John Bosch was a board member at Excelan. He was rough and gruff character but he was very matter of fact in his approach.

After I started to get my sea legs as the CEO and started to feel good about things, I got very excited about business prospects at a board meeting. John with his usual straight face, cut me short in a mid sentence. Yadi, yadi yah, he said! Spare me the story, show me the numbers. It has been 35 years but I have never forgotten the incidence. Your numbers have to tell the story! Everything else is just fluff.

Entrepreneurs have to learn to run the business by numbers and various ratios. Reveue, gross margins, costs, expenses, head count, growth rates, are minimal basics to start with. Changing/improving ratios are the first level of derivative nymbers. One has to set numerical goals for himself and one’s team members.

One of my favorite ratio was the revenue per employee. It reflected the productivity. I fixated on that and worked to improve it as my primary goal.

A good entreprenur is on top of its numbers and the numbers of its competitors. He must benchmark against the best of them. As the business grows, the only good way to manage is by the numbers

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