasoned and well-developed, the Entrepreneur risks a lot by leaving too soon.

Hanging on too long can be an issue also. If the business has grown beyond the capability of the Entrepreneur to successfully run it, it might be damaging to hang on to power. A new CEO is absolutely necessary then. Alternatively, if the Entrepreneur has recruited a solid leadership team and a likely CEO and trained them, hanging on will be demotivating to the capable successor CEO and the  team as they cannot show off their potential.

If the Entrepreneur runs the business on without a secondary leadership team and wants to continue doing so, he/she does not face the question of leaving too early or hanging on. But is that continued retention of control achieving well the Mission and Vision of the business?

Ravi Patel

www.patelCFOservices.com

Slow But Sustained Incremental Progress

Entrepreneurs like to think big! Most of them left corporate jobs as they were stifled by the constraints of bureaucracy. Nothing is wrong with that.

Developing a plan to achieve those big dreams and putting it into action is a requirement for Entrepreneurial success.

Some Entrepreneurs might want immediate success. This is unrealistic. Having sustained incremental progress towards your Mission and goals is a more realistic path to success than hoping for overnight results.

While overnight success stories happen from time to time, the odds are very high against it. Entrepreneurs need to focus on making incremental, but sustained, progress in achieving realistic milestones. Celebrate those moments of success!

Consistent effort and making incremental progress on a realistic timeline might be slower that one wants, but that is ultimately what gets you to your goal.

Ravi Patel

www.patelCFOservices.com

Taking a Different View

Flying at 35,000 feet above the earth gives you a different view than one from the ground. Check out this image  Have you taken that type of view of your business?

Entrepreneurs very often get involved in the day-to-day operations of their business and sometimes get too close to it. Using the often-cited saying, they are into the trees rather than looking at the forest.

Being too close to the ground only gives you a one-dimensional perspective of what is going on in your business. One needs to elevate to a higher level to get a macro view of what is happening in the company and to all its stakeholders.

Taking a break and viewing the business from different perspectives, either as a forest or from 35,000 feet above the earth, would be helpful to Entrepreneurial leaders in better visualizing where they are, and where they need to be going. Are you doing that? Are you moving towards fulfilling your Vision and Mission?

Do the Right Things!

Ravi Patel

www.patelCFOservices.com

Would you Like to be the Biggest or Best Company?

Entrepreneurs, what would you like your company to be – the best or the biggest? A quick, flippant answer would be to be both.

Becoming the biggest is a lofty objective, but achievable if you have a special niche in the marketplace. Being bigger, with reasonable profitability, allows access to resources for further growth. However, the entrepreneurship spirit is often lost as the size of a company gets bigger. More importantly, being the biggest says nothing about the quality of the organization. Being the biggest could mask inefficiencies in the short term.

On the other hand, being the best reflects a philosophy regarding the quality of products and services, processes, customer service, people and so on. All these have to be exceptional to be the best. While short-term costs may be higher to achieve the status of being the best, the long term prospects for growth are phenomenal. Competitive differentiation is most pronounced with being the best and might allow a premium for one’s goods and services.

Being the best allows you to become the biggest, but being the biggest does not automatically mean that you are the best.

What would you rather strive for – being the biggest or the best?

Ravi Patel

http://www.patelCFOservices.com

Published in: on October 28, 2014 at 3:29 am  Leave a Comment  
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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

http://www.patelCFOservices.com

Published in: on September 30, 2014 at 3:54 am  Leave a Comment  
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Being Realistic

Entrepreneurs have a very positive outlook regarding new opportunities and ideas. They tend to look at things as a glass half-full as opposed to half-empty. This type of optimistic thinking leads to innovative businesses.

Is this always a good thing? It depends.

If the Entrepreneur has some basis in reality and/or surrounds him or her self with good advisors, there is a good probability that he or she will not venture deep into seeming opportunities that do not make sense or are far-fetched.

On the other hand, if the Entrepreneur is stubborn and relentless in the pursuit of an idea, despite repeated contrary advice, then chances of failure increase.

It is a wonderful quality for Entrepreneurs to have optimism, curiosity and a positive view of new ideas and opportunities, but a reality check is necessary for long-term success.

Ravi Patel

http://www.patelCFOservices.com

Reality Check

Entrepreneurs come up with new ideas to start businesses to make a difference. Their passion can be ignited only if they dream big.

However, Entrepreneurs should first see things as they currently are before visualizing what they could be.

Taking an assessment of the situation as it currently stands is critical before embarking on a dream. A reality check, often with advice of trusted confidants, helps to bring facts into the situation. Ignoring the current state of affairs and only imagining where you could be might pose a problem if not dealt with correctly.

It is not wrong to dream, but in order to achieve one’s Vision it is necessary to start from facts as they are now and then chart a realistic plan to get where you visualize your end point. Depending upon the current situation, the path might be easy, difficult or not possible at all. Ignoring the difficulty of the path is not rational.

Do the Right Things!

Ravi Patel

http://www.patelCFOservices.com

Published in: on April 1, 2014 at 5:18 am  Leave a Comment  
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Being Successful

 

Entrepreneurs get into business to be their own boss and make money. Most of them want to be successful. Is that an unreasonable expectation or goal?

Success has to come to you; you shouldn’t be seeking success!

Success is a journey, not a destination. – Ralph Arbitelle

Being successful is process of achieving your Mission and Vision. One needs to first work on the specific, established, periodic goals of a business and accomplish those well. Meeting goals is a more reasonable short-term objective; while fulfilling your Mission and achieving your Vision are the proper long-term areas of focus.

If you do all that, success is a natural process; you don’t have to seek or strive for it.

Ravi Patel

www.patelCFOservices.com

 

Published in: on January 28, 2014 at 5:38 am  Leave a Comment  
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Are you a Pilot?

A business associate commented that pilots have unique skills that could be useful for managing companies or projects. Could that be applied to entrepreneurial companies?

Pilots when flying at 35,000 feet have a macro view of their surroundings in relation to their aircraft. While having this unique perspective, pilots also pay attention to the micro details, tasks and checklists to ensure that the plane takes off, flies and lands safely and at the correct destination.

Entrepreneurs could definitely use such skills for ”flying” their organizations. Having the macro vision is essential in flying the company to its final destination. At the same time it is also necessary to be aware of the details to ensure that company is on course and at the right speed to reach and land on schedule at its destination.

Entrepreneurs capably “piloting” their organizations is akin to flying!

Ravi Patel

www.patelCFOservices.com

Published in: on September 10, 2013 at 5:18 am  Comments (2)  
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