WashingtonExec reached out to area executives to gain insight and share local “secrets to success” stories.
Today’s insight is from Richard Stroupe, Founder and Managing Principal of Crimson Holdings, LLC, Investing Member of Blu Ventures Investors, LLC and Entrepreneur in Residence at Georgetown University. Richard is also the previous Founder and CEO of TRS Consulting Inc, acquired by NCI Information Systems in 2009.
Richard Stroupe: While there are many important aspects that go into building and/or growing a successful business, below are a few of my favorite takeaways from both my own experiences and what I have learned from other successful entrepreneurs:
1. Be Relentless not Reckless: While it’s OK to be passionate and have high expectations, you also need to be realistic about your capabilities and market conditions.
2. Hope is NOT a Strategy: While hope might win you an election, it will not win over new business. Define a solid strategy based off customer needs and a unique approach, but do not forget to always analyze your competitors and possible market changes.
3. Your Employees are your #1 Asset: Never forget this, ever!
4. Never Let a Good Crisis Go To Waste: Where there is crisis, there is opportunity. Be aware of the danger but focus on the opportunity.
5. Revenues = Vanity, Profits = Sanity, Cash Flow = Reality: Don’t become enamored by revenue, focus on the profits and cash flow (buyers will when you go to sell your business). Cash flow is the Achilles’ heel to all businesses, if not properly managed you will suffer.
6. Success Breeds Complacency: Don’t be afraid to set high standards and maintain accountability across the board through effective leadership.
7. Develop a Culture Based on Continuous Learning: Never stop learning, always look to expand and grow professionally.
8. Feedback on the Run is Better Than None: Effective Communication and Listening are critical.
9. Prioritize, Develop a Sense of Urgency and Have Fortitude to Act: Problems are not like wine, they do not age well.
10. Make a decent profit decently: Don’t forget ethics, character and commitment.
*Featured in the 1/6 edition of the Fairfax County Economic Development Authority online magazine E-Bird.