CEO Advisor Newsletter™
September 2007
Practical Advice to Accelerate Growth and Profits

In This Issue

The Top 10 Ways To
Achieve Your Goals

5 Reasons Why Business Planning is Critical

Words of Wisdom

CEO Advisor, Inc. - Member of Accredited Organizations


The Top 10 Ways To
Achieve Your Goals
Soccer Goal

Goals can be helpful or they can be counter-productive by being too high, too complicated, unfocused or simply unrealistic. These ideas can help you reach or revise goals you have for yourself and your business.
  • Set reasonable goals for yourself. They can be "large" goals; just be realistic. Don't set yourself up to miss your goal(s) and abandon them.
  • Don't make excuses. And if you fail, try another tack, angle, plan or direction.
  • Have a solid written plan or strategy for reaching your goals.
  • Be willing to make sacrifices to get what you want.
  • Focus - Stay "in action" and don't allow yourself to get sidetracked or slow down just because things become difficult.
  • Don't blame others for anything. It serves no purpose, it takes you out of focus of your goals, and it is a big "energy drainer".
  • If you slip at one stage of your goal, re-plan it, and start again. Do not let much time go by or you will lose your momentum, which can be an important tool in reaching a goal.
  • Be consistent in your vision and in your highest desires. Trial and error is not a strategy to reach your goals.
  • Ask for help from an expert you trust, respect and admire in helping you reach your goals and get help in building metrics to track your goals and business progress in key areas.
  • Use positive "self-talk" and continue to believe in yourself and in your ability to get where you want to go or to do what you want to get done! Be persistent and keep your mind and heart on the growth of your business.
  • For more information, call (949) 759-8676.


    Our mission is to provide CEO's 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, call Mark Hartsell, MBA, President at (949) 759-8676 or visit us at for more information.

  • 5 Reasons Why Business Planning is Critical
  • Calculator

    When I am asked to explain why business planning is so important, my first inclination is to quote Lewis Carroll. In Alice's Adventures in Wonderland, Alice comes to a fork in the road and asks: "Would you tell me which way I ought to go from here?" "That depends a good deal on where you want to get to," said the Cat. "I don't much care where," said Alice. "Then it doesn't matter which way you go," said the Cat.
    For me this scene encapsulates perfectly the problems of not having a strategy, goals and plan for your business. Without a written plan, a business is essentially rudderless, with a tremendous amount of wasted time, money and resources, and day-to-day activities are likely to be haphazard and reactive, in stark contrast to those businesses implementing a well thought out business plan. A good management advisor should help you with all aspects of growing your business. If you haven't done the needed business planning in the last twelve months or you don't already have a business plan, a management advisor can work with you to strategize your business and provide the expertise and resources to prepare the business plan and financial forecast. If you currently have a business plan, a management advisor can help you attain the goals outlined in the plan and develop metrics to take your business to the next level. The following represents a list of my top five reasons why a firm needs a business plan. 1. To Map the Future
    A business plan is not just required to secure funding at the start-up phase, but is a vital aid to help you manage your business more effectively. By committing your strategy and goals to paper, you can understand your business better and also chart specific courses of action that need to be taken to improve your business. A plan can detail alternative future scenarios and set specific objectives and goals along with the resources required to achieve these goals. 2. To Support Growth and Secure Funding
    Most businesses face investment decisions during the course of their lifetime. Often, these opportunities cannot be funded by free cash flows alone, and the business must seek external funding. However, despite the fact that the market for funding is highly competitive, all prospective lenders and investors will require access to the company's recent Income Statements/Profit and Loss Statements, along with an up-to-date business plan and 3-year forecast. In essence, the former helps investors and lenders understand the past, whereas the business plan helps give them a clear picture of the future to make a lending or investing decision. 3. To Develop and Communicate a Course of Action
    A business plan helps a company assess future opportunities and commit to a particular course of action. By committing the plan to paper, all other options are effectively marginalized and the company is aligned to focus on key activities. The plan can assign milestones to specific individuals and ultimately help management to monitor progress. Once written, a plan can be disseminated quickly and will also prompt further questions and feedback by the readers helping to ensure a more collaborative plan is produced. 4. To Help Manage Cash Flow
    Careful management of cash flow is a fundamental requirement for all businesses. The reason is quite simple--many businesses fail, not because they are unprofitable, but because they ultimately become insolvent (i.e., are unable to pay their debts as they fall due). While the break-even point--where total revenue equals total costs--is a highly important figure for start-ups, once a business is up and running profitably, it becomes less important. Cash flow management then becomes more vital when businesses pursue investment opportunities where there are significant cash out flows, in advance of the cash flows coming in. These opportunities need to be assessed against any seasonal variations in the business and the timing of the cash flows. 5. To Support a Strategic Exit
    Finally, at some point, the owners of the firm will decide it is time to exit. Considering the likely exit strategy, in advance, can help inform and direct present day decisions. The aim is to liquidate the investment, so the owner/current investors have the option of cashing out when they want. Given that valuing firms is notoriously difficult and subjective, a well-written plan will clearly highlight the opportunity for the incoming investors, the value of it and increase the likelihood of a successful exit by the current owner. Visit us at for more information, or call Mark Hartsell at (949) 759-8676 for a free consultation.

  • Words of Wisdom
  • "Fear melts when you take action towards a goal you really want".

                                            - Robert G. Allen

  • CEO Advisor, Inc. - Member of Accredited Organizations

    • Tech Coast Venture Network
    • Technology Council of So. Cal.
    • Orange County Venture Group
    • Irvine Chamber of Commerce
    • Newport Beach Chamber of Commerce
    • Institute for Independent Business

    Or call (949) 759-8676

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