Productive or Not?

Entrepreneurs, are your employees productive? How do you know? 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 not?

Ravi Patel

http://www.patelcfoservices.com

 

I am Sorry, but ….

How often have you heard someone say sorry and then add a “but?” In those cases there are all kinds of excuses after the “but.” All these apologies are watered down by offering excuses.

People make mistakes; Entrepreneurs are no exception.

What distinguishes leaders is that when mistakes are made, genuine ones offer a sincere apology. What does that mean?

A sincere apology is just that – sincere! When you make a mistake, no matter affecting which stakeholder, just say a sincere sorry without any “buts,” excuses or reasons. This apology will be more genuine than trying to explain what happened to cause that mistake.

To be even more effective, you should privately analyze the reasons for the mistake and establish corrective actions to prevent that in the future. This will appear more sincere to the offended party.

Do the Right Things!

Ravi Patel

http://www.patelCFOservices.com

 

Published in: on April 11, 2017 at 4:18 am  Leave a Comment  
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Dealing with Problem Customers

Do you have customers that constantly cause problems? How do you deal with them? Should you let them go?

One might ask what kind of question is that? Why would someone think of getting rid of their customers? Seems irrational!

While the common saying “the customer is always right” might be used as a management philosophy, it is not necessarily true that all customers are always good for your business.

Entrepreneurs might have to stand up and exercise their leadership by letting some problem customers go.

Chronic complainers, without legitimate reasons, are very difficult to service and cause undue headaches for your employees. Unless the customer has genuine reasons to be dissatisfied, it is not in the best interest of management to service clients that constantly create irrational demands on your staff.

Entrepreneurs need to develop an excellent reputation for service and customer relations, but if need be it is okay to fire certain problem customers.

Ravi Patel

http://www.patelCFOservices.com

Published in: on April 4, 2017 at 4:34 am  Leave a Comment  
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Invest Wisely, Entrepreneurs!

No, this is not a blog on personal financial investing. Rather, it is for investments in your company.

Businesses require investments. Entrepreneurs are keenly aware of the funds necessary to start a business – whether it is for working capital, machinery, technology, equipment, or so on.

As the business grows more investment is necessary. If the Entrepreneur only thinks of investment in material things, it might be too short-sighted.

Long term success for Entrepreneurs requires investment in softer areas of their businesses. For example, in order to have consistent results it is necessary to invest in developing robust business processes (not only computer systems). This takes time and resources, but it is a wise investment.

Entrepreneurs need to make similar investment in their employees. Identify the key potential people in your organization and invest in them. Urge them to improve their skills, train them in functional areas, and take a risk by giving them projects and assignments that challenge them. Investing in your people, just like other assets, will pay off in the long term.

Entrepreneurs need to identify all areas of their business to determine if they have invested wisely in such areas to make them generate superior returns.

Ravi Patel

www.patelCFOservices.com

Published in: on March 28, 2017 at 4:22 am  Leave a Comment  
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Employee Involvement

Is recruiting and hiring good employees enough for Entrepreneurs?

After new employees start work, on-boarding, orientation and making them aware of the company’s Vision, Mission and culture should be a standard part of any hiring process. How many Entrepreneurs do that?

Even if you have a robust on-boarding process, what do you do to keep your employees actively involved in your company?

Entrepreneurs don’t treat working in their company as a “job.” They need to develop that sense of spirit in their employees. Employees should feel closely attached to the Mission of the company such that they view their job in a macro sense – as having a direct impact on fulfilling the Mission rather than just completing assigned tasks.

Offering material rewards for accomplishments works for a while. What is more important is the emotional engagement of employees in the company such that they personally identify themselves with the company’s success (and failures). Finding ways to involve employees in a meaningful way should be a key objective for Entrepreneurs.

Engaged employees are generally happy and productive. Get them involved in your company.

Ravi Patel

www.patelCFOservices.com

 

Progress over Perfection

When someone says “I am perfectionist,” it might sound good, but it is not particularly helpful to Entrepreneurs.

Entrepreneurs have a bias for action and are generally impatient. They need to see the fruits of their invention right away. If they wait to perfect it, they get bored and move on to something else. The market will not wait either – getting it to the market first is the key to the competitive game.

In growing their business, Entrepreneurs should be striving for measurable, meaningful progress on established goals rather than perfection at a point in time. Sustained progress in the correct direction is desirable than perfecting some aspect of the product, process or service without overall forward movement.

An idea that is ninety percent complete and implemented well is much better than something that is not put into practice as it waits to be perfected.

Perfection might be appropriate for artists and scientists, but Entrepreneurs need to be progress driven! Show proper leadership by demanding progress from your employees instead of perfection.

Ravi Patel

http://www.patelCFOservices.com

Entrepreneurs Shouldn’t be Heroes

Entrepreneurs are sometimes pressured into thinking of themselves as heroes trying to create miracles.

Miracles happen infrequently. While Entrepreneurs might feel that they have to be heroes to rescue their company from all situations, it is not always possible and more importantly not the right thing to do.

Companies need long-term leadership that successfully builds the organization with a great employee team to solve problems and exploit opportunities in the absence of the leader. Relying on a hero creates dependence and can only work in the short term or in a few instances.

Entrepreneurs might think of themselves as super-heroes for starting the company and making it grow though its infancy, strong business leadership is necessary to nurture the organization for long-term growth and success.

Be a Leader NOT a Hero!

Ravi Patel

www.patelCFOservices.com

Published in: on March 7, 2017 at 4:33 am  Leave a Comment  
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Rely on Processes

During the initial stages of growth in their new business Entrepreneurs rely upon a limited number of people to know most aspects of their operations. Entrepreneurs depend upon these key people for everything and if someone is not present, it disrupts the operation as no one else is aware of the required details.

For organizations to grow, it is critical to develop efficient, solid business processes. Reliance on an individual or very few people for knowledge of  the procedures to conduct business is quite risky and not prudent.

Solid processes provide the foundation for imparting knowledge to multiple people for understanding the procedures and if properly cross-trained, any one should be able to fill in or step up to perform the necessary tasks as required.

Information on business tasks residing with individuals not only poses a risk, but also eliminates improvements since the individuals have always been doing it the same way and see no need to change. A well-defined process on the other hand allows measurement and continuous improvement from many people to make it even better.

Entrepreneurs should rely on processes rather than individuals.

Ravi Patel

http://www.patelCFOservices.com

What Drives Your Business?

Do Entrepreneurs know what drives their business? What are your key drivers?

In one company’s conference room, there were 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. The company must have 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

Coaching Employees

“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 employees. When hiring, don’t merely evaluate the current skills and experience of the applicant. Rather, determine what the person could become with proper mentoring and training.

Given right coaching, raw talent could be molded to perform at a high level 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 employees and see their potential rather than settle for what they are right now.

Do the Right Things!

Ravi Patel

www.patelCFOservices.com