Are You Investing in Yourself?

Many articles and books have been written about entrepreneurial investing in businesses and property. Entrepreneurs are also encouraged to invest in their people, in these blogs and elsewhere.

So it makes sense that Entrepreneurs should also invest in themselves.

How do you invest in yourself? What have you been doing to improve your skills, thinking, knowledge, perspective and so on? Entrepreneurs need to invest in themselves by continually improving themselves – not only as business leaders, but also as individuals, marital or other partners, family persons, and social and community leaders.

Making yourself better inspires your people to do the same and that’s leadership. Investing in yourself provides emotional and spiritual rewards that far exceed material ones.

Do the Right Things!

Ravi Patel

www.patelCFOservices.com

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Attitude Improvement for Performance Enhancement

Does your employee’s attitude have anything to do with performance? Of course!

Employees with positive attitudes about themselves, towards the company and their fellow employees have the capacity to perform at a higher level.

So what do Entrepreneurs need to do to improve the attitudes of their employees?

It is important to have an understanding on how your employees feel about the company and their fellow employees. Using your HR department to conduct formal and informal surveys could help this effort. If affordable, it might be a good idea to have an objective, outside party conduct such surveys.

Supervisors should be sensitive to the problems faced by employees outside their work and how they might be affecting their performance. If the performance of an employees does not meet expectations, determine whether it is related to the abilities or skills of the employee or whether it is related to his/her attitude.

Entrepreneurs based on collected data should develop programs that improve employee attitudes thereby enhancing performance. It is by no means a one-time effort, but should be reassessed and revised  periodically.

Ravi Patel

www.patelCFOservices.com

Listen to Others

Entrepreneurs have great ideas and start companies to commercialize their potential. In addition to product and service innovations, Entrepreneurs often have strong ideas on how to run their business and manage people.

It might behoove Entrepreneurs listen to ideas and wisdom from others to become even more successful.

An Entrepreneur’s key stakeholders – employees, investors, clients, vendors, bankers, lawyers, accountants and so on – are all great sources for wonderful ideas for improvement. Don’t get hung up on being right or having the “not invented here” syndrome. Open your mind to accepting input from others and implementing suggestions that might not be your own creation.

Do the Right Things – listen to others!

Ravi Patel

www.patelCFOservices.com

A New Dawn in 2012

As you take on 2012, it is time to take a “Balance Sheet Review” of your business; not the true accounting numbers kind, but philosophically similar.

Entrepreneurs should evaluate their “assets” in the business – products/services, secondary leadership, people, customers, processes, etc. This should establish the strengths of your business to either build upon or further improve in 2012.

A determination of your “liabilities” will give you an idea of the weaknesses that need to be focused on in 2012. These “liabilities” need to be mitigated or converted to “assets” so that you can utilize them for success during the year.

By performing a “Balance Sheet Review,” Entrepreneurs can set their priorities, resolutions and goals for 2012 – a new dawn!

As Napoleon Hill said, “Hire good people, make money, and have fun,” in 2012!

Ravi Patel

www.patelCFOservices.com

Honest Feedback for Entrepreneurs

In order to continuously improve themselves and their business operations, Entrepreneurs need honest feedback.

While their other employees may be somewhat reluctant to do so, hiring key management personnel who can provide honest feedback may be quite valuable. Obviously there is a fine balance that senior management employees need to maintain between being perceived as criticizing their boss versus being loyal to the company.

Entrepreneurs need to surround themselves with key neutral advisors who are open to providing honest and realistic feedback to Entrepreneurs. Such advisors could be informal friends and business associates, members of a Mastermind Group, or Board of Directors.

It is of course necessary for Entrepreneurs to be ready to accept such honest feedback.

Ravi Patel

www.patelCFOservices.com

Keeping Informed of Company Operations

Although I advise Entrepreneurs to let their key managers run their departments within broad operating parameters, it does not mean that the CEOs should be unaware of what is going on.

Entrepreneurs might want to set up a periodic reporting system with their key managers so they can stay informed on the operations of their businesses. Such reporting systems might include a summary of key accomplishments, planned upcoming activities and issues that might require assistance from the CEO.

A periodic reporting system allows Entrepreneurs to keep informed without micro managing their key managers on a daily basis.

Ravi Patel

www.patelCFOservices.com

Fix Your Credit to Obtain Credit

Although the principle seems too simplistic, I am amazed at the number of Entrepreneurs who get into situations where their personal or business credit affects their ability to obtain lines of credit or loans.

Entrepreneurs start their business ventures through personal funds or credit, hoping to repay themselves from the profits from their companies. However, as they continue to grow, the need for working capital compounds the problems often affecting not only their personal credit but the credit rating for their businesses.

These situations become a vicious cycle where getting out is often very difficult and expensive. Entrepreneurs need to get a handle on their personal and business credit to afford them the opportunity to fund growth for their businesses.

Ravi Patel

www.patelCFOservices.com

How Will You Deal With Potential Inflation?

Given the extraordinary and irrational current and planned government spending levels and resulting deficits, it is not abnormal to anticipate severe inflationary pressures on the economy.

If the other anti-inflationary factors do not not kick in over the next few years, Entrepreneurs will be faced with huge inflationary risks for their businesses.

Does you planning process take such inflationary risks into account?  What type of counter measures are you planning? Entrepreneurs may want to be proactive and start now to develop strategies to deal with potential inflation.

Please contact us at Patel CFO Services (www.patelCFOservices.com) if we can assist you in this process.

Ravi Patel

www.patelCFOservices.com

Are Vacations Mandatory?

Vacations are offered at almost all companies as a benefit to the employees. Employees use this time to spend leisure or social time with their families. Employees can hopefully recharge their batteries to come back to work rejuvenated.

Do you require vacations to be mandatory or can employees use the unutilized vacation time as extra cash compensation? If it is the latter, you might be doing a disservice to your employees. Vacations are meant to be used as a benefit for relaxation and should be used as such.

There is another important internal control feature in requiring mandatory vacations. It allows companies to uncover any irregular activities, if there are any, during the absence of  employees. Entrepreneurs should keep in mind this internal control aspect.

Ravi Patel

www.patelCFOservices.com

Is Your Banking Relationship Changing?

Entrepreneurs may want to get a pulse of their current banking relationship.

Given the tightening of government control over the banking industry, many banks are required to strengthen their capital:debt ratios. As a result of this, banks are reevaluating credit lines and debt relationships with clients.

Entrepreneurs may want to sit down with their banker and get a sense of what is going on at their bank. It might be prudent to draw up backup plans if Entrepreneurs get a feeling that the banking relationship is about to change.

Ravi Patel

www.patelCFOservices.com