AvatarSabrina Parsons

Sabrina Parsons

Sabrina has served as CEO of Palo Alto Software since 2007. She and her husband, Noah, founded a UK software distribution company in 2001 that later was purchased by and became a wholly owned subsidiary of Palo Alto Software. Sabrina is a successful Internet expert, having served as Director of Online Marketing at Commtouch, Senior Producer at Epinions.com, and founder of her own Web consulting company, Lighting Out. She is a graduate of Princeton University. Sabrina masquerades as MommyCEO (www.mommyceo.org), where she writes a blog about running a business and balancing that with life with her husband and three young sons. When Sabrina is not at work she can be found chasing her kids all over Oregon: biking, hiking, swimming, skiing, and anything outdoors that uses up a lot of little boys' energy.

Recent Articles Published by Sabrina Parsons

planning

How to Get the Most Out of a Sample Business Plan

The basic idea of a sample business plan makes perfect sense. If you haven’t done a business plan before, a sample plan gives you an instant idea of what you should include, how to structure it, even what to write. Here's how to get the most out of a sample business plan. Read more »

managing

3 Good Reasons Why Nonprofits Need Better Budgets

Budgets are an important tool for nonprofits—both from a legal standpoint, and to keep investors and donors engaged and happy. Here's how to improve the budgeting process within your nonprofit. Read more »

funding

How to Respond When You Don’t Know the Answer to an Investor’s Question

I’m often asked by entrepreneurs how to best present to investors, and how to deal with all of their questions. A big fear that most people have before they pitch to an investor is about getting a question they don’t have the answer to. They want to know how to deal with being unprepared in... Read more »

managing

#NotEqualYet: The Infographic

We’ve come a long way toward gender equality, in the workplace and elsewhere, but every day, there are still women feeling the negative effects of sexism in their lives. One of the arenas where change has been slow and large disparities still exist is the workplace. Especially for working moms in the United States, navigating... Read more »

managing

How to Grow Your Business by Setting Goals [Webinar]

We all have goals for our business, but sometimes we forget how important it is to clearly define these goals. This is especially true when it comes to financial goal setting for small businesses, where often financial goals are only vaguely defined or based too heavily on assumptions. Many small business owners may keep a... Read more »

funding

The Basics of Small Business Loans [WEBINAR]

What do you need to know about small business loans before you apply? A lot! You have a lot of options, and there are a lot of variables in the equation that determines whether you’ll qualify for the loan you’re applying for (or whether that loan is even a good fit for you and your... Read more »

managing

5 Critical Tips to Reduce Your Business Taxes This Year [WEBINAR]

Editor’s note: Since publication of this update, our Scoreboard feature has undergone a change, and we now call it the Dashboard.   Tax season has come and gone, but the main takeaway from our recent webinar on tax planning for small businesses is that the key to saving money on your taxes is to think ahead... Read more »

planning

10 Things Every Small Business Needs To Do

If you're looking to start a new small business, there are a lot of factors to consider. But boil it down, and you're left with just these ten things to focus on. Read more »

managing

Lean Planning Drives Growth For Small Business

These days more than ever, as a business owner and entrepreneur, you need to innovate or die. This mantra is most true for any business in the technology sector. We constantly need to move forward, create new things, better and faster. The pressure that a small business owner has to leverage innovation into growth is only emphasized by the... Read more »

planning

Debunking a Myth: Business Plan = Venture Funding?

Time and time again I am surprised when people espouse the common myth that you only need to write a business plan if you are seeking funding for your business.  And then I start lecturing them. Yes, every entrepreneur needs to start with a business plan, and I mean EVERY entrepreneur, not just those seeking... Read more »

planning

Mason Entrepreneurship Research Conference

Tim was recently invited to be the keynote speaker at the George Mason Entrepreneurship Research Conference. Not only is it an honor for Tim, but also for Palo Alto Software. And now for the cherry on top, a post from Campus Entrepreneurship: Just listened to Tim Berry give the keynote address during lunch. Tim was... Read more »

managing

Another Email Fail: You Can’t “Reply to All”

Nielsen, as in the company that does TV ratings and such, has removed the “reply to all” feature from their email client.  Read more about it here in this article. Their theory is that removing the “reply to all” feature will force people to really think about who should be copied on the message. IF... Read more »

managing

SWOT Is Not Special Weapons and Tactics

Ok, so, if I am not referring to a special police unit what is SWOT and how can it help you run your business better? SWOT stands for Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, and Threats. Every business should be doing a SWOT assessment every year to make sure that they understand the current market and to focus... Read more »

managing

Good expenses? Bad Expense?

As we head into this uncertain time in the American economy, anyone who runs a small business is thinking about how the downturn will affect their business. Some businesses have already been affected and many more are worried, very worried. So besides losing sleep, pulling your hair out, and biting your fingernails until they bleed... Read more »

managing

Shut up, you stupid customer

Ok. Maybe the title is a little bit harsh, but it got your attention, right? Why is it that more and more these days I feel that companies I purchase products and services from are telling me to “shut up and take it”. Let me give you just a few real examples of times I... Read more »

managing

Easy, But Great, Local Marketing

as posted on MommyCEO A neighbor down the street from my house has been doing a fairly extensive remodeling project this summer. As fellow home owners my husband and I have been curious and always try to peek at the house to see what is being done. There is, of course, a little sign on... Read more »

managing

Email Begets Email

As small businesses get more Web savvy they are being told to understand email marketing and to use it as a great way to reach their customers. For the first time in a while I see great advice about email marketing: if you send it out — be ready to reply to it. Seth Godin... Read more »

managing

Customer Service Is Marketing

Seth Godin writes a great post about Verizon and their lack of customer care. What I find fascinating is companies that have lots and lots of money to spend on marketing — and then totally blow it on the customer service side of things. What exactly is so difficult about putting a proper system in... Read more »

Princeton Business Plan Competition

The 4th annual Princeton Business Plan Competition is happening Friday May 30th on Princeton University campus in Princeton, NJ. Tim Berry, president of Palo Alto Software, and I will be there to help judge, run, and teach at the competition.  5 start-ups will be presenting their ideas to a panel of judges in hopes of winning a... Read more »

managing

90% of success is just showing up

People always wonder what it takes to really be successful. I remember wondering as I graduated from college whether I would “make it” in the “real world.” I somehow had this picture  that everyone would be smart and hard working and know what they were doing. 12 years out I know the sad reality of... Read more »