Are you a Good Delegator?

Entrepreneurs might believe they are super-human, but they cannot do everything themselves in their companies. Thus, they have to assign projects, goals, and objectives, or collectively tasks to various individuals.

Once you delegate, do you have a good system of tracking those tasks? If so, that is a step in the right direction. If not, you need to get a system or process that works for you.

But, more importantly, do you follow-up on the assigned tasks? Do you have a system to track the progress on the various items? Do you have a reminder system?

Assigning tasks is not enough. Proper delegation requires monitoring the progress on completion status of these tasks with regular follow-up. Otherwise you are sending a message to the employees that you are not going to hold them accountable.

While some employees will take the initiative to report on the progress of the assigned tasks, you need to have a system to hold all people accountable.

Follow up is critical for effective delegation. If you can’t be a good delegator, don’t always expect results.

Ravi Patel

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Published in: on November 13, 2018 at 4:16 am  Leave a Comment  
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Reduce Control

For Entrepreneurs managing their level of “control” is crucial in growing their businesses.

When Entrepreneurs start their businesses, they feel like they need to have total control over everything that goes on in their organization. All decisions are made by them and nothing can be done without their say so. That is too much control.

However, as the business grows, Entrepreneurs are forced to give up some control and delegate tasks to others. They still want to know what happened. When successful, Entrepreneurs should transfer responsibilities to a secondary level of leadership. In that stage they cannot keep track of all details.

At every stage of the growth of the company, Entrepreneurs reduce their sphere of direct control. This is very difficult for most Entrepreneurs, especially if it is their first business venture.

Building a strong secondary leadership team, guiding and mentoring the team, and periodically monitoring their accomplishments towards specific objectives and the overall Mission will reduce the anxiety of Entrepreneurs. If  Entrepreneurs cannot learn to reduce their sphere of control, it will create stress that might be detrimental.

When things fall outside your sphere of direct control (to lower levels of the organization), resist the temptation to wrest such control or stress about it. Focus on the bigger picture.

Ravi Patel

Published in: on November 6, 2018 at 4:39 am  Leave a Comment  
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Simpler the Better

If you can’t explain it simply, you don’t understand it well enough – Albert Einstein.

When Entrepreneurs are asked to describe their product or service, they sometimes go into great details to explain how something works. In their opinion, the more complex it sounds the more important the idea.

It is actually the opposite. The simpler the description of your product or idea, the easier it is to understand. If a potential investor can grasp your idea immediately, their interest is perked and they might listen to more. If you lose them with complexity, their attention span is over.

This is also true for all stakeholders. Entrepreneurs should make their message simple when communicating change. Simple messages get accepted a lot faster than complex ones.

As Einstein notes, it is possible that Entrepreneurs don’t understand the product, service or idea well enough to explain in simple terms. If so, it is time to go back to the drawing board and learn what you are trying to explain so you can make it simpler to communicate.

Ravi Patel

Published in: on October 30, 2018 at 4:30 am  Leave a Comment  
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Hiring Smarter People

Entrepreneurs must hire people to grow their companies. What kind of management leaders do they hire? Who should they hire? Is that appropriate?

In order to keep costs down, there might be a tendency to recruit lower-cost managers who might require a lot of supervision. Is this keeping costs down in the long run? Is the Entrepreneur’s time well spent in managing such managers?

Entrepreneurs should not be afraid to hire people smarter than they are. Hiring smarter people might be tough on the ego and wallet, but in the long run the company will be much better for it. In fact, hiring smarter people will provide the opportunity to not only learn from them, but also allow the Entrepreneur to focus more time and energy on his/her areas of strength.

Do the Right Things!

Ravi Patel

Published in: on October 23, 2018 at 4:45 am  Leave a Comment  
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Short Yet Effective in Your Communications

Do you believe that to effectively communicate your message you need to use more words? Is using too few sentences reducing the importance of your communications? Is being verbose mean you are saying something important? If you think so, you might be wrong!

Effective communication means driving home your point powerfully in as less words as possible.

People have a very short attention span, especially potential investors. If you can’t communicate your message succinctly yet powerfully, you might lose your audience. That is not a good thing for Entrepreneurs.

Regardless of your target audience – investors, clients, employees, vendors, bankers or others – learn to fine tune your message. Make it short and simple, yet effective for them to understand and retain. The longer you speak or write, the less is absorbed.

People will not say that you didn’t speak long enough, but they will definitely tell you that your message was short but effective. What would you rather prefer?

Ravi Patel

What is Success?

Success means different things to different people.

When Entrepreneurs start and build businesses, their definition of success is most often that of  “making lots of money,” or fulfilling their Mission. When they reach their desired level of this definition of success, then what? What about the process of reaching there?

Success is not only about making money or attaining wealth. Long term success should be judged by the degree to which you are enjoying health, love of family,  friendships, balance in life, and internal peace.

Evaluate your self-improvement, the number of people you have mentored, the lives in which you have made a difference, and the communities that you have benefited to gauge your true level of success.

Making lots of money of course, does help in reaching the road to success.

Ravi Patel

Published in: on October 9, 2018 at 4:45 am  Leave a Comment  
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Being Persistent

Frustration due to obstacles is common for all endeavors. The successful ones are those who keep on going and overcome obstacles.

Persistent is defined as continuing firmly or obstinately in a course of action in spite of difficulty or opposition.

How appropriate that an Entrepreneur be persistent 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, be persistent! Your people will be inspired and support your efforts.

Ravi Patel

Published in: on October 2, 2018 at 4:39 am  Leave a Comment  
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Music and Business

Having attended a symphony concert last weekend brought the thought that there are several similarities between creating melodious music and Entrepreneurs developing a fine-tuned business.

Creating a melody requires the correct musical notes. While a spectrum of notes is available to all, picking the right notes to create a musical piece is critical. One or more wrong notes and the resulting music is noticeably out of tune.  Similarly in business, an Entrepreneur has access to various resources – markets, clients, management team, employees, facilities, investors, suppliers, advisers and so on. Creating the right blend of these resources, just like selecting the appropriate notes, will allow the development of a beautifully functioning business. A wrong choice or decision here and there ruins the musical piece or a well-oiled business machine.

Playing only the correct musical notes does not make a melody; the notes have to be played to the appropriate beat. The business activities of a growing organization have to be running at the right pace. You cannot have some parts of the company forging ahead while others are lagging. Moving towards the goal at a managed pace leads to success.

Entrepreneurs do not have to be musicians, but applying lessons of music might help them in successfully growing their businesses.

Ravi Patel

Published in: on September 25, 2018 at 4:30 am  Leave a Comment  
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Create a Playbook for your Business

The football season is here. It is hard to miss the coaches on the sidelines with color-coded sheets 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, similar 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

Published in: on September 18, 2018 at 4:30 am  Leave a Comment  
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Viewing Employee Performance Differently

There are several ways to evaluate employee performance  in your company. Most traditional ways focus on actual performance against job expectations and/or against established goals.

Consider a different perspective. Entrepreneurs should classify employees into three categories – those who add direct value to your business, those that are neutral or add indirect value, and those that reduce company value.

Clearly, pay special attention to the first category by training and motivating them so that they continue to add value. Have a strong retention program, including appropriate incentives, for these individuals so that they don’t leave your organization.

Deal immediately with people who reduce the value of your company. These are the bad apples that need to be removed from the company promptly.

The people who are neutral as far as their contribution to company value need to be either moved to the category of employees that add value by training, or red-circled if they are providing a support function to the first category of employees. If there is a chance that they would reduce the value to your company, they need to be transitioned out.

Identifying the three categories of employees and dealing with them appropriately will go a long way in building the value of your company.

Ravi Patel