Starting with Realistic Expectations

As you start 2017, be realistic in your expectations.

As they start to work on their 2017 Plan, they have certain expectations of how the year will fare with revenues and income that the business would generate.

Entrepreneurs have an existing team and have expectations regarding their performance. Similarly they expect clients or customers, vendors, other stakeholders will work with them in certain ways in 2017.

Entrepreneurs need to be careful about not having false expectations or hopeful wishes when they embark on 2017. All expectations need to be realistic, rational, and take into consideration 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

Published in: on January 4, 2017 at 4:32 am  Leave a Comment  
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Doing Everything In House

As Entrepreneurs grow their businesses curtailing or minimizing overhead is important. The philosophy of doing everything in-house might need to be reconsidered.

Though outsourcing manufacturing and services, especially to foreign countries, has become taboo, Entrepreneurs might want to seriously consider outsourcing certain services as a business strategy.

To cut fixed costs and make them more variable, Entrepreneurs need to look at the benefits of outsourcing in-house services such as payroll, marketing, training, human resources, IT, design, engineering and project management. Outsourcing expertise in these areas may be more cost-effective than developing competencies in-house.

When considering creating a function or expertise in house, ask yourself if you would be better off outsourcing such services.

Ravi Patel

Published in: on December 6, 2016 at 3:47 am  Leave a Comment  
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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

Saying Sorry

Everyone makes mistakes and so do Entrepreneurs.

What separates leaders is that when mistakes are made, genuine leaders offer a sincere apology. What does that entail?

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.

A sincere apology is just that – sincere! When you make a mistake, no matter affecting which stakeholder, just say a sincere sorry without any excuses or reasons. This 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

Published in: on November 15, 2016 at 3:58 am  Leave a Comment  
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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

Doing the Right Things

Entrepreneurs often complain that they don’t have enough time. This isn’t about traditional time management!

Instead, think about time management in another way. If you don’t have time to get things done, are you actually doing the Right Things?

Entrepreneurs, especially early in their careers, often have a tendency to not only do everything themselves, but also focus on doing tasks right – whether they are important or not!

The focus for Entrepreneurs should be to define and do the Right Things and delegate the rest. Once you discover and focus on the Right Things, you will probably have more time to do them. Wasting time on things that Entrepreneurs like to do, being perfect on insignificant tasks, or not delegating steals time from more important things to do for your business.

Do the Right Things!

Ravi Patel


What is Success?

Entrepreneurs start businesses with a worthy goal to be successful. However, how do they define success?

For many it is defined in terms of money or the ability to acquire material things. For others it is to be the biggest or best or change the world. A few define success as being famous. Some have noble objectives in terms of helping people, enhancing lives, creating jobs, or eradicating diseases.

No matter of how they define it, Entrepreneurial success is short-lived if it is not associated with happiness. Even if you achieve all the other objectives, if you are unhappy then success does not mean much.

Ensure your happiness to enjoy success. Define your success in terms of being happy for the long term!

Ravi Patel

Published in: on October 18, 2016 at 4:34 am  Leave a Comment  
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How Does Your Business Model Work?

What drives your business and what affects it? Entrepreneurs need to fully understand their Business Model.

What creates revenues in your business? What are the key variables that affect your revenues? Understanding your revenue model completely and analyzing the key drivers is an important component in knowing your Business Model . Perform sensitivity analyses on key variables to see how they affect your revenues. What could you do to control the variables and affect the outcomes?

Similarly, what are the key cost and expense components in your business? What is fixed and what is variable? Do you know the broad categories that account for 80% of your costs and expenses? What can you change to increase your bottom line?

What is controllable versus non-controllable in your Business Model? Are external factors a key component?

As an Entrepreneur one needs to fully understand the Business Model not only to improve performance but also to talk intelligently to potential investors.

Ravi Patel

Published in: on September 27, 2016 at 4:17 am  Leave a Comment  
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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

Published in: on August 9, 2016 at 3:45 am  Leave a Comment  
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Entrepreneurs Need to Keep An Open Mind

Similar to a parachute, a mind only works when open. When Entrepreneurs are learning new things it definitely requires an open mind.

Entrepreneurs do not know it all. The ones wanting to be successful always keep on learning or find people who know more than they do. Accepting new ideas through self learning or from others requires willingness to accept thoughts different from yours.

If one makes up his/her mind and refuses to entertain other ideas, learning is not possible. Moreover, the person might be viewing issues from a single perspective, his/hers only, eliminating the possibility of a well-informed decision or conclusion.

Entrepreneurs need to set their ego aside and seek and be open to advice from others. Keep an open mind to learn more and to be more effective in making decisions.

Ravi Patel

Published in: on April 5, 2016 at 3:42 am  Leave a Comment  
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