Have a Playbook

With the football season is in full swing, it is impossible to miss the coaches on the sidelines with a color-coded sheet of possible plays to be called for that game. The head coach with all the assistant coaches spend hours prior to the game analyzing their competitor’s game, strengths and weaknesses, strategies and so on and blend 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

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Viewing Labor “Costs”

Having celebrated Labor Day yesterday, a question for Entrepreneurs – how do you view your labor costs (employees)?

Are they a cost of doing business for you as they decrease your bottom line? When cutting expenses, is that the first thing you think of reducing?

For large labor intensive operations, this might be the case. However, Entrepreneurs might want to view this differently.

If you train your people properly and motivate them adequately, your employees could actually improve your bottom line by increasing revenues, improving productivity or even reducing costs.. View your employees as assets – invest in them to get better results.

It takes a different mindset to get the best out of your people. If you think of them as labor and an expense, then chances are that you don’t always get the most out of them.

Do the Right Things! Invest in your people and help them add to your bottom line.

Ravi Patel

http://www.patelCFOservices.com

Published in: on September 5, 2017 at 4:58 am  Leave a Comment  
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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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Growing Pains

Almost all those in business would welcome growth. However, not managing it could cause growing pains. In reality, managing growth successfully requires thought and is really hard work.

Hiring employees rapidly might indicate that a business is growing. However, if the infrastructure to support the integration of these new employees in the company has not increased simultaneously, it could cause a painful situation for both management and the new employees. Unaccounted or unforeseen indirect costs, such as payroll taxes, benefits and insurance, could adversely impact cash flow. Rapid employment growth might also attract government scrutiny for compliance of labor regulations.

Rapid growth in sales orders is a great thing. Do you have the ability to deliver those orders on time and maintain quality? Do you have an adequate customer service function to handle potential issues?

Fast growth in revenues creates an increase in receivables (unless you are fortunate to have a cash-only business). Do you have sufficient working capital or access to funds to accommodate such an increase or even delays in collections?

While growth is desirable, Entrepreneurs need to manage it carefully to avoid or significantly mitigate the accompanying pains.

Ravi Patel

www.patefCFOservices.com

Being Thankful!

Entrepreneurs have a lot to be thankful for!

First and foremost are our country and the free market system that allow Entrepreneurs the opportunity to create and grow businesses and prosper.

Employees are the backbone of companies and Entrepreneurs should be thankful for the dedication, loyalty and hard work put forth by their people to make businesses successful.

No business can sustain itself without customers and clients. Be thankful to your sources of revenue for putting their trust in you to provide services and products.

Entrepreneurs should also appreciate their suppliers and service providers who continue to supply essential goods and services to sustain their businesses.

Shareholders and financiers who have invested in your abilities to grow the business and provide a return on their capital should be high on the list of people to whom Entrepreneurs are grateful.

Do not forget to appreciate your gratitude to your business advisors who provide a sounding board for you to share ideas and seek advice.

Lastly, the community that you operate your businesses in should be appreciated also.

So on this Thanksgiving, I encourage Entrepreneurs to express their gratitude to the above stakeholders in your companies.

Ravi Patel

www.patelCFOservices.com

Perfection Not for Entrepreneurs

How often have you heard someone say “I am perfectionist.” It might be ideal, but it is not helpful for Entrepreneurs.

Entrepreneurs 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 name of the game.

As Entrepreneurs grow their business, they should be striving for measurable progress on established goals rather than perfection at a point in time. Sustained progress in the right 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 is better than something that is not put into practice as it waits to be perfected.

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

Ravi Patel

http://www.patelCFOservices.com

Are you a Good Teacher?

As an Entrepreneur, are you a good teacher?

Lessons from a good teacher remain throughout life – whether in business or personal situations. One can often refer back to something that a great teacher taught you and marvel at the teachings, even after many years!

Similarly, bad lessons also stay in one’s memory; however, what would you rather be remembered for?

Good leaders most often inspire their followers not only with the actions they take, but also with what they teach their followers. As a business and Entrepreneurial leader learn to educate your employees the right way to think, and the correct actions will follow for the rest of their lives. Don’t always tell employees what to do, but make them learn how to do it.

Most Entrepreneurs and managers don’t take the time to coach their employees as they claim to be too busy and are focusing on current tasks. For the long term success of your company and as a true leader, it is more important to enlighten your employees so they themselves can be effective at what to do.

Do the Right Things – strive to be a good teacher for your employees.

Ravi Patel

http://www.patelCFOservices.com

Encourage Thinking

Entrepreneurs generally “think outside the box” and come up with new, innovative ideas. They seek under-served niches in the marketplace and find unique ways to fulfill unmet or unrecognized needs.

Once they start and grow the business, do Entrepreneurs still foster the culture of “Thinking Outside the Box” in their employees?

An Entrepreneur’s original initiative due to creative thinking is also applicable to his/her organization. If the culture of the company is one of innovation and finding unique ways of doing things better and faster, it will promote not only continued success for the company but also tremendous job satisfaction for employees.

Empower your employees and and encourage free thinking to come up with creative ways to perform their jobs better and improve processes in the company. Entrepreneurs should think outside the box for this employee performance management philosophy.

Ravi Patel

http://www.patelCFOservices.com

What Drives Your Business?

Do Entrepreneurs know what drives their company? Is it the product, quality, people, service or something else?

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.

Focus on key drivers rather than making a laundry list of everything.

Do the Right Things!

Ravi Patel

http://www.patelCFOservices.com

Published in: on August 9, 2016 at 3:45 am  Leave a Comment  
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Leadership by Example

Leaders often encourage their followers “to give their best” to whatever they are doing. Entrepreneurs do the same when motivating employees towards fulfilling the Mission of the company.

In a team environment it is normal for all employees to contribute to fulfilling the objectives of the mission. However, is it always true for the leaders?

If Entrepreneurs expect the best from their employees, then they too should give their very best to the employees and the company. Do they? Leadership by example is not just a catchy phrase!

Entrepreneurs need to give their best to the organization to inspire their employees to do their very best. If Entrepreneurs show an attitude of “do what I say, not what I do,” their employees are not going to be motivated for the long haul.

Doing the right things for leaders means giving 100% or more to prove to the employees that they all are part of the same team and everyone needs to contribute their very best.

Ravi Patel

www.patelCFOservices.com

Published in: on May 24, 2016 at 4:12 am  Leave a Comment  
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