Defining Success

When Entrepreneurs start and build businesses, their definition of success is most often that of  “making lots of money.” When they reach their desired level of this definition of success, then what? What about the process of reaching there? Is success only about making money? Not really!

Success is not only about making money or attaining wealth. Long term success should be judged by the degree to which you are enjoying health, love of family,  friendships, balance in life, and internal peace.

Evaluate your self-improvement, the number of people you have mentored, the lives in which you have made a difference, and the communities that you have benefitted to gauge your true level of success.

Making lots of money of course, does help in reaching the road to success.

Ravi Patel

www.patelCFOservices.com

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Published in: on March 6, 2018 at 4:50 am  Leave a Comment  
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Measuring Productivity

Entrepreneurs, do you know if your employees are productive? Or productive enough? Should you? Claiming to have good employees is one thing, but backing it up with data is essential.

Do you establish metrics to measure productivity directly based on your annual company goals?  Are the metrics simple and easily understandable? Do you communicate them effectively to your employees? How often do you post or discuss measured results? Are there periodic meetings to analyze performance and develop methods to improve productivity?

“Doing more with less” is a nice slogan, but proving it with productivity measurement data makes it more meaningful.

If you do measure productivity of your employees and do obtain successful results, have you aligned your reward systems to be in line with productivity improvements?

Improving productivity of your employees is a sure way to deliver more to the bottom line. Are you doing that? If not, why?

Ravi Patel

Assessing Risk

Risk is inherent in any business, but more so for companies started by Entrepreneurs.

Have you taken the time to analyze your business from a risk point of view? What are the areas that pose the highest risk to your company? How do you manage or mitigate such risks?

Entrepreneurs should take time periodically to critically examine the various risks that affect your operations. There should be a formal process to analyze and prioritize each risk category and develop plans to mitigate or eliminate such risks.

While such analysis takes time away from your normal business responsibilites, it creates a critical area for failure in the event you do not manage such major risks.

Entrepreneurs – Do the Right Things!

Ravi Patel

 

Published in: on February 20, 2018 at 4:44 am  Leave a Comment  
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Setting High Standards

“The quality of a leader is reflected in the standards they set for themselves.” – Ray Kroc

Great leaders set high standards for themselves. The growth of McDonald’s was in large part due to the quality, efficiency and customer service standards established by Ray Kroc.

Entrepreneurs too need to set and live by commendable personal standards or a code of conduct for themselves so that they can demonstrate a high level of leadership to inspire their employees. How often have we seen leaders who ask their followers to do one thing while they do something else? How does that provide leadership by example?

If an Entrepreneur desires to set high standards of ethics and performance for their companies, they first need to set for themselves high-reaching standards. However, that is not enough! Entrepreneurs need to then adhere to their established code of conduct and demonstrate via actions their commitment to such uplifting principles.

Leadership in this area is truly by example. If an Entrepreneur establishes a pattern of behavior that meets his/her lofty standards, then it will be easier to set high standards for the company and employees. It helps to inspire people by actions and then demand high standards of excellence and hold their followers accountable.

Ravi Patel

www.patelCFOservices.com

Published in: on February 13, 2018 at 4:12 am  Leave a Comment  
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A Playbook for Entrepreneurs

With the Super Bowl  on Sunday, the football season is over. It was impossible to miss the coaches on the sidelines with color-coded sheets of possible plays to be called for that game. The head coach with all the assistant coaches spent hours prior to the game analyzing their competitor’s game, strengths and weaknesses, strategies and so on and blended it with their own team’s core competencies to create a game-plan for winning. Disciplined coaches with a good playbook are generally winners.

Entrepreneurs, do you have similar “playbook” for major strategic actions to be used against, in or with competitors, marketplace, economy, opportunities, employees and so on? Have you worked with your key leadership team to develop such a playbook?

Winning on the field, analogous to the marketplace, requires a lot of planning, analysis, strategizing to come up with the ideal game-plan for success. A playbook for winning a football game is similar to one required for succeeding in business.

Create a playbook for your business and ensure that you call the right play for the situation. Do the Right Things!

Ravi Patel

http://www.patelCFOservices.com

Published in: on February 6, 2018 at 4:56 am  Leave a Comment  
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Facts Matter

Facts can be brutal. They often 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.

You might not like the facts but you 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. Facts matter!

Ravi Patel

http://www.patelCFOservices.com

Published in: on January 30, 2018 at 4:24 am  Leave a Comment  
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Is Rapid Growth Always Good?

Entrepreneurs are mostly focused on growing their companies and would like nothing more than rapid growth. Compared to the alternatives, managing growth is a nice “problem” to have.

However, is rapid growth always good for 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 advisors (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 may not be good for them.

Ravi Patel

www.patelcfoservices.com

Published in: on January 23, 2018 at 4:39 am  Leave a Comment  
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Lessons for Entrepreneurs from MLK

Having celebrated his birthday yesterday, it is interesting to review what lessons Entrepreneurs can learn from Martin Luther King (MLK).

Dave Kerpen wrote an article on Inc. on January 19, 2004 listing seven lessons from MLK that are still relevant today. Here is my summary:

  1. Dream big – if you don’t dream big, you can’t achieve significant things
  2. Persuade without power – don’t be a “boss.” but be a leader through the power of persuasion
  3. Give people something to believe in – have passion in your Vision so people are compelled to adopt it
  4. Embrace fear and be courageous anyway– be honest with people about the challenges but have the courage to face them anyway
  5. Get everyone involved – Entrepreneurs can’t do everything themselves. They need to have other people involved to build their company.
  6. Create a sense of urgency – have a bias for action to get ahead of competition
  7. Inspire people – without inspiring leadership it merely becomes a job for your people. Have them motivated to fulfill your Vision.

These are lessons that Entrepreneurs can definitely learn from and adopt.

 Ravi Patel

http://www.patelCFOservices.com

Published in: on January 16, 2018 at 4:30 am  Leave a Comment  
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Should You Seek Success?

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

Entrepreneurs get into business to be their own boss and make money. Most of them want to be successful which seems like a reasonable expectation or goal.

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

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 9, 2018 at 4:23 am  Leave a Comment  
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Set Realistic 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 Annual 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

Published in: on January 3, 2018 at 4:24 am  Leave a Comment  
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