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CEO Advisor® Newsletter
September 2014

Planning, Forecasting and Goal Setting for 2015

The 4th Quarter is nearly upon us and that is the time for planning for the coming year. October and November should be your planning months to prepare for 2015 and maximize your opportunity for success.  Planning, forecasting and goal setting are critical to any company, large or small.

CEO Advisor, Inc. works with CEOs, presidents and business owners of small and mid-size companies on strategy, growth, business planning, sales, sales management, marketing, funding, mergers and acquisitions.  The key to a successful year is strategy and planning in order to maximize your growth, sales, profits and value of your business.  Conversely, if you are not committing time and focus on planning, forecasting and goal setting for the upcoming year, you are missing a major opportunity.

Planning
Planning doesn't mean just reviewing or updating a brief business plan and going back to your daily routine.  Business planning is a critical aspect of your business that enables you to rethink, adjust, plan, research, strategize, prioritize, focus and allocate resources to your largest opportunities, while minimizing wasted time, energy and resources.

Planning takes discipline, expertise, the ability to strategize, update and mobilize around a focused effort.  Execution is the follow-on implementation of your 2015 Plan in a well thought out, concentrated effort.  If you are not executing on your Plan, you are wasting time and money, missing opportunities, flushing valuable resources and causing irreparable harm to your company, many times on a permanent basis.

Forecasting
Creating a monthly financial forecast of Sales, Cost of Goods Sold (COGS or costs directly related to providing your product or service), Gross Profit (Sales minus COGS), Gross Profit Margin (Gross Profit divided by Sales), Expenses (Overhead), Net Profit and Net Profit Margin (Net Profit divided by Sales) is paramount to effectively running your business.

Additionally, a financial forecast enables you to compare your actual financial results to your forecast, proactively make needed adjustments to your business, eliminate wasted time and resources, increase gross margins and maximize your profits.
Without a monthly forecast, you are flying blind throughout the year with no metrics or financial goals.  This, again, will leave a lot of money on the table that will never be recovered.  Forecasting is a straight forward process and a key part of planning for the new year that can be one of the biggest drivers of success and profits.  Your forecast will drive your sales team, sales activity and increase productivity substantially.

Goal Setting
Goal setting should entail all aspects of your business including, a) Company goals, b) Management goals, c) Employee goals, d) Financial goals, e) Sales team goals and individual sale team member goals, f) Sales per Employee goals, g) Gross Profit and Gross Profit Margin goals, h) Net Profit and Net Profit goals, i) Optimizing Financial Ratios and others measureable goals to grow your business to the next level.

Without setting measurable goals, you and your employees may spend the majority of 2015 going day to day in a constant cycle of reactive tasks instead of proactively focusing on and accomplishing your goals, executing on your Plan, and maximizing sales and profits.

When I meet with CEOs of small and mid-size businesses throughout the year (and I meet with approximately 200 of them annually), they typically cannot answer the simple question, "What are your goals for this year?"  They throw out short answers such as, "Grow the business", or "Sales", but cannot go beyond this and answer the question distinctly with their four to eight primary goals to drive their businesses forward and maximize their profits and the value of their business.

This is due to a lack of planning, forecasting and goal setting and is a major deterrent to success and profits.  CEO Advisor, Inc. provides business consulting services to quickly and effectively assist you in planning, forecasting and goal setting for 2015.  For a free initial consultation with a trusted business advisor, contact Mark Hartsell, MBA, CEO at 949-629-2520 or email MHartsell@CEOAdvisor.com.

Critical Skills for the CEO/Owner
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.

A recent newsletter, published by The Wharton School, University of Pennsylvania did a poll of executives and business owners. The results below show the 4 most important skills that would strengthen their performance.


Strengthening what skill would most improve your performance?


Leadership - 33%


Time Management - 28%


Negotiating - 22%


Understanding Your Financials - 17% 


1. Leadership. Without leadership and execution you will not make it in today's business world. Leadership requires planning, organization, forecasting, 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 for today and the future, and creating a culture of accountability to survive and grow in our current environment.


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 70 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. Negotiating is the Holy Grail in business - with customers, prospects, vendors, employees, etc. As part of Mark Hartsell, MBA, CEO of CEO Advisor, Inc.'s certification in Mergers and Acquisitions at the Wharton School, we focused deeply on negotiations using some of the top techniques used by military leaders and business people. 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 2015 and beyond.


4. Understanding Your Financials. Every CEO and small business owner should commit to 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 2015 Financial Forecast, and learning to analyze and understand how to positively impact your financials and see 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 by providing business consulting services at a very economical rate.


Contact CEO Advisor, Inc. today at (949) 629-2520, by email at info@CEOAdvisor.com or visit us at www.CEOAdvisor.com for more information.


Client Testimonial  
 

"I owned a small but growing company and realized I was in need of an experienced business consultant to help organize our existing structure which would enable us to seek outside funding. Mark was encouraging and demanding, which is just what we needed. He brought a level of professionalism to our company that eventually allowed us to sell to private equity."


CEO

Consumer Products Company

 

Words of Wisdom

"A smart man makes a mistake, learns from it, and never makes that mistake again. But a wise man finds a smart man and learns from him how to avoid the mistake altogether."


Roy H. Williams
Author


 

 

"The pessimist sees difficulty in every opportunity. The optimist sees opportunity in every dif

 

Winston Churchill

Prime Minister of the U.K.