CEO Advisor Newsletter™
March 2010

         Grow your business to the next level™           

In This Issue
Existing Companies Need Planning Too 
CEO Advisor can help your company focus on priorities

Does your company have an annual strategic plan? Does your company develop an annual plan to polish its strategy, focus on priorities, and manage cash? Every business needs to plan. Unfortunately, there is a myth that associates planning with start-ups. As an owner of a small or medium sized business, can you afford  not to plan? Do you prioritize, focus and manage your growth proactively?
Benefits of Planning
  1. Guide Your Growth: Your business will grow or not depending on many factors, including overall economic trends, location, specific market needs, hard work and other elements. Businesses that plan do it to guide and influence their growth, so that they move proactively towards defined objectives rather than just reacting to business events.
  2. Manage Priorities: Strategy involves focus. Allocate resources where they will generate the most profit. Work towards your strengths and away from your weaknesses. Develop the company by doing the most important things, according to your long-term objectives and plan.
  3. Assign Responsibilities: A plan gives you a place to develop organizational responsibilities. Accountability drives businesses forward. 
  4. Track Progress: Think of a plan as a business positioning device. With a written plan, you can track your progress towards goals, measure results, and better manage the business. Without a plan, how do you tell whether or not you are moving in the right direction. How do you measure success?
  5. Manage Your Cash Needs: Most businesses don't plan well for their cash, yet this is critical. Financial forecasting is strategic and is at the core of every business. 
Business Planning Includes the Following Main Points: 
  1. High-level Strategy: Strategy involves taking a hard look at your products and services, your core competencies, your target markets, your customers, pricing, operations, sales and marketing. Bring in the needed expertise to ensure your strategy yields success.
  2. Specific Responsibilities, Activities, Deadlines and Budgets: We call these milestones. They are the bricks and mortar of business planning and critical to business success.
  3. Financial Forecast: One of the most important benefits from an annual plan is the financial plan. A business needs to set financial goals and targets to truly measure its success and drive the business forward.
CEO Advisor, Inc. has the expertise, coupled with hands-on advice to help you increase sales and profits for a growth year in 2010. Contact us at (949) 759-8676, by email at or visit us today at

Quick Links
  • Greetings!
    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 to the next level.
    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 the Wharton School of Business, 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
    7 Methods for Taking Your Business
    to the Next Level
     CEO Advisor can help you take your business to the next level

    We all need to remind ourselves of these principles from time to time. Of course you can live without following all of them, but your business and your life will be better if you do.
    1. Have a Plan to Guide and Drive Your Business. Focus on the actions required to achieve your strategies and goals. A plan without any actions and accountability is nothing more than a statement of intent, rather than real progress.
    2. Be Objective. Don't get too emotionally tied to your business or your products and services. Don't let your emotions cloud your judgement or perspective when making business decisions.
    3. Review and Understand Your Financials. Don't ignore your financials. Lack of attention to financial reporting has destroyed many companies large and small.
    4. Good Business Mentors and Advisors are Invaluable, But Select Them Wisely. Your relationship with your advisor is one of mutual respect, trust and contribution. A third party objective person with strong business experience can make your year and change your life positively.
    5. Analyze Your Products and Services. Identify where you make your money, and focus on this area. Make sure you have a "cash cow" product or service that is in demand and makes you money. Don't invest in marketing, selling or development of dead or dying products or services. Know how profitable each service is and make hard decisions when needed.
    6. Know Your Priorities and Stick To Them. Don't waste time on activities that add little value to achievement of your goals.
    7. Be Open to Learn From Others. No one is an expert in all aspects of business
    CEO Advisor, Inc. has helped many CEOs and small business owners confront their issues, and grow their business to the next level. Contact us today at (949) 759-8676, by email at or visit
    Client Testimonial 

    "Mark Hartsell has taken the title CEO to a new level. After working with Mark for 18 months, I was diagnosed with cancer.  During my eight-month absence Mark stepped in for me as CEO of Fab Electric. Mark scheduled conference calls, set goals, reviewed financials and came to my office for regular meetings with my managers.  Mark was able to keep my team positive and move the company in a forward direction until I was able to return.  
    Because of Mark Hartsell and CEO Advisor my company was able to thrive in my absence. Business owners in any industry would benefit from having the expertise and experience Mark Hartsell brings to management. Every company should use Mark Hartsell as their CEO Advisor."
    Jim Fab, President and CEO
    Fab Electric, Inc.

    Words of Wisdom
    "The person who gets the farthest is generally the one who is willing to do and dare. The sure-thing boat never gets far from shore."

    Dale Carnegie

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    Call (949) 759-8676 in CA or
    (301) 580-8071 in the DC Metro Area
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    • Tech Coast Venture Network
    • Technology Council
    • OC Venture Group
    • OCTANE