Wednesday, August 6, 2008

Business Lessons From Srinu!

Srinu was my mentor in Grad school. He taught me, guided me and got me started on my journey. The dream in Grad school was to make it BIG in life. I met Srinu last week and we caught up on what has transpired in the last few years.

Srinu struggled out of college to get a job. This was the early 90’s, the economy has in a recession, his degree was not in demand and the stars were not aligned. Srinu took the challenges head-on. He changed cities, moved where the opportunities were, changed careers, learned new skills and focused on making it happen.

After years of hard work, persistence and some luck – Srinu made it big. A successful business, increasing revenues, expanding payrolls and the works. He shared some lessons learned –

Tenacity and hard work are absolutely necessary for success. At least in Srinu’s case there were no short cuts. His desire to succeed, persistence and lots of long hours led him to his objectives.

Be careful with trust. Partnerships are tricky and relationships can be fragile. Bad assumptions about role, responsibility, finances and strategy can lead to conflict and misses. Formalize, quantify and clarify to reduce your risk.

Track your money. Maintain your books, be methodical in tracking your financials and always be on top of your cash flow. Being oblivious and trusting others to manage your money/finances can be detrimental to a small business.

Sales & Marketing
There will come a time when your 100% investment will be required to grow the business. You are the main growth driver for your business – and thereby you cannot afford to take the back seat. Giving up your 'billability' to grow the business is always the prudent choice.

The Team
This is an obvious best practice but takes some getting used to. Reach out and engage the best and brightest. The few dollars you will save with a mediocre attorney or insurance agent will cost you big in the end. Always go for quality and competency.

Srinu is on his way now to bigger and better opportunities. He is making connections, learning and expanding his business. Way to go!

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