Ask Mr. Biz (viewer questions) March 2023

Ask Mr. Biz - March 2023

Check out the latest episode below. Mr.Biz Radio provides business owners with the knowledge and insights needed to drive their companies forward.

Mr. Biz Radio: Ask Mr. Biz (viewer questions)

Unedited transcription of the show is included below:


Welcome to Mr. Biz radio, Biz. Talk for Biz owners. If you're ready to stop faking the funk and take your business onward and upward, this show is for you. And now here's Mr. Biz, Ken Wentworth.


All right, welcome to another episode of Mr. Biz. with me, Mr. Biz Ken Wentworth, and you guys are stuck with me for today. Wanna talk about, first of all, we're gonna do and ask Mr. Biz. I've got we'll see how many of these we can get through. We've got a handful of questions here from people all over the place, so we'll see on one of those we can get through. And I wanted to talk about, so I lemme just give you an idea as a prelude some of the things we're gonna talk about. Do I have what it takes to run a business? Choosing a partner would partner a partner for business. Would that make it easier for success? Hiring qualified employees how much to spend on marketing and advertising considering the economy, especially setting pricing levels expanding.


He wants to expand. Yeah, he wants to expand beyond one location. Key considerations, et cetera. So, I dunno if we'll get through all those. We'll see if we can. So I wanted to start off with talking a little bit. I attended recently attended the Grant Cardone's Growth Con out in Las Vegas. It was three days, absolutely amazing. If you're an entrepreneur, business owner, et cetera, I highly recommend attending. Even if you don't attend in person, you can. He offers virtual, you can just do a virtual thing as well. Obviously much less expensive doing it that way. The conference, I don't know how he does that. He, he comes up with these guests that are just amazing. A lot of times he talks with celebrities people that are business owners, but mostly a lot of people that are well known.


Kathy Wood, for example, she, she runs ARC Investments amazing insights that she talked about. She, they're ARC investments, really specializes in innovative companies and who's sort of on the, on the come up things like that. So it was very interesting to hear her talk about their process, how they choose investments, et cetera. Gosh, so many people, Steadman Graham Mark Walberg Tom Brady, the goat talked. It was very interesting to hear about his journey through college and then into the N F L. A lot of great stories, of course. Just the, the guests were amazing. Highly recommend you attend. This is my, this is my fifth one that I've attended, and I can't imagine not attending that event. It's just it's highly recommended. Very good. Very good. All right, so let's get into some of the questions here.


Cause I want to get through as many as these we can. So as I mentioned, the first one was the first question we have from Mike in Cali. And Mike asked, do I have what it takes to run a business? It's kind of a trick question, Mike. I don't know you <laugh>, but what I can speak to is, at least in my experience a lot of experience, what I think are keys to actually being able to run a business successfully. Anyone can run a business, I think I'm guessing, Mike, that you wanna run a business successfully. First of all, thanks for submitting the question, Mike, don't mean to pick on you. So the first thing I'll say is, I'm glad you asked the question in some regards, because running a business, starting a business especially, and then starting a business is one thing, right?


Running a business is another, because the same skillset that it takes in the chutzpah for you old timers out there that it takes to start a business, you know, you probably need, you need to evolve and grow because you need a different skillset and you need to evolve your skillset as that business scales and grows. But I'll tell you some things that you really need. Whether you're starting a business from scratch, from zero, or you are taking over a business and, and if you're taking it over, there's probably at least a 50% chance that you're taking over a business that probably was either flatlined or maybe even struggling, et cetera. And that's why you ended up buying it. The person was selling it because it wasn't doing well, et cetera. So there's a few things that I would mention. First thing is, of course, you know, I'm gonna mention, you gotta have consistent perseverance.


When you're an entrepreneur. When you're a business owner, it doesn't matter how smart you are, how handsome or pretty you are, who you know, how much money you, it doesn't matter. You are going to make mistakes. It's just inevitable. It's just, it's part of the game. And if you're not, if you're not willing to accept that, don't do it. Don't do it. I I mentor a lot of people and you know, I have a lot of people that are you've heard me say this word this term on the, on the show before are entrepreneurs. They want to be an entrepreneur, but they're not sure and they don't have they just don't have the confidence yet to take that leap. And for many of them, I'd like to say that I proverbially push them off the cliff and force them to, to take action.


But honestly, for some, I mean, it's, it's been a few that I've told, you know, based on, you know, your skillset and, and less about skillset, more about mindset and psychologically, you know, I'll just tell 'em, I'm, I'm a truth teller. I don't think you're cut out for it. Because again, you're gonna take a lot of losses. I mean, a lot of losses along the way, unfortunately, again, it's just, it's part of the growth process. Now, after you've started your fourth, fifth, sixth business, you've been through the school of hard knocks, as they say, and you probably will have less of those losses, but you're still gonna have 'em. The losses could be external things that you can't even control. And, and so you have to be able to bob and weed with us. Now again, over time with experience, you've ex, you will have gone through some of those challenges, right?


So a down economy or the interest rates are up and depending what impacts your business, right? The weather, like if you have a seasonal business and the weather may impact it, for example. And so if you've got experience in that industry, whatever it is, you're gonna be able to bob and weave around those things and be successful. But that's the thing, consistent perseverance, you have to be able after you get knocked down to absolutely get back up and dust yourself off and say, look, all right, that didn't work. Let's try something different. I know that way doesn't work, so let me, let me try something different. Let me, let me switch things up a little bit. I know this gets overplayed, but I gotta say it, you gotta have some passion about what you do. And you don't have to be like, oh my gosh, I go to bed, bed at night dreaming about landscaping.


That's great if it is, but you don't have to be that passionate, but you have to have some passionate about it. And the primary reason is because what I just mentioned, you're gonna take some losses. If you're doing something that you go, you know what? I don't really give a crap about plumbing, but I'm gonna run a plumbing business. And you, and then you start taking losses, all of a sudden you really don't like the plumbing business, right? So it's, it's very, very important that you have some passion. Again, you don't have to be like over the top, you know, beating the drum off the, and yawing off the rooftop about it, but you gotta have some passion about it because otherwise, when you start taking those losses and start having those bumps on the road and those challenges, you're more likely to say, forget this.


This is a bunch of crap. I don't wanna do it, et cetera. So you don't wanna do that. The other thing I'll mention that's, that's critically important it is kind of got two parts. You have to have self-awareness. If you don't have self-awareness, you need to make sure that you've got people around you that are truth tellers, whether they're people in your business or people around you that are maybe sort of you, the, the mentor you or you talk with on a regular basis, maybe other fellow business owners, et cetera, that tell you, and will tell you truthfully, Ken, Bob, Joe, Jills, Susie, you're not good at this. Fill in the blank. Whatever it is, very few of us, if any, are good at everything, right? And in the business world, there are gonna be some things that come up and, and, and rather than bang your head against the wall and try to figure it out on your own, or as Natalie, Natalie Dawson.


Now Brandon Dawson's wife says I learned this term from her, so I gotta give her credit for it. G T S Google that. Rather than go through life that way, sometimes you gotta have self-awareness. Know what you're not good at, and hire your weaknesses. You'll end up saving money. And those, those resources, if you pick the right ones, will end up paying for themselves many times over a marketing person, I don't know, maybe a financial person. If that's not your cup of tea and you're not really good at that, those types of resources can pay for themselves many, many, many times over especially if you're not good at those things. So what we only got through one question, we're gonna hit a break here. So I'm already behind schedule now, I'm just kidding. We're gonna get through as many of these as we can. Come back after the break, we'll give the Mr. Biz tip of the week and we're gonna dive back into these questions. Next question is from Jeff in Pennsylvania.


If you would like to reach hundreds of thousands of business owners every week, Mr. Biz radio can help . Our show airs globally seven days a week for more than 25 hours across several internet radio stations, plus 20 plus podcast platforms. Also video exposure on the new exclusive Mr. Biz network streaming channel, which gets blasted to 100 plus streaming platforms and the Mr. Biz YouTube channel and our 350,000 social media followers multiple times every week. Join Mr. Biz nation as an advertiser by emailing us at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..


Are you ready to automate your business? Automation is the key to scaling a business and building wealth. It's also one of the most difficult things for a small business owner to do on their own. If you're looking for help with automation, Pulse Technology CRM can help. We have an exclusive offer for Mr. Biz nation. We will build everything for free, even if it's a sophisticated funnel, visit for this exclusive offer.


Got a question for Mr. Biz. You want answered on air, email it to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.. Now once again, here's Mr. Biz.


Alright, welcome back to the show. It's not from Mr. Biz tip of the week. And this week's tip is about budgeting. One of my three pillars of financial success, absolute must or is I also call it the B word, not that B word, but a lot of people think about budget the same way they think about the other B word. They don't like it. But the tip this week is that your budget has to be aspirational. Aspirational in growth, but also aspirationally attainable. Now, how do you balance that? Right? That's the trick. You can't make a budget that's just, oh my gosh, it's a slam dunk. I'll just kill it because you, you won't keep your foot on the gas pedal. You, you gotta make sure that it's something that's very aspirational. But you can't say, oh my gosh, we're gonna grow sales.


If, if sales have grown by 5% a year over the last three years, and you all of a sudden say, I wanna grow my sales by 300%, unless you have some groundbreaking new thing you're gonna do, or some new product line or new locations or an acquisition or something like that, that's probably not attainable. So you gotta kind of balance that. So it's very, very important though, but it has to be aspirational. Again, it can't be just a slam dunk easy, but first off, you gotta have a stinking budget, man. You gotta have a budget. It's just critically important. Again, one of my three three pillars of financial success for businesses. All right, that's Mr. Tip of the week, as I said. The next question comes to us from Jeff in Pennsylvania. So Jeff, thanks for submitting your question. And he asks, would a partner or partners make it easier to be successful as a business owner?


Gosh, I could talk about this for probably about, I don't know, 1.2 days. So think about it this way. I'll answer your question this way, Jeff, think about this. How many businesses of any size or magnitude or level of success do you know of that are run by one person and one person only? I'll wait. No, I won't wait cuz I'll be waiting forever. I'm not saying that they don't happen. They can happen, but gosh, think about it. Every business needs to have some partner or partners. And partner could be, you know, just hiring to start off. You're a solopreneur and you hire a va a virtual assistant to help you. That's a form of being a partner. I'm guessing that Jeff's talking more about a business partner that may have, you know, partial ownership in the business, things like that, that can also be very valuable.


A few things that I'll mention. So first of all, you know, it's very difficult to do it yourself. Think about, you know, again, I'll give you a couple examples. Think about Microsoft. Bill Gates maybe, probably couldn't have done it without himself, by himself, right? Needed was it Wazniak? Was it Wazniak? No, Wazniak was Apple. I think,Steve Ballmer,apple, you know, Steve Jobs big visionary, didn't ha needed someone to actually get stuff done. A partnership was great. He may have been, each of those individuals may have been unsuccessful on their own. If you have someone who's an operator and really good at getting things done, but they don't have any vision, probably not gonna go very far. If you have someone who's a visionary, but they're always chasing a new si shiny object, they're probably not gonna operationally get things done.


So, very important to be able to balance those things out. It goes a little bit back to what I talked about last segment about self-awareness. So that's another thing is that the fit has to be right. If you're gonna take on a partner, I would strongly suggest to have someone, especially if they're gonna, if they're a silent partner, just putting in money, that's one thing. But if they're gonna be involved in the business at all, you want to find someone optimally who has a complimentary skillset to yours. So if you're really good at finance and marketing, you probably don't want a partner that's really good at finance and marketing, right? Because you, you already have that skillset. So what you wanna to do is find someone who has the things that you're maybe weaken, as I mentioned the last segment of don't be afraid to hire for your weaknesses.


Well, in this case, partner with someone who has a skillset and has expertise in areas that maybe you are challenging for you or a weak point for you. The last thing I'll mention as far as partners partnership, especially when you're talking about equity and buying into the business, do not, do not repeat after me. Do not cheap out on the legal aspect of a partnership. I don't care if it's your uncle, I don't care if it's your brother, your sister, I don't care if it's one of your parents. I literally had, I won't mention any names, but I had a local client here who started a business with his father, and they, things literally went south with them, and now they don't even speak. So, not only is the business ruined, and it was a growing, thriving business, now the family relationship is ruined. You never know what's gonna happen with people.


You gotta make sure that you don't cheap out on the legals part. I I've given this example a couple many shows before, but I have someone I know pretty well started a business, took on some private equity money, and they grew the business from a 6 million business to a 60, 60 million business. And a few years, the private equity group came into him, said, by the way, pack up your stuff. We don't need you anymore. They bought him out for a half a million dollars because he cheaped out on the legal side. He said, no, no, I'm the founder. You can't do that. And they said, oh, well flip through the document. You see this paragraph four sentence two, yeah, $500,000 buyout, pack up your stuff, we don't need you anymore because he cheaped out on the legal side. You cannot do that. And I, again, you may be a close friend of yours, it's business.


I know it sounds cliched, but it's so true. You don't know what's gonna happen in someone's life, God forbid, that someone you know, that you're close to and you go into business with and you think, ah, we got a handshake agreement. That doesn't always work. What if that person, again, God forbid, has a a, a gambling problem they have marital problems, which causes some issues, you know, money issues, and then makes them, you know, creates bad decisions on there. And they get into, you know, alcohol or drugs or something like that, maybe because of a stressful situation that's going on in their life. You never know. Don't take it personally, but you gotta protect yourself from a legal perspective and just can come back and bite you in a butt too often. So, Jeff, thanks for that question. All right, we're gonna get up here next ooh, good one.


Shelly in the uk. Little cup of tea for you. <Laugh>. we, she asks how can I hire qualified employees? Again, lots of different ways to go at that, as I'm sure I know I got clients in all different geographies. I got clients in all different industries. Man, hiring has been so stink and challenging over the last, well, pre covid, but even worse post covid. But here's a couple things that I'll, I'll throw out to you that I think are critically important in hiring the best people. If you're trying to hire a brain surgeon, of course you gotta have someone who has a technical skill to be a brain surgeon. Generally speaking though, you wanna start with someone who has, who has this exhibits character, loyalty and work ethic. If you start with those three things and you hire someone who has those three characteristics, they will be a rockstar for you, even if they may not, may not have the technical skill.


Again, not something super technical like, you know, being a brain surgeon, but if you hire them and they, they'll learn the technical skill. If you're hiring a financial person, I, I'll speak from my days at JP Morgan. If I was hiring a financial analyst or someone like that and they didn't know Excel, I don't care. I'll send 'em to a class. They can learn Excel. Like too many people look at a resume and go, oh, well we need someone with Excel. The heck with that. I'll send you to class. You can learn Excel. And if you have those three things, if you don't, you're gonna go to class, you're gonna screw around. You're not gonna learn excel. But if you have character, loyalty and work ethic, you're gonna be like, gosh, gosh, I wanna learn this. I'm gonna be really good at my job. I wanna get through this one thing.


And I mentioned this on a show, it's been a long time since I mentioned it, but, so someone asked me one time when I was at a speaking engagement doing a q and a and they said, well, that sounds great. How the heck do I measure character loyalty and work ethic in a job interview? And I've only got a minute, so I gotta make this quick. But I would use, I call it the trash test. I'd put a piece of trash between the door and the office they were gonna walk into in their chair with a trashcan right next to it. So they literally had to step over the piece of trash to get to the seat that they were gonna sit in. If the person walks in, steps over the trash, the big red flag, if the person walks in and sees the trash in the trash can, it's right there.


Picks it up and puts the trash in the trash can. Big green flag doesn't mean you necessarily don't hire 'em or, or definitely hire 'em, but I'll tell you, it's a huge indicator. It indicates character, loyalty and work ethic. The person who picks it up and throws it away is not the person that you hire. And they go, ah, no one told me how to do that. The person who picks it up and throws it away is the one that says, there's a problem. I know how to fix it, right? There's a trashcan, I'm gonna fix it. Those are the kind of people you wanna bring on board. And that's a, that's one simple way to measure character, loyalty, work ethic. Okay, we gotta hit a break here. Come back. We'll keep going through these questions. Next up is Jake in Nashville.


How would you like to have direct access to Mr. Biz to help you run your business more profitably and more efficiently at you get live access to not only Mr. Biz, but also several of his handpicked and trusted business experts. Each with 20 plus years of experience to help you optimally manage and grow your business. That's just the start of where Mr. Biz solutions begins. Learn more at That's


Business owners have a continually growing to-do list with little time for revenue producing activities, with Check Off Your List and their experienced team of virtual assistant. You can focus on growing your business, visit to learn how Check Off Your List. Skilled team can handle your day tasks like social media, bookkeeping, calendar maintenance, and much more. Contact This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or call 8 8 8 2 6 2 1 2 4 9. To see how their virtual assistants can help you live to work rather than work to live.


Check out all three of Mr. Business best-selling books at Now, once again, here's Mr. Biz.


All right? Alright. All right, let's get back into this. As promised next question is from Jake Inn at Nashville, Tennessee. In Jake's question is, how much should I spend on marketing slash advertising, especially given the current economic conditions? I get this question a lot and my answer has not changed over the years over the last, you know, several years that you know, since I first got this question and really kind of thought this through a little, little bit, did a lot of research what I recommend all of my clients is generally speaking, to spend between two and 8% of your gross revenue, two and 8%, somewhere in that range. And some people I've had clients before that they get a little crazy and they get taken by, not taken, I shouldn't say that. They get a really good salesperson who comes in and sells them on some great new marketing, you know, plan or whatever and they end up, you know, overspending.


So if you have to, especially when you're starting up you know, you should have something when you're starting up, even before you have revenue, right? You're probably gonna need to do some things, do as much organic as you can, obviously, but you're gonna have to probably spend some money. But you gotta make sure as you start to have revenue, if you need to, to make sure you don't overspend, is, you know, literally I had, I had to do this with one client is I said, whatever your gross revenue is for February, that we're gonna multiply that by X percent, whatever, between two and eight that we were using. And that's how much you get to spend on marketing in March. Whatever your gross revenue is in March, we're gonna multiply that by between two and 8%, and that's what you get to spend in April, et cetera.


So we had to keep him very disciplined because he was willy-nilly buy this and do that and, you know, all kind of crazy stuff. You can use up to 15% to more than that, nine to 15% range if during short bursts, let's say you're opening a new location and you wanna really deluge that new market with advertising, let people know, Hey, we're, we're here, we're, we're in business. Come, come and do business with us. You might be launching a new product, you might have a new service that you're doing. You might if you're a professional services company and you are, you just hired a new lawyer, you brought on a new partner, for example, you might want to advertise that to bring in more business because maybe that partner has, has added an element in the attorney example that before you focused on, you know, three aspects, legal aspects, and now this new partner brings on a whole new thing.


Maybe they work with employment law, for example, and you can really market the heck out of that. The most important thing though is you gotta know what you kind of roi, return on investment you're getting in every form of advertising that you're doing. And I mean, every marketing and advertising, both of them, you gotta make sure that you're getting at least a three times roi. And I know some marketers out there are like, whoa, dude, you're killing me. You gotta be able to do that. You gotta be able to get that out of it. There are ways to do it, and if you got a good marketer, they'll get it for you. And if they don't find a new one or, or create a new plan. So those are the most important things. Two day percent expect a three times roi, meaning that if you spend a hundred bucks on marketing, you can bank on, I'm gonna get $300 of new sales or new revenue.


That's what I mean by that. So good question. I can talk about that for, for days. I wanna try to get through as many as we can. Oh the next one how do I set price levels? This is from Kristen in Las Vegas, Nevada. Kristin, I was just out in Las Vegas at Growth Con, as I mentioned, I could have we could have met up gosh, pricing levels. Well non, not even coincidentally, that's pricing is one of my other the second of my three financial pillars of two financial success, I should say for businesses. I mentioned the tip this week on budgeting. So the three pillars are cash flow, budgeting, pricing. So we talked about budgeting during the tip now we're getting questioned from Kristen in Las Vegas about pricing. So first you have to know your cost basis.


So there's, there's basically three ways to do pricing you know, technical terms, accounting, cost, accounting type things. I won't even take you into the weeds on any of that stuff. Most of you don't even care about that. It's probably gonna be like, whoa, that's way too technical. But you have, you gotta start with knowing your cost basis. Too many people use the back of an envelope, I'm being a little bit facetious here, but to create their pricing or they say, oh, well I'm a plumber and the plumber down the street charges a hundred bucks for a service call. I'm gonna charge 90 without even knowing their own cost basis. Terrible, terrible mistake. You have to know because maybe his cost base or her cost basis is much lower than yours. And so maybe their cost base for a service call is, their average cost base is, I don't know, let's call it $80.


So they're making $20 on every service call, right? They, their cost base is 80, they're charging a hundred. Well, maybe when you're starting out, you're cost base is 120 and you're charging 90 cuz you're trying to undercut 'em by 10 bucks, well, you're losing $30 on every service call you do. And that creates what I call the silent business killer. A product of service that you have that you unknowingly are not charging enough for. And so you're losing money on it. And so in this, in that example with the silent business killer, your sales, your revenue is going up, right? You're selling a whole bunch of these $90 service calls because they're cheap, but you're actually losing money. So your sales are going up and your net income is going down with every sale. You just get further and further. Just terrible mistake. The other thing I'll mention on when about knowing your cost basis, super, super important and all of your costs, like you gotta include everything in there, their indirect costs, direct costs, all that stuff.


And a portion of like your rent your utilities, all that all has to be baked into the cost basis for everything that you do. Everyone talks about gross margin. It's not nearly as important as net margin. Gross margin is just your, your revenue or your sales minus your cost of good sold the things that, that you, the expenses that you incur to, to produce that widget, for example. That's your gross profit, your gross margin, your net margin is your sales minus all your expenses. Not only your cost of good sold, but all of your indirects, your rent, your utilities, your insurance, all those kind of things too. Net margin is the most important. That's what ends up in your pocket at the end of the day. So we wanna make sure that, that we optimize that. The best thing you can do is create a pricing model.


I've done this for several clients and I'll make it, I'll make it as simple as possible. If they don't have a software system in which we can build it, I'll make it in Excel. And we give it to the sales people or anyone who's making sales calls or going out and dont to took of business development so they can ease and make it easy to use. So they can just punch it in, Hey, you know, enter this here, enter this here, enter this here. And it tells you here's what the, here's what the cost is gonna be or here's what you should, you should quote for that job. Super important. That keeps everyone disciplined. That ensures that every job that you book and that example is gonna be at the margins that you want 'em to be at. And excuse me, if you don't win a job because you price too high, that's okay, because you don't want jobs that are, are silent business code that are losing money or not at the margins you want.


Now, that might mean if you start losing a lot of jobs, you need to look at your cost basis again. How can I reduce my cost basis in order to be able to price lower, in order to be able to win more jobs? So that is that. Let me see if I can squeeze one more in. We got about a minute and a half left here. This one is from Devin in good old Ohio, Toledo, Ohio. As a matter of fact, he says, I want to expand beyond my one location that I currently have. What are the key considerations in doing so? Oh my gosh, ah, so gosh, I only have a minute, minute or so. The first thing is you gotta make sure that that first location is absolutely a well-oiled operating machine. Everything is awesome operationally, financially, everything is nailed down.


You got your marketing, you know, what people respond to for your business. Because when you open another location, essentially what you're doing, if you think about it, you're making a photocopy. You're saying, Hey, I'm gonna take location one, make a copy of it, but go over here. So you gotta make sure, you know, for the old, old people who know about copy machines you know, you make a copy of something, the, the next copy's not as good, and then you make a copy of the copy and it's even worse, right? So you go on down the line. So you gotta make sure that first one is really, really good as operating it at a nine or a 10 on a scale of one to 10. So when you copy it, you're getting there. You gotta have solid written policies and procedures. So when you open that new location, you get consistent experience for the customer.


Between location one and location two I'm kind of, I'm gonna have to rush through this a little bit to get through it. The last thing I'll mention though is people, you can't expand without the right people, especially in leadership optimally. You're gonna take someone who's been in location one and knows the ways, the culture, the vision, how you operate, that you can pull out a location one and put 'em in a location. Two, so you have consistency and then continue to, to operate the way you want. Unfortunately, I'm out of time. Had to rush through that one. Apologize. But guys, hopefully this is helpful. Ask Mr. Biz, submit your questions This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.. Thanks for watching. Thanks for listening. Have a fantastic week. And don't forget, as always, cash flow is king


To become part of Mr. Biz nation, follow him on all social media platforms or never miss a show by going to If you prefer free video content, visit the Mr. Biz YouTube channel or check out his streaming channel, which is available on 100 plus streaming platforms at

No comments

Comments are closed

The comments for this content are closed.