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CEO Advisor® Newsletter
December 2014

Keys to Success in 2015

The most important step in the success of your business is the execution of your Business Plan. You are more likely to achieve your goals, increase profits and increase the value of your company by executing on a well crafted Plan.  CEO Advisor, Inc. works hands-on with CEOs, presidents and business owners of companies with 1 - 200 employees to plan for success and meet your goals.

Below are five tools and techniques that can help you execute on your Plan:

  1. Plan for Success
    Effective execution starts with a Plan.  The ability to execute effectively is dependent on establishing goals and putting in place action plans with target completion dates.  Few companies use action plans to help manage the many initiatives required to achieve a strategy and a set of goals.  CEOs and small business owners fail to hold people accountable for developing and using action plans which is very costly on several fronts.  Set your goals with target completion dates and manage these goals proactively to completion to achieve success.
  2. Achieve Top Performance
    In today's competitive business environment, every member of a team must work at their full potential.  CEOs can greatly affect performance to achieve sales goals, gross profit margin targets and net profit goals.  CEO Advisor, Inc. is instrumental in assisting CEOs and business owners in achieving success in these areas.
  3. Hold People Accountable
    At work, people who have a high level of accountability will take initiative to ensure the success of a project, provide early warning of potential problems, and try to resolve a problem even if it is not their responsibility. One reason we hesitate to tackle the accountability problem in a timely manner is a lack of clarity on what the person is accountable for in the first place.
    Discussions about accountability can be straightforward with less conflicts when everyone knows ahead of time what is expected and how success will be measured. Set measurable goals, assign people, set start and completion dates and follow-up consistently to ensure success.
  4. Facilitate Change
    Effective execution frequently requires a change in behavior on the part of those who you depend on to deliver the expected results. This demonstrates 3 things:
    1. That leader behavior has a direct impact on the success and timelines of achieving goals.
    2. That people are much less likely to make a behavior change successfully if they are not clear on the specifics and directions to proceed.
    3. That there are specific strategies and processes to help move people through the level of change.
  5. Improve Decision Quality and Acceptance
    There are three key things you can do to improve the quality of decisions:
    1. Make sure that people directly accountable are making the decisions. Empower people and hold them accountable for taking the initiative and addressing issues as soon as they arise.
    2. Involve the right people in critical decisions. Include experienced employees and advisors who provide relevant information that you might not possess.
    3. Use an objective, methodical approach to avoid letting emotion or bias cloud your decision-making or simply default to the kinds of decisions you've made in the past.

CEO Advisor, Inc. has been key to assisting many CEOs in proactively making critical decisions that greatly effect their profits and value of their businesses.
 
The Bottom Line
Today, most CEOs and small business owners understand that an energizing, well-conceived vision and a realistic, well planned strategy are critical to success. They appreciate the need for highly engaged employees with the skills required to do the job, for superior products and services, and for listening to customers.  Yet, even when these core factors are in place, many small companies are still not able to deliver consistent results.
 
Execution is challenging. Yet, if other companies can put a strategy and set of goals in place to increase success, profits and value of their business, so can you. CEO Advisor, Inc. has the expertise and experience to help you bridge the gap between vision, strategy and execution.
 
Contact Mark Hartsell, MBA, CEO of CEO Advisor, Inc. today for a no cost initial consultation at (949) 629-2520, by email at MHartsell@CEOAdvisor.com or visit us at www.CEOAdvisor.com for more information.

Invest in Yourself
Critical Skills for the CEO/Owner
The Wharton Business School newsletter, published by The Wharton School, University of Pennsylvania did a recent poll of executives and business owners. The results below show the four most important skills that would strengthen a CEO's performance.
Strengthening what skill would most improve your performance?
Leadership - 33%
Time Management - 28%
Negotiating - 22%
Understanding Your Financials - 17% 
1. Leadership
Leadership and execution is the key to success and achieving your goals. Leadership requires planning, organization, being proactive, having a crystal clear understanding of the business both financially (quantitatively) and operationally (qualitatively), hiring and managing people of multiple generations and cultures, and creating a culture of accountability to grow your business to the next level.
2. Time Management
Time management is the Achilles heel of most CEOs and small business owners. Not just managing time on a calendar and working 60 hours a week to keep up, but real strategy and planning to focus and structure your time to impact your business in a disciplined manner. CEO Advisor, Inc. works with its CEOs and small business owner clients to set goals and priorities, and truly excel in both leadership and time management.
3. Negotiating to Success
Negotiating is the Holy Grail in business - with customers, prospects, vendors, employees, etc. We focus deeply on negotiations using some of the top techniques used by military leaders and business people. Your sales team can benefit tremendously from sales training and negotiating skills training from securing the initial meeting to negotiating price effectively to closing large deals. Strengthening your negotiating skills can yield a 100X return on your investment. If you are not a master negotiator and salesperson, invest in your negotiating skills and prosper in 2014 and beyond.
4. Understanding Your Financials
If there is one New Year's resolution that every CEO and small business owner should commit to is gaining a thorough understanding of the financials of your business. If you don't, you are flying blind! This includes your Profit & Loss Statement (Accrual and Cash basis), Balance Sheet, Financial Ratios, creating a 2014 Financial Forecast, and learning to analyze and understand how to positively impact your Gross Margins and Net Profit, as well as, pinpointing early signs of problems. CEO Advisor Inc. spends the time to ensure every client not only understands but uses their company's financials in growing their business to the next level.
Contact Mark Hartsell, MBA, CEO of CEO Advisor, Inc. today at (949) 629-2520 for a no cost initial consultation, by email at MHartsell@CEOAdvisor.com or visit us at www.CEOAdvisor.com for more information.
Critical Skills for the CEO/Owner
The Wharton Business School newsletter, published by The Wharton School, University of Pennsylvania did a recent poll of executives and business owners. The results below show the four most important skills that would strengthen a CEO's performance.
Strengthening what skill would most improve your performance?
Leadership - 33%
Time Management - 28%
Negotiating - 22%
Understanding Your Financials - 17% 
1. Leadership
Leadership and execution is the key to success and achieving your goals. Leadership requires planning, organization, being proactive, having a crystal clear understanding of the business both financially (quantitatively) and operationally (qualitatively), hiring and managing people of multiple generations and cultures, and creating a culture of accountability to grow your business to the next level.
2. Time Management
Time management is the Achilles heel of most CEOs and small business owners. Not just managing time on a calendar and working 60 hours a week to keep up, but real strategy and planning to focus and structure your time to impact your business in a disciplined manner. CEO Advisor, Inc. works with its CEOs and small business owner clients to set goals and priorities, and truly excel in both leadership and time management.
3. Negotiating to Success
Negotiating is the Holy Grail in business - with customers, prospects, vendors, employees, etc. We focus deeply on negotiations using some of the top techniques used by military leaders and business people. Your sales team can benefit tremendously from sales training and negotiating skills training from securing the initial meeting to negotiating price effectively to closing large deals. Strengthening your negotiating skills can yield a 100X return on your investment. If you are not a master negotiator and salesperson, invest in your negotiating skills and prosper in 2014 and beyond.
4. Understanding Your Financials
If there is one New Year's resolution that every CEO and small business owner should commit to is gaining a thorough understanding of the financials of your business. If you don't, you are flying blind! This includes your Profit & Loss Statement (Accrual and Cash basis), Balance Sheet, Financial Ratios, creating a 2014 Financial Forecast, and learning to analyze and understand how to positively impact your Gross Margins and Net Profit, as well as, pinpointing early signs of problems. CEO Advisor Inc. spends the time to ensure every client not only understands but uses their company's financials in growing their business to the next level.
Contact Mark Hartsell, MBA, CEO of CEO Advisor, Inc. today at (949) 629-2520 for a no cost initial consultation, by email at MHartsell@CEOAdvisor.com or visit us at www.CEOAdvisor.com for more information.

As a business owner and CEO, you selectively make investments in your business on an on-going basis - meaning you invest in yourself!  Yes, investing in yourself may generate the largest return on any investment you can make anywhere on this planet.  Investing in yourself and your business enables you to dictate your future and your success.  Investing in yourself and your business enables you to increase sales, profits and the value of your business toward an exit and the largest payday of your life.
 
More than investing in real estate, bonds or equities, investing in your business is the key to your success provided you have the proper roadmap to achieve your goals.

 

Here are 6 steps you can take right now that will pay tremendous dividends:


  1. Strategic Direction The direction of your business is critical to your success.  Now is the time to re-assess, strategize and review the year-to-date progress and make adjustments for the new year.  Growing 10% year after year is not a gauge of success, and certainly will not increase the value of your business.  Approach the new year with a productive plan and clear strategy and sales focus to ensure success in 2015. 
  2. Focus If you are not sure where you're going, you will never get there.  Focus on your highest priorities and document what needs to be accomplished, who will accomplish them and when these priorities must be accomplished by.  Focus on what meets prospects and customers' needs, drives sales and profits, and builds value in your company. 
  3. Time Management Use your calendar beyond setting meetings.  Proactively plan at least 6 hours of every day - a week (up to a month) in advance to enable you to stay focused on priorities and make for the highest and best use of your time by prioritizing your tasks and goals each Friday.  Minimize the interruptions throughout your day, and explain to your management team and your staff to funnel live questions to you a half hour prior to lunch and at the end of the day after 5:00 in order for everyone to have more focused, productive time.  You need to move the needle on your business weekly and this will help you to do so. 
  4. Review the Numbers Create key metrics for your business that will clearly tell you if you are on track to achieve results.  Review your financials at least monthly and make sure to understand them thoroughly so you can inquire on specific numbers and make needed decisions based on your financials.  Track these key metrics monthly (in real-time if possible) as a critical step in the health, growth and success of your business.   Defining and tracking these key metrics will substantially increase sales and profits, enabling you to make faster and improved decisions. CEO Advisor, Inc. regularly assists CEOs in setting up these key metrics to drive success. 
  5. Set Your Goals Establish clear near-term and long-term goals for your business.  Create and prioritize tasks and deadlines around what is needed to accomplish these goals.  Then, assign personnel, management or advisors to ensure timely completion of these tasks and projects. This can be one of the best investments you can make. 
  6. Invest in Needed Advice  The business issues above are just some of the more critical issues that you must tackle every day. The impact on your business, your life, your bottom line, your cash flow and the value of your business is tremendous. A trusted, seasoned business advisor can be the difference in your business success and achieving your life's dreams.

  

Contact Mark Hartsell, CEO of CEO Advisor, Inc. at (949) 629-2520, by email at mhartsell@CEOAdvisor.com or visit us at www.CEOAdvisor.com for a no cost, no obligation initial consultation today.

Testimonial  



"As a President of a small technology company, I have been very pleased with the services provided by my 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

Words of Wisdom


"Good business leaders create a vision, articulate the vision, passionately own the vision, and relentlessly drive it to completion."
 
Jack Welch
Businessman, Author