(949) 629-2520

CEO Advisor® Newsletter
January 2012
Boost Growth and Profits in 2012 

CEOs and presidents of small businesses must remain focused in 2012. As many companies have gone into hiding (pulled back on marketing and salespeople, product development, etc.) in the recession, there is a tremendous opportunity for growth-oriented business owners. Below are 6 critical profit drivers for the coming year.

  1. Strategic and Tactical Focus                        CEOs and presidents develop and communicate their company's strategy, and focus on execution. It's critical that every employee's function in your company lines up with your company's strategic plan. Without the focus to execute that strategic plan, profits will suffer greatly. Communicate openly and focus your employees on the strategy, goals and tactics of the company to maximize growth and profits. 
  2. Sales Growth
    Growth is a must for every company to increase profits. Growth requires sales management, goals, planning and the creation of a sales and marketing machine. Target your top 100 prospects to optimize new business development. Also focus on your top customers to expand, upsell and cross-sell. 
  3. Gross and Net Profit Margins
    As a CEO focusing on profits, your Gross Profit Margin (GPM) (Sales less COGS) is the primary financial metric to measure on a consistent basis. Make sure your financials are set up to track Revenue, COGS and GPM so you can determine what products and services generate the most money. Target between 50 - 60% GPM to maximize Net Profits. 
  4. Cost of Goods Sold (COGS) 
    COGS are the costs to provide your products and services, and helps you calculate how profitable your products and services are (before overhead expenses). Your Cost of Goods - materials, direct labor, outsourced contractors and other costs related to producing your products and services are critical to your Gross Profit Margin (GPM). 
  5. Motivate and Manage Your Team
    The energy in the workplace reflects the level of enthusiasm and intensity of focus as expressed by the people working in that company. You need people engaged. You need your staff to care. And you as the leader need to be responsible for energy and urgency in order to maximize your profit potential. This can be tracked by developing reporting and metrics and updating these reports monthly to hold employees accountable and gauge your progress.
  6. Company Innovation 
    Are you constantly looking for ways to process orders quicker, create customer reports faster, save money by honing an internal procedure, develop new products and services? Company innovation is a global mindset in your company that is consistently improving how you do business. The impact of having your employees constantly innovating is a huge driver of profitability for any company. The key is to balance focus and execution versus innovation.

When every staff member knows how their job directly relates to these 6 critical Profit Drivers, you are that much closer to creating a company that will outperform competitors, excel in customer service and bring more profit to your bottom line.


CEO Advisor, Inc. specializes in business growth focusing on sales and marketing as two critical areas of any business. Contact Mark Hartsell, MBA, CEO of CEO Advisor, Inc. at (949) 759-8676 or email at

No Leader is a Master of Everything 

Business leaders, CEOs and business owners often find themselves in situations where they are expected to do things they have little knowledge of or experience with. With the multitude of things that can occur in business, it is unreasonable to assume anyone can be well prepared for every situation. 


The Pressure to Perform

Leading an organization requires many skills and strong emotional intelligence; it is not for the faint of heart. Battle-weary, you press on toward that ultimate goal of growing revenue and increasing profit. You invest your blood, sweat and tears into your organization and employees day after day only to be challenged with a never-ending stream of new situations and circumstances.


CEOs and business owners find themselves in situations where they are regularly asked to make choices based on experience and knowledge, and expected to execute those decisions with confidence and strength. All too often CEOs and business leaders will avoid the necessary due diligence and make bad decisions simply because they are unwilling or unable to say they just don't know. This is when the real danger is at its peak - when the greatest damage can occur. 


Once a poor decision has been made, it is much more difficult to correct the mistake. Rather, they will continue to make poor decisions that often make a bad situation worse. Gaining third-party expertise can add tremendous value to you and your company through hands-on advice, experience and expertise.


Be Productive, Seek Advice


Step 1. You must understand what is and is not expected of you  and believe that no mere mortal has all the wisdom and intelligence to solve every problem on his/her own. Part of leadership is knowing when you don't have an answer and finding ways to get the information you need to make an intelligent decision.


Step 2. Talk to your team and your advisors and ask them for advice. Allowing others to participate in critical conversations is a sign of strength, not weakness. As the leader of your organization, asking for input from the right person(s) will enhance your ability to make profitable decisions.


Step 3. A strong business advisor typically has tackled what you are dealing with multiple times and has sound advice. While no one person is likely to have all the answers, business advisors have gone through many problems you are going through and are dedicated professionals in helping CEOs and business owners. Asking for outside help is not a sign of weakness or vulnerability; it is a sign of strength and wisdom. 


Step 4. As a leader, you must recognize that there is no such thing as perfection, and mistakes will be made by you and your staff. So long as you get most of the decisions right most of the time, you will be ahead of the game. When the stakes get higher, it is time to eliminate emotion from your thoughts and rely on facts, logic and outside expertise - things that often escape us when we are acting under pressure.


Contact CEO Advisor today for a free consultation at (949) 759-8676 or email


"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

Thank you, CEO Advisor! We are loving our new sales and marketing capabilities.  We now have a much broader contact base, and we are beginning to get bid requests from these contacts.


Thanks for the advice!"



Engineering Services Firm

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

"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

Author and Public Speaker

"Yesterday does not equal tomorrow. Forget the past and move towards your goals."
Tony Robbins
Motivational Speaker
"Yesterday does not equal tomorrow. Forget the past and move towards your goals."
Tony Robbins
Motivational Speaker

Prime Minister of the U.K.