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CEO Advisor® Newsletter
May 2011
Your Business Performance
  • It's easy to focus only on the day-to-day running of your business, especially in the early stages. But once you're up and running, it is critical to focus on longer-term strategic planning.  In a more competitive and demanding market, you need to get smart about maximizing sales, identifying new opportunities and understanding what drives performance. Assessing your business performance and conducting strategic business reviews will be particularly useful if you feel:   Uncertain about how well the business is performing
  • You are not using or able to understand your financial statements
  • Unsure if you're getting the most out of the business or making the most of market opportunities
  • Your business plan and forecast are out of date
  • Your business is moving in a direction different to the one you had planned
  • The business may be becoming unwieldy or unresponsive to market demands
  • Unsure if you should grow your company to the next level Your Core Strengths

A good starting point for your business performance review is to evaluate what you actually do - your core competencies and strengths, the products that you make, or services that you provide. Ask yourself what makes them successful, how they could be improved, what differentiates them, and whether you could launch new or complementary products or services.


  • It's useful to address these key questions about your products and services:   How effectively are you matching your products and services to your customers' needs?
  • Which of your products and services are succeeding? Which aren't performing as planned? Which are not profitable at all?
  • Decide which products and services offer both a high percentage of sales and high profit margins.
  •  What's really behind the problems of a product or service? Consider areas such as pricing, design,    marketing, sales and after-sales service during your business performance review. Financial Management Review

Are you conducting frequent financial management reviews? Are you keeping a close enough eye on your direct costs, your overheads and your assets? Are there different ways of doing things or new materials you could use that would lower your costs? Consider ways in which you can negotiate better deals with your suppliers. Answering these questions will give you the basis on which to improve performance and profitability.


Your Business Efficiency

Many new businesses work in a short-term, reactive way. This offers flexibility - but can cost time and money as you move from getting the business going to concentrating on growing and developing it. The best option is to balance your ability to respond rapidly with a clear overall strategy. This will help you decide whether the actions you take are appropriate or not.


At this stage you should conduct a strategic analysis - ask yourself if there are any internal factors holding the business back, and if so, what can you do about them? You should consider the various aspects of your business in turn, as part of a business review.


Review Your Financial Position

Businesses often fail because of poor financial management or a lack of planning. Often the business plan that was used to help raise funds is forgotten about afterwards. When it comes to your business' success, therefore, developing and implementing sound financial and management systems (or paying someone to do it for you) is vital.


  • Updating your business plan is a good place to start. When conducting a financial review of your business, you might want to consider the following: Cashflow - this is the amount of all of the money flowing in and out of your business.
  • Forecast - make sure that your forecast is regularly reviewed and updated.
  • Working Capital - have your requirements changed? If so, explain the reasons for any movement. Compare this to the industry norm. If necessary, take steps to secure additional capital.
  • Costs - keep your costs under constant review. Make sure that your costs are covered in your sale price - but don't expect your customers to pay for any business inefficiencies.
  • Borrowing - what is the status of any loans? Are there more appropriate or cheaper forms of financing you could use?
  • Growth - do you have plans in place to adapt your financing to accommodate your business' changing needs and growth? CEO Advisor, Inc. is a specialist in helping companies grow to the next level. Contact us today at (949) 759-8676 or email us at for a free initial consultation.
CEO Advisor, Inc. Advises Avanti Printing on Strategy, Finance, Sales, and Marketing

CEO Advisor, Inc. (, a leading business advisory firm serving the needs of CEOs, presidents and business owners of small and mid-size companies, is providing strategy, finance, sales and marketing advisory services to Avanti Printing, Inc., a leading Orange County printing, large format and graphics company.  

CEO Advisor, Inc. provides affordable, hands-on advisory services on strategy, goals, funding, sales strategy, sales team building, marketing, finance, accounting, turnarounds, mergers and acquisitions to grow businesses to the next level.  As a trusted CEO Advisor® to business owners since 2004, the firm specializes in driving growth and profits exclusively for business owners in a one-to-one advisory role on a weekly basis. 

Avanti Printing ( provides a full range of offset printing, digital printing, graphic design and mailing services.  Carlo Vescovi, President of Avanti Printing states, "CEO Advisor's hands-on advice and actual work performed is leading us through a process to increase sales and profits, improve our business efficiency and build value in our company week by week.  This hands-on approach to working with me each week is critical to hitting our goals."

Mark Hartsell, CEO of CEO Advisor, Inc. states, "Avanti Printing is an established company with a trusted brand and quality services.  Carlo's desire to increase sales and grow to the next level, coupled with his coachable approach to working together, is enabling us to quickly reach our milestones and goals."  

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 business owners with the needed expertise and focus, coupled with hands-on advice and work performed to grow your business to the next level.  By specializing in the needs of CEOs, presidents and business owners, we focus on 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 Washington, DC Metro area, by email at or visit us at for more information.

Contact Avanti Printing, Inc. at (949) 387-0787, by email at or visit them at for more information.


“CEO Advisor, Inc. has generated tremendously positive results at our company. As more of an operations person, I lacked several key skills to successfully manage our company at the CEO level. In short, my CEO Advisor put me through CEO boot camp and helped me learn how to properly perform my duties. He taught me how to create, monitor, and measure our operations in order to achieve more profit. This year, we re-contracted with CEO Advisor, Inc. to further accelerate the performance of our company. So far, the results have been outstanding."



Business Process Software and Services

"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

"If you want to succeed, you have to forge new paths and avoid borrowed ones."


John Rockefeller

American Businessman

Prime Minister of the U.K.