CEO Advisor Newsletter™
Jan/Feb 2009  Practical Advice to Accelerate Growth and Profits
In This Issue
CEO Advisor Program 

Two Men at Desk 

CEO Advisor, Inc., a leader in CEO advisory services to small and mid-size business owners, is excited to offer its CEO Advisor Program. 
"We are now offering the perfect combination of hands-on, proactive advice and expertise of our full service CEO advisory services with an economical level of expert advice, information exchange and support for CEOs to drive their businesses forward," states Mark Hartsell, MBA, CEO/President of CEO Advisor, Inc.  Mr. Hartsell works directly with all CEO clients in the CEO Advisor Program on their individual needs generating results every month.

The economical 12 month program consists of:
  • 72 Hours of advisory services specifically for CEOs
  • 1 to 1 meetings at the CEO's location throughout the year
  • A series of conference calls
  • On-going telephone and email advisory services to support the CEO on a weekly basis
  • 2 full-day CEO Advisor Forums
  • Satisfaction Guaranteed

For further information, please go to
Join today as membership is limited!

Words of Wisdom
"Obstacles are those frightful things you see when you take your eyes off your goal.
- Henry Ford 

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    Our mission is to provide CEOs and business owners of small to mid-size companies the needed focus and expertise, coupled with hands-on advice to grow your business. To take your business to the next level, contact Mark Hartsell, MBA, CEO/President at or visit us at for more information. 
    Planning in Times of Uncertainty

    Question Mark

    In the past few months we have witnessed a period of unprecedented economic turbulence and instability. In this article, I will describe some courses of action and needed planning that are critical to success in today's business environment.
    1. Stay Abreast of Economic Indicators

    The global credit crunch and the increased uncertainty affect almost everyone. It is important to stay abreast of developments to ensure prudent management decisions, but don't go into paralysis when your early stage or small business has all of the growth opportunity in front of it. Stay aggressive, while continuing to fine tune your strategy and financial forecast.
    2. Revisit Your Business Plan and Forecast
    It is perfectly acceptable to revise your business plan more frequently than once a year. If you have not done so for some time, now is the time to refocus your efforts. Business plans are written with certain assumptions built-in and these assumptions most likely have changed. If your business plan is over six months old, then it is likely that you will need to revise your strategy. Do this as soon as you can, and revisit key indicators such as your financial ratios.  An up-to-date business plan can help ensure that everyone is aligned towards the strategic goal of the company, that you focus your time and your employees' time, and help prioritize and set goals for a more successful 2009.
    3. Consider Outsourcing Some Activities
    Outsourcing can come in many ways and can greatly reduce costs, bring in added expertise and resources, and enable you to accomplish critical tasks that are simply not possible with your current staff or management team. Seek professional help in these times as many businesses are at an inflection point between survival and success.
    4. Continue to Innovate and Market Your  Company
    While it may be tempting to 'tighten up', it is important to recognize that increased uncertainty also brings opportunity. While competitors reduce their marketing budget, this will be an opportunity for you to forge ahead and grow brand awareness. Similarly, as companies perform less marketing, you have the opportunity to grow market share and customers.
    5. These are Opportunistic Times
    Provided you stay focused and execute on your business plan, you may flourish in these challenging economic times. Meanwhile, your competitors may be failing with their customers, which makes these customers ripe for the taking - so remain aggressive with proper sales coverage, especially on major target accounts. Additionally, you may have a unique opportunity to acquire the assets and customers of competitors. Seek a professional advisor to assist you in realizing these opportunities.
    6. Preparing for a Future Exit
    At some point in the life cycle of a business, the founders/investors may decide that they want to cash out of the business. The exit strategy will typically focus on extracting the highest value possible from the sale. An up-to-date business plan detailing the opportunity for buyers, a strong exit strategy and an experienced advisor will enable you to continue to run your company while preparing for and finding a buyer.
    Thorough preparation for a sale, well in advance of the sale date, improves internal management focus, increases performance, and ultimately serves to increase the final valuation.
    7. Conclusion
    Business planning, evaluating acquisitions and other critical planning are all vital steps for any business seeking to effectively focus resources to maximize sales, profits and future value.
    These are hard decisions that can require additional professional help. CEO Advisor, Inc. provides CEO advisory services, including business and strategic planning, cost cutting and restructuring, sales planning and team building, mergers and acquisitions and other services to CEOs and owners of small and mid-size companies. Contact Mark Hartsell, MBA, at, today for a free consultation.
    Client Testimonial 

    "CEO Advisor, Inc. provides a unique advisory service for CEOs. Mark Hartsell not only tackles high level strategic issues to assist CEOs navigate through challenging times, but Mark also gets very involved in actually addressing important issues hands-on by performing the work to achieve tangible results. Whether it is growing a business to the next level, turning a distressed company around or preparing a company for an exit, Mark's firm, CEO Advisor, provides a broad range of services and Mark is there for the CEO every stop of the way."
    CEO Advisor, Inc. - Member of Accredited Organizations 
    • Tech Coast Venture Network
    • Technology Council
    • OC Venture Group
    • Institute for Independent Business