CEO Advisor Newsletter™
November 2009

Grow your business to the next level™           

In This Issue
MiMedia Production Signs on with CEO Advisor Program

CEO Advisor assists MiMedia Productions

CEO Advisor, Inc., a business advisory firm specializing in working directly with CEOs of small to mid-size businesses, has engaged with MiMedia Productions, a division of Pro Audio & Lighting.
CEO Advisor, Inc. has helped many CEOs in Orange County, CA and the Washington, DC Metro area achieve their goals and grow their business to the next level.  MiMedia Productions sought out CEO Advisor's services to re-establish and accelerate its growth plans for 2010.  The focus of the engagement will include finance/accounting, strategy, business planning, forecasting, and a concentrated effort on sales and marketing.
For twenty years, MiMedia Productions has serviced the needs of corporations, associations and concert events.  Mike Ivey, CEO of MiMedia Productions states, "Our plans include growth in both the So. California market and throughout the U.S.  CEO Advisor, Inc. will ensure that we execute on all aspects of our growth plans."
Mark Hartsell, CEO/President of CEO Advisor, Inc. adds, "MiMedia Productions is a successful company with solid leadership.  Growing in this economic environment entails a different approach and greater depth to drive the business forward.  We are a great fit for MiMedia Productions at this point in time and I am extremely happy to be working with Mike Ivey."
About MiMedia Productions
MiMedia Productions, a division of Pro Audio & Lighting, is the top event and production company in Orange County, CA.  MiMedia Productions services corporate clients and concert events in So. California and across the U.S. with a full range of services, including lighting, audio, staging, video production and other creative services.  Contact MiMedia Productions at (949) 679-4202 or visit

About CEO Advisor, Inc.
CEO Advisor, Inc. is a specialized business advisory firm that works exclusively with CEOs and business owners of small and mid-size businesses.  The firm works with CEO in scheduled face-to-face monthly meetings at the CEO's location, by scheduled conference calls every month, via mobile phone and email on-demand, through CEO Advisor Forums twice yearly, as well as, hands-on work performed each month to directly help the CEO achieve their goals and priorities.   
Contact Mark Hartsell, CEO at (949) 759-8676 in So. California or (301)580-8071 in the DC Metro area for a free consultation, or visit us at  

Words of Wisdom
"In the business world the rear view mirror is always clearer than the windshield." 
~ Warren Buffett
Member of Accredited Organizations:
  • Tech Coast Venture Network
  • Technology Council
  • OC Venture Group

Quick Links
    Visit us at

    Call (949) 759-8676 in CA or
    (301) 580-8071 in the DC Metro Area
    At CEO Advisor, Inc., our mission is to provide CEOs and business owners of small to mid-size companies the needed focus and expertise, coupled with hands-on work and advice to grow your business.
    With 30 years of business experience from corporate America to funding, growing and selling a software company to a large NASDAQ company, I have the experience to drive your company forward. I have a Masters Degree in Business (MBA) from Loyola University and a certification in Mergers and Acquisitions from Wharton Business School, University of Pennsylvania.
    To grow your business to the next level, contact Mark Hartsell, MBA, CEO at or visit us at for more information.   
                                Mark Hartsell, MBA
    The CEO: The Burden of a Tough Role 
     Contact CEO Advisors to help move your business forward.
    Chief Executive Officers (CEOs) have a fundamentally lonely role. They are charged with the ultimate responsibility for the success of the company.
    An essential skill for every CEO or business owner is recognizing the needed tools or advice, finding good advisors, and making the best use of advice.
    The wide range of issues CEOs routinely deal with means they will not have deep expertise in all of them, so some dependence on advisors is inevitable - yet accountability remains squarely with the CEO. In this context, advice-taking becomes the only way to bridge the gap between an individual CEO's experience and expertise and the decisions that need to be made almost every day for the company to operate profitably.
    A CEO should engage with a business advisor when you are about to embark upon something that the organization does not undertake through the normal course of business. Examples could be:
    • Addressing key challenges outside of the CEOs area of expertise
    • Several months of losses or a drop off in sales
    • The CEO needs additional senior level expertise for a year or less
    • Change is needed in the company
    • There are finanical/cash issues to address
    • A major acquisition or sale of the company
    • Entry into an important new service outside of its core competencies

    If these initiatives are outside the CEO's comfort zone, it makes sense from a risk perspective to take some external advice for a period of time. 

    The role of a business advisor is to provide independent advice and guidance to CEOs of small and medium-sized businesses. They can assist a new business start-up, and work with established businesses supporting them to develop, grow and become more profitable.

    Benefits of External Advisors
    The primary reasons CEOs benefit from a business advisor is that the CEO is experiencing:
    1. Failure to meet business objectives
    2. Failure to build and lead a high-performing team
    3. An inability to change or adapt to change during a shift in the marketplace or in the economy.
    November and December are key planning months for the coming year and a CEO can benefit greatly from engaging with a business advisor at this time of year.
    Essentials of a Strong Advisor
    Making sure the advisor has real experience with advising CEOs and business owners of small and mid-sized privately held companies is vital. Academic knowledge is also key, but without that practical experience, the value of the advice given will be limited to being theoretical versus actual.
    Work with an advisor that has successfully built, grown and sold their own business so the advisor truly understands your challenges and can help you overcome these challenges. This experience is so important, and a critical criteria when choosing a trusted advisor.
    One issue you need to be aware of, particularly when you are dealing with external advisors is that you really need to be very clear about your expectations. An experienced, result-oriented business advisor should work with you based on a clear set of goals and priorities and provide hands-on work to help you achieve your goals.
    The reality, especially in today's economic climate, is no one knows for sure what is around the corner or whether they will have the skills to not only cope but prosper.
    Contact Mark Hartsell, MBA at CEO Advisor, Inc. at (949) 759-8676 today for a free consultation to discuss your business issues or challenges that are confronting your business, or visit us at
    Client Testimonial 

    "I have been a client of Mark and CEO Advisor, Inc. for two years, and Mark has introduced many new ideas for us to improve our business. Once implemented we have seen very tangible increases in our sales that have added greatly to the value of the company. In addition, because of Mark's experience, he has advised us on many organizational changes, such as revamping our sales strategy and team that will have a big impact in the future as we raise additional funding and we ultimately sell the business.
    Mark has also helped us with our financials and coached us on using this information to make better management decisions. Mark has shown us how to increase the price of our products and services without impacting our customer acquisition, which has been a large boost to our revenues. I strongly recommend Mark and his company."
    Technology Services Company