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

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Published in: on August 9, 2016 at 3:45 am  Leave a Comment  
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Persevere

Frustration when facing obstacles is common to all endeavors. The successful Entrepreneurs are those who keep on going and overcome obstacles.

Perseverance is defined as the steady persistence in a course of action, a purpose, a state, etc., especially in spite of difficulties, obstacles, or discouragement.

How appropriate that an Entrepreneur possess this quality to be successful? Facing difficulty, obstacles, discouragement, setbacks and even failures are nothing new for Entrepreneurs.

Entrepreneurs who come through even after facing challenges are the ones who have a laser focus on their Mission and can navigate a steady, persistent course without being unduly discouraged. The story about the spider weaving a web despite repeated failures comes to mind.

If you desire to succeed in achieving your Mission, have perseverance! Your people will be inspired and support your efforts.

Ravi Patel

www.patelCFOservices.com

Published in: on June 1, 2016 at 4:01 am  Leave a Comment  
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Employee Involvement

Is recruiting and hiring good employees enough for Entrepreneurs? Not really.

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 engage 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

Don’t Have False 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 Business 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

 

Letting Go Gracefully

It is always a balance as to when an Entrepreneur needs to let go and delegate responsibility of the business to someone else. If one leaves too early, the Mission and Vision might remain unaccomplished per the Entrepreneur’s original intent. Hanging on too long might jeopardize long-term success.

“Don’t let go too soon and don’t hang on too long.” – Mitch Albom. Quite useful advice for Entrepreneurs.

Leaving the business to pursue other ventures is all dependent on to whom the Entrepreneur is relinquishing control. If the Entrepreneur has built up a strong leadership team and a solid foundation to accomplish the Mission, delegating responsibility to run the business to a competent CEO is prudent. However, if the leadership team and the new CEO are not seasoned and well-developed, the Entrepreneur risks a lot by leaving too soon.

Hanging on too long can be an issue also. If the business has grown beyond the capability of the Entrepreneur to successfully run it, it might be damaging to hang on to power. A new CEO is absolutely necessary then. Alternatively, if the Entrepreneur has recruited a solid leadership team and a likely CEO and trained them, hanging on will be demotivating to the capable successor CEO and the  team as they cannot show off their potential.

If the Entrepreneur runs the business on without a secondary leadership team and wants to continue doing so, he/she does not face the question of leaving too early or hanging on. But is that continued retention of control achieving well the Mission and Vision of the business?

Ravi Patel

www.patelCFOservices.com

Slow But Sustained Incremental Progress

Entrepreneurs like to think big! Most of them left corporate jobs as they were stifled by the constraints of bureaucracy. Nothing is wrong with that.

Developing a plan to achieve those big dreams and putting it into action is a requirement for Entrepreneurial success.

Some Entrepreneurs might want immediate success. This is unrealistic. Having sustained incremental progress towards your Mission and goals is a more realistic path to success than hoping for overnight results.

While overnight success stories happen from time to time, the odds are very high against it. Entrepreneurs need to focus on making incremental, but sustained, progress in achieving realistic milestones. Celebrate those moments of success!

Consistent effort and making incremental progress on a realistic timeline might be slower that one wants, but that is ultimately what gets you to your goal.

Ravi Patel

www.patelCFOservices.com

Communicate for Meaningful Action

Managers sometimes complain that their employees don’t seem to be following directions too well? They gripe that they tell their people what to do, but it doesn’t seem to come to fruition.

To obtain employee buy-in and meaningful action, Entrepreneurs might want to communicate to their people why they need do things instead of what they should do.

When you tell people what to do, they generally might follow your directions without understanding their mission. If they are going on the wrong path, they might not even be aware of it since they are merely following instructions.

Instead, coaching employees why they are supposed to do certain tasks sets the objective or  goal for them. It makes it easier for them to figure out what to do to get there as they are usually closer to the action. They might even find a better way to do things than you could have told them. Even if they require guidance on what to do, it is based on a specific objective.

For meaningful action, it is better to direct employees as to why things have to be done rather than what to do.

Ravi Patel

www.patelCFOservices.com

Published in: on May 12, 2015 at 4:00 am  Leave a Comment  
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Taking a Different View

Flying at 35,000 feet above the earth gives you a different view than one from the ground. Check out this image  Have you taken that type of view of your business?

Entrepreneurs very often get involved in the day-to-day operations of their business and sometimes get too close to it. Using the often-cited saying, they are into the trees rather than looking at the forest.

Being too close to the ground only gives you a one-dimensional perspective of what is going on in your business. One needs to elevate to a higher level to get a macro view of what is happening in the company and to all its stakeholders.

Taking a break and viewing the business from different perspectives, either as a forest or from 35,000 feet above the earth, would be helpful to Entrepreneurial leaders in better visualizing where they are, and where they need to be going. Are you doing that? Are you moving towards fulfilling your Vision and Mission?

Do the Right Things!

Ravi Patel

www.patelCFOservices.com

Do You Know the Key Drivers of your Business?

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.

Do the Right Things!

Ravi Patel

http://www.patelCFOservices.com

Published in: on September 30, 2014 at 3:54 am  Leave a Comment  
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Being Successful

 

Entrepreneurs get into business to be their own boss and make money. Most of them want to be successful. Is that an unreasonable expectation or goal?

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

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

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 28, 2014 at 5:38 am  Leave a Comment  
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