50 episodes

An unfiltered conversation between two veteran entrepreneurs and agency owners highlighting the decisions you'll need to make in your business.

Business Unfiltered Jeff Sauer and Chris "Mercer" Mercer

    • Business
    • 5.0 • 2 Ratings

An unfiltered conversation between two veteran entrepreneurs and agency owners highlighting the decisions you'll need to make in your business.

    The CFO Role

    The CFO Role

    Welcome back to Business Unfiltered with Mercer and Jeff Sauer today's topic is The CFO Role
    0:00: Integrating CFO mentality in small businesses. Mercer and Jeff Sauer discuss the CFO role in small businesses, exploring how to integrate the CFO mentality without hiring a full-time CFO. They consider options such as using an advisor or CPA to play the role, and how entrepreneurs without accounting background can still adopt the CFO mindset.
    2:37: Financial management for small businesses. Jeff discusses the importance of financial management for small businesses, highlighting the need for a bookkeeper to organize financial records and provide valuable insights.
    4:43: Outsourcing bookkeeping tasks for small businesses. Bookkeeper helps small businesses by organizing financial data and ensuring accuracy.
    5:37: Roles for small business financial management. Bookkeeper: manage day-to-day finances, invoicing, and payments. Virtual CFO/Business Coach: help with financial planning, forecasting, and profitability.
    7:37: Financial roles in small businesses. Jeff discusses the importance of hiring a financial controller in small businesses, as they bridge the gap between the CEO and CFO roles and manage financial statements, reports, and expenses.
    11:26: The tension between entrepreneurs and controllers in a business. Jeff suggests that CFOs and entrepreneurs often have different perspectives on growth, with CFOs focusing on facts and entrepreneurs looking to the future. Mercer agrees, noting that CFOs are risk-averse and entrepreneurs are more willing to take risks, leading to conflicts in decision-making.
    15:32: Financial forecasting and risk management in business. Mercer emphasizes the importance of forecasting in business, citing the need for both marketing and financial control to work together to make informed decisions.
    20:01: Financial planning and control for a business. Jeff suggests breaking down financial forecasting into weekly, monthly, quarterly, and annual intervals to stay on top of expenses and revenue.
    24:28: Financial management and decision-making for a business. Jeff highlights the value of having a CFO or financial professional involved in decision-making, as they can provide objective and unbiased analysis and recommendations.
    26:57: The importance of a CFO role in business. Mercer encourages listeners to have conversations within their organization about the CFO role and how it can be implemented, even if hiring a CFO is not currently feasible.

    • 31 min
    Do You Need Business Insurance

    Do You Need Business Insurance

    Welcome back to Business Unfiltered with Mercer and Jeff Sauer today's topic is Do You Need Business Insurance
    0:00: Business insurance and its importance. Jeff believes business insurance is essential to protect against financial loss in case of lawsuits or unforeseen events. He cites the low cost of insurance compared to the potential financial repercussions of not having it.
    1:54: Business insurance and its importance. Mercer agrees, particularly in protecting against unexpected events like black swan events. He emphasizes the importance of peace of mind when considering insurance, valuing it as "pennies on the dollar."
    6:21: Insurance for businesses and self-insurance. Jeff argues that self-insuring for business costs, such as legal fees, can be hazardous as the potential costs are infinite.
    8:55: Business insurance options and costs. Mercer discusses the importance of understanding insurance policies and negotiating deductibles to reduce costs. Both hosts emphasize the need for risk assessment and cost-benefit analysis when selecting insurance policies.
    14:17: Business insurance costs and coverage. Jeff suggests business owners should consider life insurance policies to protect their businesses, as insurance can help pay off debts and ensure the business continues to operate smoothly in the event of an owner's death.
    16:40: Business insurance for service providers. Mercer emphasizes the importance of having a clear understanding of insurance policies, particularly for service-based businesses. His biggest pro tip is to have a detailed conversation with an agent to ensure you understand the coverage and probabilities of different events occurring.
    21:58: Risk management and insurance for businesses. Jeff discusses the importance of becoming educated and asking questions when dealing with insurance.
    25:14: Business insurance types and importance. Mercer emphasizes the importance of insurance for businesses, especially as they grow. He encourages listeners to educate themselves on insurance and to customize their policies to their specific business model.

    • 30 min
    Merging Between Companies

    Merging Between Companies

    Welcome back to Business Unfiltered with Mercer and Jeff Sauer today's topic is Merging Between Companies
    0:00: Company mergers and partnerships with distinctions and examples. Jeff defines company mergers and partnerships as a legal entity and a structure, respectively, and clarifies the distinction between partnerships and other terms like co-promotions and affiliate relationships.
    3:58: Mergers and partnerships for small businesses. Mergers can be risky for small businesses, but they can also bring cost savings and revenue growth if done correctly. Jeff believes mergers are an underutilized tool for companies, can help overcome skills gaps, and increase business value.
    9:15: Business growth and mergers. Mercer prioritizes enjoying the game of business over the specific task or industry, highlighting the importance of personal fulfillment in entrepreneurship. Jeff enjoys solving business puzzles, appreciates good systems, and learned to surround himself with people who complement his strengths.
    14:46: Leaving a business after 8 years and starting a new venture. Jeff left his company after 8 years to pursue his own goals but remained an owner and provided strategic advice for 8 more years until the business sold. This decision to leave was influenced by a desire to reach his financial goals which was not possible within the company.
    17:11: Business mergers and partnerships. Mercer struggled with marketing his business, preferring long-form content like podcasts and webinars, but never feeling comfortable with traditional marketing methods. Mercer and Jeff discussed merging their brands in December, with Mercer expressing skepticism but ultimately agreeing to the idea on a call.
    22:31: Merging two marketing companies. Jeff and Mercer have merged their companies, with Mercer's brand Measurement Marketing, and Jeff's brand DataDrivenU now under one LLC. Mercer is glad to be together with Jeff and can now leverage their combined experience and expertise.
    25:16: Business partnership and merger. Jeff and Mercer slow-dated each other through the podcast, taking turns sharing ideas and improving each other's thoughts. The speakers realized they were a good fit after discussing a major opportunity with Profit School.
    29:34: Successful podcast merger and partnership. Mercer and Jeff prioritized integrating the back of the house before the front, reflecting their careful approach to mergers and partnerships.

    • 33 min
    Power of Mindset For Growing Sales

    Power of Mindset For Growing Sales

    Welcome back to Business Unfiltered with Mercer and Jeff Sauer today's topic is Power of Mindset For Growing Sales
    0:00: The impact of mindset on sales growth. Mercer defines mindset as the number one thing needed for business growth, as it shifts the focus from trying to make a sale to providing value to customers.
    2:24: The importance of mindset in business and personal growth. Mercer emphasizes that mindset influences the words one uses, as it fuels everything. Jeff highlights the importance of mindset in sales, emphasizing the need to think long-term and not just focus on quick wins.
    7:10: Sales strategies and the importance of profit margins. Jeff discusses the importance of playing the long game in business, citing Nvidia as an example of a company that succeeded by focusing on innovation and perseverance rather than quick profits. He also warns against the dangers of getting caught up in "get rich quick" schemes, highlighting the importance of staying focused and adaptable in the ever-changing landscape of technology and business.
    10:39: Ethical sales techniques and mindset shifts. Jeff shares his thoughts on sales techniques and ethics, highlighting the importance of having a good product and offer and avoiding pressure tactics that can harm relationships.
    12:41: Mindset, focusing on abundance vs scarcity. Mercer emphasizes the importance of maintaining a probabilistic mindset, acknowledging the possibility of being wrong while striving for success. He describes his approach to client relationships as coming from an abundance mindset, prioritizing long-term partnerships over short-term projects.
    17:07: Sales strategies and incentivizing employees. Mercer shared how he helped shift a business colleague’s mindset from focusing on what he could get from automation in his business to how he could use it to provide value to others. He emphasized the importance of incentivizing his team with pay plans to align with the company's sales goals.
    22:08: Win-win mindset in business negotiations. Jeff discusses the "lose-lose mindset" in negotiation, where both parties feel like they've lost something, but the long-term goal is to win the relationship. He shares an example of offering a low-risk, implementation-based deal to clients, saving them money while maintaining quality.
    25:44: Business growth, profitability, and sales techniques. Jeff highlights the importance of reinvesting profits to achieve new revenue levels and maintain margins. The supply and demand curve and pipeline management are crucial for setting prices and growing a business.
    28:48: The importance of mindset in business. Mercer shares a personal experience of consistency and stability in his business through a focus on steady growth and systems, rather than quick launches and splashy marketing. He emphasizes the importance of mindset in business, suggesting that a win-win mentality can lead to better connections and outcomes.

    • 32 min
    Creating New Offers

    Creating New Offers

    Welcome back to Business Unfiltered with Mercer and Jeff Sauer today's topic is Creating New Offers
    0:00: Creating and improving business offers. Mercer defines an offer as a way to pitch a product or service, keeping it fresh and interesting to keep the market engaged. Jeff agrees, adding that the word offer is more encompassing than sales or marketing, as it includes various ways to pitch a product or service.
    4:07: Creating effective offers in business. Mercer reflects on his past approach to creating offers. He emphasizes the importance of connecting sales and marketing to the offer, rather than treating it as a separate entity. Jeff discusses creating an offer, mentioning Alex Hermoza's approach of packing in sales and marketing techniques to make an offer so good that people feel stupid saying no.
    7:30: Creating effective offers in business. Jeff discusses the importance of creating a valuable offer that prompts action, highlighting the need to deliver on promises and ensure profitability. He emphasizes the importance of marketing before making an offer, as it creates a warm audience and adds to the demand for the sales component.
    11:12: Evolving sales strategies for online offers. Jeff shares how his thinking has evolved on how he approaches offers over time, from a one-on-one problem-solving approach to a more structured and optimized online sales process. Mercer learned from a particular webinar expert (Jason Flattie) how to craft a more effective offer by focusing on the customer's perspective and creating a systematic approach to sales.
    16:11: Creating an irresistible offer using objections and bonuses. Mercer shared his recipe for creating an offer: list every possible objection and make sure the offer addresses them. He also learned the power of using bonuses and making the bonus the main selling point.
    20:52: Validating products through customer conversations. Jeff emphasizes talking to customers to validate an offer, rather than relying on worksheets or assumptions. He shares his experience of over-indexing on one person's feedback to improve his product. Still, he acknowledges the risk of failing if the feedback is not representative of the larger market.
    22:39: Creating effective offers for products and services. Jeff emphasizes the importance of guidance and implementation help when using templates, citing his experience with a book funnel template. He explains the importance of making low-risk offers to potential clients, de-risking their investment, and increasing the chances of a successful sale.
    28:02: Simplifying and personalizing sales offers for better results. Mercer discusses the importance of personalizing offers to individual prospects, finding the right balance between high-ticket and low-ticket offers, and avoiding generic templates to build muscle and trust with clients.
    29:57: Simplifying offers to increase sales. Jeff emphasizes the importance of creating a simple, single offer per campaign, rather than multiple options.

    • 32 min
    Managing Expenses

    Managing Expenses

    Welcome back to Business Unfiltered with Mercer and Jeff Sauer today's topic is Managing Expenses
    0:00: Managing expenses in business. Mercer and Jeff Sauer define managing expenses as pruning for profit, not just cutting costs. They discuss the trap of investing in new opportunities without tracking expenses, leading to unprofitable decisions.
    3:33: Optimizing business expenses for profit margin. Mercer cites Keith Cunningham's financial training for Tony Robbins as a key insight on how to think about expenses, emphasizing the importance of making informed decisions rather than simply cutting costs. He explains that cutting expenses can be an effective way to increase profit, just like increasing revenue.
    7:19: Investing in personal time-saving measures vs. profit. Jeff suggests that investing in things that make you happier and more productive at work can be a good investment, even if it doesn't directly lead to more money.
    9:12: Growth and expense management in business. Jeff emphasizes the importance of business growth, stating that "if you're not growing, you're dying." Mercer seeks to improve expense management by focusing on investments and cutting non-essential costs to increase profits.
    11:23: Evaluating investments in tools for business growth. Mercer discusses the challenge of evaluating investments in tools and cutting expenses that don't yield desired results. Jeff evaluates tools by asking if they provide a 10x return on investment, and if canceling the tool would result in a 10x loss of resources.
    17:30: Managing finances through paper bills and credit card statements. Jeff shares a "life hack" of receiving paper bills to help track spending, despite previously using paperless billing. Mercer agrees and finds it funny that paper bills are a helpful tool for some, despite the convenience of paperless billing.
    20:44: Financial management and expense trimming. Jeff mentions that he only looks at his financials when he wants to cut expenses, which can lead to overspending in the long term. He reflects on his experiences with investing; emphasizing the importance of replenishing cash reserves and right-sizing expenses to achieve profit margins.
    25:43: Managing expenses and prioritizing cash flow. Jeff discusses the importance of questioning every expense frequently to preserve cash and avoid wasting money. Both speakers agree that it's important to prioritize cash and make tough decisions about expenses, even if it means letting go of things that got them to a certain point in their business.
    28:18: Reducing business expenses through strategic thinking. Jeff suggests consolidating contractors into employees to reduce expenses and improve profit margins. Mercer agrees and notes that this can be a huge source of profit for companies.

    • 32 min

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