CEO Advisor Newsletter
January 2011

         Grow your business to the next level™           

In This Issue


Contact CEO Advisor, Inc. today for a FREE Initial Consultation on growing your business to the next level. Call us at (949) 759-8676 in CA, or (301) 580-8071 in the DC Metro area.


CEO Advisor, Inc. Adds Paul Jennings, MBA as CEO Advisor


CEO Advisor, Inc. Adds Paul Jennings to its team. 


CEO Advisor, Inc., ( a leading business advisory firm serving the needs of CEOs, presidents and business owners of small and mid-size companies, has added a new CEO Advisor in the Washington, DC Metro Area in Northern Virginia.   


Paul Jennings, MBA, is a seasoned business executive and entrepreneur with broad-based business experience. Paul was previously the CEO of Jennings State Bank, a community bank where he worked with and advised many small business owners on growth and financing strategies.  Paul was also CEO and a board member of the First National Bank in St. Paul, MN.  Paul Jennings was previously a U.S. Army Officer (Captain) and achieved his MBA from the University of St. Thomas in Minneapolis, MN. 


CEO Advisor, Inc. advises on growth, strategy, company goals, funding, sales strategy, sales team building, marketing, turnarounds and mergers and acquisitions by working directly with CEOs, presidents and small business owners as a trusted advisor.  Since 2004, the firm has accelerated the growth and profits of many companies with consistent success.


Mark Hartsell, CEO of CEO Advisor, Inc. states, "We are very fortunate to have Paul Jennings on board as a CEO Advisor in No. Virginia providing complete, hands-on business advisory services.  Paul Jennings is a proven, seasoned executive who will provide a full range of business advisory services consisting of on-site meetings, conference calls and hands-on work to accomplish specific needs of CEOs by generating tangible results on a weekly basis.  This is our commitment to every client."  


About CEO Advisor, Inc.

CEO Advisor, Inc. provides business advisory services affordably and effectively to meet the specific needs of CEOs, presidents and business owners of small to mid-size companies in a wide range of industries, including technology, services and light manufacturing.  CEO Advisor, Inc.'s mission is to advise small and mid-size companies with the needed expertise and focus, coupled with hands-on advice to grow your business to the next level.  By specializing in the needs of CEOs, presidents and business owners, we focus on the growth, opportunities and challenges that you and your business encounter every day.  

Contact CEO Advisor, Inc. today at (949) 759-8676 in So. California, or (301) 580-8071 in the DC Metro area, by email at or visit us at for more information.


Contact Paul Jennings, MBA, CEO Advisor directly in No. Virginia by telephone at (571) 379-5720, or by email at

Quick Links

  • Words of Wisdom  
    "Your premium brand had better be delivering something special, or it's not going to get the business."

    Warren Buffet

    Member of Accredited Organizations:
    • Tech Coast Venture Network
    • Technology Council
    • OCTANE
    Client Testimonial 

    "Over a one year period, CEO Advisor, Inc. helped me to understand what my role entailed as a CEO of a small company. I learned to focus on specific issues and predict obstacles by looking at my business in monthly, quarterly and yearly tasks by priority. Mark prepared our Business Plan and Financial Forecast as the road map for the growth of our business, and taught me how to understand financial reports, as well as, the implication of budgets and spending. I now understand how to measure the performance of my company and profitably grow my business."


    CEO, Web Services Company


    At CEO Advisor, Inc., our mission is to provide CEOs, Presidents 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 over 30 years of business experience from corporate America to funding, growing and selling a software company to a large NASDAQ company, we 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 (949) 759-8676, by email at or visit us at for more information.   

    Mark Hartsell, MBA

    Secrets for Growth 


    CEO Advisor can help you grow your business


    Sustained growth comes through strategy and executing on the basics. Then, calculated risks and focusing on your goals will drive growth and profits.  

    Shifting from hunker down survival mode to strategy and calculated risk that fuel growth isn't easy. And most companies are simply not able to make the change. Many CEOs have looked to drive out costs, leaving the company even more constrained to growth.

    When we asked executives to what extent they exploited their growth potential, more than half said their company was reaching just 50% of its true growth capability. Yet, only a handful know how-or where-to tap into their potential for growth.


    What are the Main Barriers to Growth?


    Deficient Strategy - 29%

    Lack of Leadership - 27%

    Operational Gaps - 19%

    Lack of Customer Intimacy - 12%

    Regulatory Environment - 10%

    Economic Downturn - 6%

    Downward Product Life Cycle - 5%

    Cultural Resistance - 5% 

    Growth opportunities are everywhere and in every business. So what's the secret to driving growth? The truth is, there isn't just one. CEOs and business owners who achieve superior growth don't possess a secret plan that others lack. They know how to plan a course for long-term growth and then execute it flawlessly. After building a strong foundation, they push their organizations with well planned, calculated risks and innovation that lead to breakthrough growth.

    According to Information Week's numerous studies on corporate growth and exploring both short- and long-term growth strategies, they examined 29,000 companies over 14 years and interviewed numerous CEOs. Superior growth is within reach for all companies, in all industries and in all phases of the economic cycle. Moreover, 70% of the growth opportunity available to any company lies in internal factors that are under the CEO's control; only 30% is beyond the company walls.

    CEOs and business owners need to better manage business processes, drive sales and marketing, help their companies become more cost-competitive, provide better customer service, launch products and services, and make and integrate acquisitions more efficiently. To do this, they must increase their business and financial skills, and work with other leaders or advisors to develop successful growth strategies. Our research led us to create a four-step model for growth. It begins with relearning, fortifying, and mastering the basics of growth, and culminates with a solid plan for growth. The underlying imperative is simple: You've got to grow, you've got to do it from the ground up, and you've got to get started now.

    1. Strategy: Driving growth to the next level. 

    Many CEOs, presidents and business owners are preoccupied with daily operations.  They lack the planning and focus to strategically grow their businesses. But a successful growth strategy should focus on the near-and long-term. This is accomplished through short-term and long-term planning, forecasting and staffing, coupled with strong sales and marketing management and execution. CEO Advisor, Inc. specializes in working with CEOs and small business owners to refine and execute your strategy to maximize growth and profits.

    2. Goals: Both Short-term and Long-term.

    Strategy and planning for growth requires work on your company. Goals, goal setting in all aspects of business, tracking your goals, and executing on your business plan is critical to your success. If you do not have clear, written goals and a plan for each area of your company, particularly sales and marketing, you are wasting time and money every day. Growth is sacrificed and profits are rarely achievable. Cash becomes the constraint to your growth.

    3. Sales and Sales Team Building: This is a key strategic growth issue for all companies.

    Sales strategy and the strength of your sales team plays a large role in your growth. Building a sales team with sales goals, a sales plan, an incentive based compensation plan, sales reporting and accountability to close sales and achieve goals is the largest factor in a successful and profitable year. How you manage your sales team is the real secret to success in sales. To discuss your sales team and sales goals, contact Mark Hartsell at CEO Advisor at today.

    4. Pricing: This is a key aspect for building a solid foundation for growth.

    Companies have flexibility in setting price structures and they're seeing profits rise as a result provided they deliver on their promise of extremely high quality and service. An important factor in your pricing strategy is your strength in marketing, sales, and level of service. Effective management and execution of sales and marketing are critical factors to growth, and now is the time to review your pricing, margins and sales strategy. CEO Advisor, Inc. has helped many CEOs and small business owners make the needed changes for growth.

    5. Organization: Building for success.

    As companies shift away from cost cutting, they're discovering that their business models and performance metrics aren't conducive to growth. Implement and execute on the needed changes to drive your growth. As a result, the spotlight is squarely on CEOs and business owners to rejuvenate their organizations and infrastructures. Yet, while organization-oriented growth improvements can account for 25% of a company's future growth potential, they're more difficult to implement than operational strategies. Seek the help you need to implement and execute on the needed changes.

    The best CEOs drive their businesses along several dimensions simultaneously to maximize growth and profits. If they stumble, their execution of the basics provides enough stability for them to weather setbacks. Be aggressive with your goals and set realistic timelines to accomplish them. This includes an annual forecast as your primary goals to gauge your success.


    What's the right strategy for your company? Seek the advice of a professional to help you plan and execute a growth strategy for you and your company.


    CEO Advisor, Inc. has the expertise and experience to grow your business to the next level.  Contact CEO Advisor, Inc. today at (949) 759-8676 in So. California, or (301) 580-8071 in the DC Metro area, by email at or visit us at for more information.

    Visit us at

    Call (949) 759-8676 in CA or
    (301) 580-8071 in the DC Metro Area
    Copyright 2011 CEO Advisor, Inc. All rights reserved.