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CEO Advisor® Newsletter
November 2010

Critical Management Issues for Small Business

Today, most CEOs and business owners running a small business are at an inflection point. Whether to accelerate the growth of the business organically, step up and make an acquisition to grow, or to hunker down and make some changes to the business while cutting costs. Here is a fact that has been proven over and over again -Businesses are either growing or they are dying.

Here are 5 critical issues that you need to address now to ensure that your business is growing and making the risk of owning a business worth the risk, liability and opportunity cost of another career altogether.

At CEO Advisor, Inc., we put CEOs and business owners on a methodical track to grow their business to the next level with predictable and increased sales and profits. This is done over an initial 3-month period and is paramount to embracing the changes and disciplined needed to be successful.

The critical issues that must be dealt with on the path to accelerated growth and greater profits are: 

Inadequate Funding. Most businesses are undercapitalized from the start, but more so than not, the business is undercapitalized due to the CEO or business owner's lack of execution. These factors include, a) low gross profit margins due to pricing too low or too high cost of direct labor or materials resulting in no profits, b) lack of sales volume, sales goals and sales management, c) lack of marketing and marketing planning/execution, d) operating expenses are too high, and e) lack of good financial information and a lack of understanding of the financials by the CEO/owner to use them as valued tools.

Lack of Vision and Planning. This is the time of year to create a solid plan and forecast to ensure 2011 is a success. Plowing through the week on thirty tasks is not time well spent if you do not have a plan to execute on and to ensure accelerated growth and profits. If you do not have a monthly financial forecast that represents a) a sales plan and goals, b) gross profit targets, c) operating expense budget and d) net profit goals, then you are not on a path to growing your business to the next level.

Lack of Building Value and an Exit Strategy. If you knew that a large company was going to knock on your door tomorrow to come in and discuss buying your business for an attractive amount of money, would you run your business exactly how you run it today? Most business owners would honestly answer, "No." This answer means that you are not building value (the greater goal and equalizer why most of you take on some much risk and liability to be a business owner in the first place). By doing certain things and having a clear sight on the end-game, you can both build tremendous value and increase profits. We advise our clients on these matters, and we can advise you on the steps to sell your business at the right time.

Marketing. As a CEO Advisor, I have met with many CEOs, presidents and business owners and a consistent theme is the overall lack of marketing and sales. Marketing is key to representing your business as a trusted company that prospects are aware of, feel good about buying from, that educates and provides consistent communications, and most importantly supports the sales team in generating both leads and customers. Marketing requires research, planning, budgeting, execution and tracking to ensure a return on investment.

Sales and Sales Management. This is the critical aspect of every business and where the game is won or lost. There are many variables to building and managing a successful sales team. We see this as a major inhibitor to successful businesses. With that, we help many business owners prepare for, hire, train, implement and manage salespeople and teams to ensure the growth of the business. Without all of the right steps in managing your sales effort, the probability for success is greatly diminished.

CEO Advisor, Inc. ( provides a complete business advisory service to fit your budget to grow your business to the next level.  in the DC Metro area.


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.

CEO Advisor, Inc. Advises Netserv on Growth/Strategy

CEO Advisor, Inc., ( a leading business advisory firm serving the needs of CEOs, Presidents and business owners of small and mid-size companies, is advising the CEO of ISS/Netserv on growth, strategy, sales and marketing initiatives.

Integrated Service Solutions, Inc., dba Netserv ( is a full-service IT, network and telephony company serving clients in California. The company provides consultation, on-site and remote IT and telecom services, complete hardware and software solutions, project planning and management, and design and implementation services. Keith Mendonsa, CEO of Netserv states, "Your hands-on methods have created fast results. CEO Advisor's approach is deliberate, well planned and we can already see a successful 2011 in the making."

CEO Advisor, Inc. is focusing on growth, forecasting and goal setting, sales strategy, sales team building, and marketing by working directly with the CEO of Netserv. As a trusted, hands-on advisor to the CEO, Mark Hartsell, MBA, is providing on-site meetings, conference calls and hands-on work to generate results on a weekly basis to accomplish the desired goals of the engagement.

Mark Hartsell, CEO of CEO Advisor, Inc. states, "Netserv is a strong company with a history of providing top tier IT and telecommunications services to customers. We focus on the specific needs of the business owner to produce measurable results. As a business advisory firm for small to mid-size companies, our expertise in growing businesses enables us to quickly achieve specific, defined goals and tangible results."

About Netserv
NetServ offers the unique advantage of working with a single vendor, whether you are looking for on-going maintenance and support, to place a service call, or design a complete solution for your telecom or network infrastructure. Our clients include leading insurance, manufacturing, real estate, hotels, healthcare and professional services companies. Visit for more information.

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. 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.


"Over a one year period, Mark helped me to understand what my role entailed as a CEO of a small company. Together, we segmented my numerous headaches into achievable goals. 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

"As a President of a mid-size technology company, I have been very pleased with the services provided by CEO Advisor®. He contributed in many areas, but identified marketing and sales as our primary need. His guidance and contributions have been invaluable in establishing and maintaining a meaningful marketing and sales program for the company. He is a knowledgeable business advisor and a pleasure to work with."
CEO/President, Engineering Services/Manufacturing Company

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, Inc, provides a broad range of services and Mark is there for the CEO every step of the way."



Haynes & Boone, LLP

Words of Wisdom

"I've missed more than 9000 shots in my career. I've lost almost 300 games. 26 times, I've been trusted to take the game winning shot and missed. I've failed over and over and over again in my life. And that is why I succeed."


Michael Jordan

Prime Minister of the U.K.