Building 7 Figure Businesses with Brent Weaver

Building 7 Figure Businesses with Brent Weaver

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Are you a skilled technician with little know-how on running a business? Brent Weaver feels your pain. After making some costly mistakes in his first business, Brent created something that would have saved his younger self. Founder of uGurus, a training service that specializes in helping digital agencies run their business, Brent is here to remind us why it’s important to think like a tech wiz and a CEO if you want real entrepreneurial freedom.

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Brent’s Background

Like many of us, Brent’s entrepreneurial bug kicked in at an early age. At 17, Brent quit his side job to launch a website-building business. Many mistakes and several success stories later, Brent eventually sold that business for seven figures and used the capital to start uGurus. While he doesn’t have an MBA, Brent says he learned more (and spent as much) building his agency. 

Lessons In Sales

Let’s walk through a few of Brent’s early mistakes. When it came time to pitch a big client,  23-year-old Brent discounted the importance of meeting his client on an emotional level. He took their RFP literally and failed to prove possibilities outside their plans. In the end, that client decided with emotion first and backed up their decision with logic.

Even as Amazon wholesalers, we can learn from Brent’s story: know your customer. When creating a listing, avoid generic attributes and focus on features over brand names.

Brent also stresses the importance of managing supply lines and cashflow correctly. You may be selling hot on Amazon, but if you don’t know your numbers, bankruptcy is just one misstep away.

Empowering Entrepreneurs

Brent has a passion for doing just that. He created uGurus to help technical wizards and hungry entrepreneurs market their business and attract leads. Because paying employees and building our digital presence is often the last thing on our minds when the entrepreneurial urge hits. In general, lacking an understanding of business basics will cost you in the end. 

Overall

For more on Brent, check out his podcast and new book, Get Rich In The Deep End. His book is all about establishing yourself in a niche. And if you’re interested in building a business, starting an Amazon agency is an amazing opportunity in our modern e-commerce-centric world. 

Happy selling everybody.

Resources From This Episode

Outline of This Episode

[00:37] Todd’s introduction to this episode

[01:33] Brent’s background

[15:59] Lessons in sales (and finance)

[32:05] Brent’s mission

[42:21] Todd’s closing thoughts on this episode

Transcript

Brent (00:00):
What kind of business would I have hoped to have had in my back pocket when we started out and that’s the company we built with Ugurus was a training and coaching and education company to give people a plug and play system that they can implement into their business to shore up their business skills with their tech skills,

Announcer (00:21):
Welcome fellow entrepreneurs to the entrepreneur adventure podcast, where we talk about Amazon wholesale and how you can use it to build an e-commerce empire, a side hustle or anything in between. And now your host Todd Welch.

Todd (00:37):
Okay. So today I have Brent Weaver joining us and he is a multiple, or he has created multiple seven figure businesses in the last 20 years that he’s been growing businesses. And I wanted to bring him on the show today, not necessarily just to dive into Amazon, but to talk about his processes of growing his businesses, maybe some of his failures and just the entrepreneurial journey. And then also what he really specializes in right now is helping people grow agencies, which a lot of people who go into the Amazon space end up either creating an agency of their own or doing a lot of agency related tasks. So I thought this would be a really good thing to bring Brent on. So, Brent, I really appreciate you joining us. Why don’t you tell us a little bit about your entrepreneurial journey?

Brent (01:33):
Yeah, for sure. Todd, thanks for having me on the program. And I, I love being an entrepreneur. I love sharing my story with entrepreneurs. I love inspiring and empowering entrepreneurs. In my current business, Uguru is really focused around helping digital agencies to master their business, to achieve freedom and business in life. That being said I love to empower entrepreneurs from all different types of industries and niches. I think a lot of freedom can be found on the other end of entrepreneurship if done in, in the right way or with the right intention. Now, a lot of people get into entrepreneurship thinking they’re already have freedom and they end up with you know, with a job for, for themselves. Like they’re basically, you know, their own boss in the, in the bad way. And I’ve definitely done both styles of business.

Brent (02:20):
I started my first business, not actually I was 17. I was in high school and I knew how to build websites and this, you know, the internet was starting to become a thing. And I was working at a fabric store on the weekends in high school. And I somebody said, Hey, I saw that you, you know, you’re tinkering around with the, with the web, could you build my business a website? And it’s like, all right. Yeah, sure. You know, I can build a website. And so it was a candy store out of Michigan. I lived in Dallas, but my soon to become business partner at the time his dad would go on his hunting retreats in Michigan. And so we got introduced to this candy store and built a one-page website. She gave me an order form that she had, and I literally took that order form. And I put it online on a, just a HTML form and it should pay me $500. And I went into my boss at the fabric store the next day and said, Hey, this has been a lot of fun, but I quit. And that’s really where my journey.

Todd (03:21):
Yeah, very good making websites. That’s kind of how I got started as well. Making little websites and stuff like that. So that’s kind of cool.

Brent (03:32):
Yeah. And so we you know, started kind of put the word out that we could build websites and started getting some industrial clients again, I was in high school, so, you know, limited network, very much friends and family people kind of would tell other people that we knew how to build websites. And so kind of got connected with a few businesses. You know, some of them, I mean, I have to think about this, like anybody that would go and hire a 17 year old to get them online. I mean, there is like a certain element of that that sounds exciting. Like, Oh yeah, he’s doing kids know how to do this stuff. But really the types of clients that we were working with might not have been, you know, I mean, some of them were like great, great people. But they were just really small businesses, not a whole lot of risk.

Brent (04:16):
They needed something to be done really cheap. So they hired a high school Kid. Other people though, I think we’re looking to get some sort of deal or kind of take advantage of the situation and be able to get something for, you know, way less than they should have been paying for it and actually had, you know, kind of sketchy business practices. So, so got ourselves into plenty of trouble those first couple of years in the business, but actually surprisingly that business. Once I went full time with it did flourish, but we had our ups and downs, but we ended up turning that into a I mean, gosh, I sold millions of dollars in website deals under, under that hood. We hit over 300 clients in our active management. I pitched over a thousand businesses and organizations on our website services had over a thousand proposals in my proposal folder.

Brent (05:00):
So got a lot of experience in, in business. I, I tell people that my 13 years running my agency was where I kind of got my unofficial MBA because I, you know, got to meet so many different people that got to do tours of tiny little micro service businesses up to, you know, billion dollar publicly traded companies. Like Anheuser-Busch InBev, where I got to go, you know, into these, you know, brewery floors and things like that and see how these large businesses manufactured their products and everything in between. So it was, it was an amazing journey, but fortunately we were able to sell that business in 2012 and that, that led me to starting you gurus.

Todd (05:40):
Oh, wow. So you took it from 17 years old in high school to selling it. Probably what for a seven figure exit, at least

Brent (05:52):
We for, for at the time, yeah, we did pretty well. And you know, that gave us the capital to do other things, right. So to start our next kind of business, which made things a little easier I think when we started our agency, we had no startup capital and, you know, couldn’t hire people, couldn’t pay for servers, right. Everything was like, you know, we need to go when to clients and they’d give us the deposit check and then we could go like hire people and stuff like that. So it definitely made things a lot better. And I think that as an entrepreneur, anytime you have an opportunity to take some of the chips off the table is is good over the long run. Right. I think as entrepreneurs, a lot of us have a lot of our net worth tied up into our businesses. So it was cool to be able to take some of that off the table, take a chunk of that, my business partner, and I reinvest it into the new business and we’re able to scale up a team pretty quickly. And we got, Uguru to seven figures within three years, I think, you know, whereas they just used to cost a lot more than that to get to seven figures. But at the at Uguru you know, we were able to scale up a lot faster with with that kind of launch pad.

Todd (06:56):
All right. Very good. Yeah, for sure. It definitely helps to have that capital to push the business and help it grow a little faster other than just starting from scratch, you know? So now did you go to college or anything in between there?

Brent (07:13):
Yeah. So 2000, 2005. So the first, first five years of running the agency was basically a nights and weekends thing. It was part-time myself and my partner were both in school and it was kind of like having an internship for ourselves in a way when we had some clients, we had some servers were building websites when we had time for it in the summers, I’d fly back to Dallas. I was living in Colorado in a school at the time. So I’d fly back to Dallas, I partner and I would, you know, find some office space and we would kind of do a lot of our work during those two or three months. You know, some, some summers we made a lot of money, some summers, it was like, we might’ve been better off, you know, getting a job for somebody else. Cause we were, you know you know, investing in the business or we were trying to figure out how to make it work taking some risks.

Brent (08:00):
So it was, it was kind of a cool like experience, but I think in 2005, we actually we were finishing out school and we got some opportunities with some kind of bigger organizations, a nonprofit out in Sacramento flew us out to do a big pitch. It was kind of the first like six figure pitch that we had done up until that point. And we ended up losing the deal, which happy to talk about you know, totally embarrassing myself on my first major pitch for a six figure deal. But that deal while we didn’t get it, it did kind of open our eyes to, this could be an enterprise for us. Like a lot of our friends were finishing college and they were trying to find jobs, right. Just making, you know, entry level salaries and stuff like that. And the job market at the time, you know, wasn’t spectacular.

Brent (08:50):
And here we were with this opportunity to continue our business, that we had kind of nurturing. And so we had we kind of were this, this patio one night and we were talking about, and we’re like, Hey, what do we want to do when we’re, when we’re done with school, we want to, you know, go off and go our separate ways and do do something else. Or do we want to make a go at this business? And so really in 2005, we, we committed and my partner moved out to the Boulder and we started building up the agency and within a year or so, we had moved down to Denver, opened an office on 16th street mall, started hiring up employees and you know, really making it go with the agency business, which was, which is interesting because neither him nor I went to school for anything related to business in terms of like running a business, I went to school for economics, which is while related, very different than running a business.

Brent (09:38):
Right. and we, neither, one of us really had any other experience. We’d never worked for anybody else minus my short stint as a stock boy at a fabric store. You know, and so we pretty much made every mistake imaginable that you could make starting a business. You know, even though we’ve been doing it a little while, the business side of having employees and overhead and, you know, really dealing with all that kind of stuff, like we really hadn’t had to deal with that at you know, we didn’t have everything on the line when we were in college. It was like, Hey, if a client ends up not liking what we’re doing, we can just say, see you later. Right. We didn’t have payroll to cover or anything like that. So definitely the stakes went up and you know, but it was, it was still some of the best, best entrepreneurial years of my life.

Todd (10:21):
Yeah. And I don’t think you can beat that for, for an education. I mean, I, I’m sure you got a lot more education out of running that business than what you even did in school. You know, school’s important obviously, but what you learn while you’re actually doing it and failing and maybe succeeding, you know, it’s super important.

Brent (10:44):
My dad has something he always tell me, which is life is full of lessons. Some are more expensive than others. And I think as a entrepreneur versus an employee, it was really easy for me to see how much certain lessons were costing me. Whereas I think some people that are working for a big corporation, right? I mean you know, you make a, you make a big mistake and you know, the corporation has to kind of eat that. I mean, there are probably times where maybe you’ll lose a job or you got docked pay or you don’t get the bonus that you were hoping. But I think as a 23 year old a kid, I’m going to say that right now, because I feel like I’ve, I’ve grown so much, but a 23 year old running a business and, you know, you’re, you’re having to figure out how to learn to live outside of college and, you know, have employees and pay taxes.

Brent (11:35):
I mean, I’ll give you an example. Todd we were short on cash and we decided to not pay our withholding taxes for our employees because we’re like, Hey, you know what, we’ll just not do that this month. And and then the next month we’ll catch up and, you know, one month turned into three months and three months turned into a couple of years and it just was one of those problems that we kind of just swept under the rug. And we were, we knew it was a problem and we just didn’t deal with it. Or we just buried it under the sand. And after a couple of years it was like, Oh my gosh, like we owe $135,000 in tax liability. Right. and so, you know, I mean, that’s something that talk about for years. I mean, kept me up at night, trying to both in not dealing with the problem, but then once we started dealing with the problem, like, you know, just this, the amount of stress and anxiety that came with that.

Brent (12:26):
And I tell people now I’m like, you know what I mean? That was, that was over a decade ago that I had to deal with that problem. And it was a really expensive lesson. And, but I learned a lot, you know, like having to negotiate with the IRS, having to bring in attorneys, having to scour through our financial records, having to go dig up all that stuff. And, and I keep really good, I’m sure that not impeccable, but I keep really good financial records. Now I have people that come in and help me to make sure that we’re paying all of the right things to the right people pass all of our, you know, all of our payroll through other companies that take care of all that stuff. Right. So it was a really expensive lesson to learn, but I’m thankful that I did. Right. Because now I understand, you know, I understand all those systems and can speak eloquently about them and know how to manage them both in the business side, but also the personal side.

Todd (13:14):
Yeah, for sure. You definitely don’t want to mess around with the taxes because that, that can really hurt the penalties and the fees and everything else. And, and knowing your financials is super important. That’s, you know, I’ve talked about it before on the show myself, where I went full time in business and I had to go back and take another job because I didn’t know my financials the way I thought and I wasn’t doing as good as I thought I was. So super important, super important to set that money aside for taxes and stuff as well. So,

Brent (13:49):
And even for your, your listeners, right? A lot of Amazon sellers, I mean, dealing with you know, having to either pay for stuff, you know, on credit at some level or, or how important cashflow is. I mean, I know some entrepreneurial friends of mine who got into Amazon heavily and didn’t manage their supply lines and their cashflow in the right way. All of a sudden, you know, Amazon, you know, turn up the dial on them and literally kind of crossed the company. Right. All of a sudden they were getting all these sales and all this inventory was moving. And before they knew it, they literally were like bankrupt. Right. They had overextended their credit and they had no cash. Right. It looked on paper, like they were, their sales were phenomenal, but they didn’t have any money in the bank. And, you know, unfortunately in entrepreneurship, right.

Brent (14:38):
Like if you don’t have any money in the bank, kind of like playing monopoly, right. Like if you go bankrupt, like you’re out of the game and you know, now it’s gonna be left to the, the remaining players. And so, you know, those knowing your numbers, I think is, I mean, for me, it was an expensive lesson to learn, right. I mean, I had, we had probably at a $135,000 we owed, I would probably say that 70 K of that was interest in penalties. So had I just pay the taxes outright, you know, probably would have been 65, 60 K ish. Right. because we didn’t do that. Right. The lesson, the cost to me was, was 70 K. Now, I don’t know how many of your listeners has, have gone and gotten their MBA, but I think it’s, it might, well, it might not be 70 K maybe it’s a hundred K to go back to school for a couple of years. It’s close. Right. So I had to pay the IRS a $70,000 you know class tuition fee to learn what that whole, how that process works.

Todd (15:35):
Yeah. Big time that, that had to hurt. But like I said, that’s a, that’s a lesson that you will not make that mistake again. I’m sure. Cross my fingers. Yeah. Now you, you alluded to a, I think you said it was a six figure pitch and you embarrassed yourself. So we got to dive into that. Let’s hear that story.

Brent (15:59):
Non-Profit as I mentioned it was actually a an organization that deals in with sexual assault victims in California, it’s called Calcasa, California coalition against sexual assault. And a friend of mine worked at the organization and he kind of managed their, their web stuff internally, which I think like a lot of organizations and companies will, they might have like a main point of contact that is responsible for it. It’s not like he had the skills to, you know, design websites and build websites and create content management engines and, you know, hosting platforms and all that kind of stuff. So, you know, they charged him with going out there and finding a company to help them help build out their new web presence. Right. And so he was like, well, I got these friends from high school, right. That have created this company.

Brent (16:46):
And he kind of gave us the inside edge on, you know, who they were. And like, we kind of felt like we had the end. Right. I mean, it almost like I felt like we were, we were the chosen company coming into to pitch the deal. And so they flew us out to California and they had given us an RFP. They had basically told us this is what we want to have built. And so we took that as like the, like the constitution, like it is, it is written in the RFP, so it must be exactly what they need. Right. So we took everything in this RFP as as written in stone. And so we thought at the time that our job was to take this RFP and really go point by point and create a presentation and create a pitch, create an offer that met the RFP a hundred percent.

Brent (17:33):
And, you know, they had stated a budget in the, in the RFP. And so we were like thinking like no normal you know, normal entrepreneurs or whatever, you know, unskilled entrepreneurs that the budget that they put in this RFP again was like the rule of God. Like this is how much they have to spend. And so we thought let’s come in under that number. And so, you know, anyways, we, we spent two weeks working on this presentation, never really actually asking ourselves, like, who is this client? Who are their constituents, what really matters to them? What, why are they, why do they exist as an organization? I mean, this was, you know, it said it on the mission statement, but we never really like sat back and really thought without looking at the RFP, without having that drive all of our, all of our presentations, we never actually sat back and even ask ourselves, like, do we really understand this organizati.

Brent (18:32):
So we created this pitch and we went in there, we had a scheduled time and my business partner and I, we, we, you know, we were, we thought we were going out to the pitch of our life. Right. Here’s a six figure deal. We got suited up. Right. Both of him. And I wore black suits with ties and the whole thing, right. We’re going to the big conference room, right. We go into this conference room. Right. And some of it met expectations and it was a big you know, probably a hundred person plus staff organization. And so they had this big, nice conference room and we went in there and, you know, fired up the PowerPoint and we showed and we demos and we presented, and we were standing up, you know, for the first hour. And then the second hour you know, we sat down and they said, well, do you guys have any questions for us?

Brent (19:18):
I don’t remember saying no, it was all in the RFP. We’re good. And then you had some questions for us that we, you know, kind of answered. And then we left the room and I remember going out to a celebratory lunch, my business partner, I sat down at lunch, got a glass of champagne or something. And we thought we killed it. Well, my friend met up with us later that night, and apparently they had had this like six hour, you know, he was betting for us, like six hour follow on discussion. And most of the, besides my friend, everybody in the room was was, was female. And I’m not saying that like, you know, men versus women, but also the context of the organization, California coalition against sexual assault. They a lot of the history of the people that worked at that organization with the men in their life, I would say this, it wasn’t the best, right?

Brent (20:11):
So he tells us later on that night, we didn’t get the deal. Right. They hadn’t even seen the other pitch from the other company yet. And already he’s like, guys, it’s not going to happen. There was one person in the room besides him that thought that knew a little bit about us. They were like, know, they were kind of giving us the benefit of the doubt, but the people that did not know us in the room the way that we came off in our presentation, right. A couple of guys in suits telling everybody in the room, what they should do, what they should think, how things should work. And, and not being interested in them. Right. I mean, it was just like, it was not a good situation. The company that won the deal I later found out from my friend, the guy one guy came in to pitch.

Brent (20:54):
He was in khakis and a polo and he had no deck, no presentation. He had the RFP, it was marked up and he just came in the room, no proposal or anything like that. And all he did was he basically had a conversation with the people at the organization. He asked a ton of questions, gave pretty much no information from him. Did a follow on meeting with them to walk through a proposal. The proposal that he presented or their budget, I think was like $110,000. The proposal that he presented was $350,000 while they ended up not going for that deal. They did spend over $200,000 with that agency on the initial upfront project. So that was like, you know, at the time, I don’t think like I was very like, I mean, I, I, I felt very let down, like we should have won this deal.

Brent (21:48):
I knew we could have crushed it. But I think as I heard from my friend, how that company won that job, won that business. You know, that, that was really, I mean, the difference between a 23 year old kid who has no sales experience selling versus somebody who clearly, I mean, whoever went to whoever that guy was, he was probably in his mid thirties. Maybe he’d been selling website solutions for over a decade. Like he knew how to play the game. And I clearly didn’t, I didn’t even know what the game was. Right. I wasn’t even wearing the right uniform. Right. And he met the client where they were at, he knew enough, not about their, you know, what they said that they wanted, but he knew enough to understand that maybe the client didn’t even know what they wanted. And part of his expertise was actually helping the client to discover that maybe the things that they said that they wanted were different than what their organization, really, what they really truly needed. And, you know, and they, they want it right. They, they got the deal. I didn’t so powerful lesson for me now I’ve taught a lot of people how to sell in my niche. And, you know, a lot of that has come from that experience. I like doing it wrong.

Todd (23:00):
Yeah. Yeah. That’s I think the moral of that story is, is know your customer, right? Because we like to say the customer is always right. They gave you what they wanted. But they may not actually know exactly what they wanted. And you had to meet them on their terms and learn exactly what they’re looking for.

Brent (23:23):
You know, there’s, I love that that nugget of knowing your customer, but also knowing what’s possible. And I think that’s what people, I mean, Steve jobs in the, in the product world, I think was amazing at this that, you know, he would say, you know, people don’t know what they want. And I think that there’s, there’s some truth to that. And I think it’s more like, like people kind of know what they want, just don’t know what’s possible. And if your product can show them that something’s possible, that aligns with what they want. Right. Maybe they want more time. Maybe they want more purpose in their life. Maybe they want more fun. Right. maybe they don’t want to do, they want to be without pain, right. Or, or whatever. Right. They have a core wants. I think if you can share with them, what’s, what’s possible.

Brent (24:11):
There’s an opportunity that it goes beyond what maybe somebody has budgeted in their mind. I mean, how many times have you, I don’t know if you, if you’ve ever been in this situation, whether it’s clothes or a hobby or whatever, like you go into a store and you have an amount of money that you want to spend. Right. Like, okay, I’m going to go buy a new pair of jeans and I’ve, you know, I’m thinking to myself, I’m gonna spend a hundred bucks and then you come out of the store and you draft, you know, $600, $300 on a pair of jeans and, you know, you bought three cool t-shirts or whatever that you found. I mean, I mean, and I think that’s so common for people because while we have like an emotional feeling, like I want something, I have a need to fill in my life, what we end up like, and we budget for that.

Brent (24:52):
But what we’re always capable or willing to spend might actually be far greater. And, you know, one of, one of our a lot of people in our niche, they will ask their clients what their budget is. And while I think that’s a good indicator, right. It’s good to know like how much money your clients might be considering spending on a marketing campaign or on a website that the mistake is that you take that as fact as like infallible, right. If somebody says I’m willing to spend, you know, I mean, how many people, like 15 years ago would have said that they would be willing to spend, you know, $1,300 on a phone? I mean, for sure, nobody, right. Like, you know, the original, you know, original cell phones that have got mass market appeal. I mean, they were just not that much money, but you know, Apple does it every day. Google does it every day. It’s all these $1,300, you know, smartphones like they’re, you know, peanuts.

Todd (25:50):
Yeah, for sure. It’s it’s interesting. And they figured out that model. Right. Or they kind of spread them across the, the length of the contract and stuff. So it makes it look cheaper. So it kind of a way to,

Brent (26:03):
Yeah. Low monthly payment. Right. I mean, people buy expensive. They buy cars and houses that they have no business purchasing all the time because of you know, the, the 30 year mortgage or the six year car loan. Right. But but yeah, I mean, they have, they have helps people see that it’s, Oh, what’s, what’s 50 bucks a month. What’s a hundred bucks a month for two years.

Todd (26:25):
Yep. Well, and I think it’s important to remember, you know, especially us as, as business owners and people who sell on Amazon probably even more. So we consider ourselves to be very logical and logically figure things out and make decisions, but in reality, people usually make the sit or they decide what they want based on emotion. And then they use logic to back up that decision, why it was a good decision in the end. So it’s important to remember that that, you know, like with your proposal, they laid everything out, logically what they want. But they’re going to make that decision, that final decision on emotion, and then back it up with logic.

Brent (27:12):
Absolutely. I mean, they’re gonna, yeah, exactly. You know, emotion is going to be that by yes or no. And then that rationalization process you know, that, that purchase rationalizing engine that we have in our minds where we’ve emotionally decided we’re going to buy something. And then, you know, some of us maybe for maybe it’s a day where we start to rationalize it, maybe if it’s a big purchase, you rationalize it for weeks and weeks and a week. So you’d tell everybody around you why you’re doing something so that they understand your reasoning, but really there could be a, an emotional need for that. Right. Have some cool new thing be seen as somebody who’s an early adopter potentially have a cool car that people notice you, maybe we get you friends. Right. I think that that emotional component is important. And why, I think when I eventually learned that, that part of your, if you are selling something, you know, not on a e-commerce form, but in person, right. How are you building that relationship and how are you, how are you seeing somebody on that emotional level first, making sure that you’re kind of hearing them before you’re actually going in and, you know, giving them all the facts and the figures and the demos and all that kind of stuff.

Todd (28:25):
Even in the e-commerce world, that’s super important because people, even when they’re shopping on Amazon, they are buying a lot of times based on emotion. There might be a few products where they need the facts up front, but for the most part, they’re, they’re looking for an emotional connection to a product, you know, so you don’t start the information on a product saying this is red and three quarters of an inch thick. You say this. Is bright red, so that it stands out and is super durable and strong. So won’t break if it falls off the table or something like that. And then maybe at the end, you could say it’s three quarters of an inch thick. They like that. Right.

Brent (29:16):
And I know it, I mean, I know that people in, I mean, I know that Amazon, one of the challenges that I’ve seen recently is around what people have been doing to manipulate reviews, for example, and how that’s impacting people’s trust in the platform and how, you know, knockoff brands and things like that have become kind of a really commonplace. And I think there could be, I mean, maybe there’s going to be a, a swing backward where people get more educated. I mean, Amazon does have really great prices and it’s so convenient and fast, but I know that a lot of large brands have struggled to compete on Amazon because of the highly competitive nature. And I think it is kind of redefining brand, which when you think about a brand, it’s like having that relationship with, you know, a major kind of company, and I think they are having a hard time kind of transitioning that, that relationship component onto the platform.

Brent (30:12):
And so, so I, I personally don’t know how you, how you, how you deal with that. But I think the relationship that you have with your, your customers, even in e-commerce space, through reviews, through testimonials, through customer support, like I’ve worked with companies on Amazon and had amazing experiences on that side and be like, wow, I can, you know, I’m definitely gonna reorder from this, this merchant or whatever. And then we’ve had times where I ordered something and like, gosh, man, it’s just like, it’s a hard process to, to fix or replace anything that you’re, you’re pulling through the system.

Todd (30:42):
Yeah. You definitely got to watch out for the reviews on Amazon, if you want a really good example of that next time a brand new phone comes out. Like if you go on Amazon the next day and search for like cases for that cell phone, you’ll find listings that have like a thousand reviews or 5,000 reviews. And what happened is hackers took control of someone else’s listing changed it for their phone case. And if the actually scroll down and look at the reviews, the reviews and the pictures are all about different product. So it’s definitely can be manipulated on Amazon. And so you got to kind of watch out for that when you’re buying on there and know that it happens when you’re selling on there as well. If you’re in a competitive niche, like cell phone cases or vitamins or something, you’ve got a lot of black hat people that are coming for you and, and you got to watch out for that stuff because it’s super important. Like you say, those buying signals for people it’s super important to be able to get that sale. Yeah. So what you’re doing now, you, you sold the website business, which is pretty cool and you are now doing you gurus. So tell us a little bit about what you guys are doing there.

Brent (32:05):
Yeah, so we basically train, I thought about what I would have loved to have had as a, agency owner that starting out. A lot of people in my, in my space are accidental entrepreneurs. They had a skill, a passion and an interest in building websites, doing digital marketing, social media content, maybe writing, maybe creating videos, maybe doing branding. And maybe they, they, you know, got a couple of clients like we did, and then got a couple more clients, then got some clients who didn’t have space to, to serve them. They hired a contractor, an employee it’s kind of help them out and, you know, fast forward a couple of years. And you’re all of a sudden, you might be an agency owner and you’re got five or six employees and you’ve got a business. Problem is nobody ever actually taught you how to run a business?

Brent (32:53):
So when, when we were that in that situation, it would probably seven years into our business. You know, I had never been taught how to market my business. Now we could build websites for other people. We could be a piece in somebody else’s marketing strategy, but we had never really learned how to build a full, cohesive marketing strategy. I had never learned how to sell. I mean, I had like friends, dads who I knew did sales, like literally one of my friend’s dads was in food sales. And I sent him, you know, my first proposal to look over and tell me what he thought about it. And he was like, Oh yeah, this looks great. I mean, Todd, if I go back and look at my very first proposal, I mean, it is atrocious. Right. But, you know, he didn’t know what he was looking at.

Brent (33:42):
And he looked at it as a proposal and maybe he gave me some feedback, which was good. But I remember like the first, like three pages of my proposal was basically like, I would call it if you want to do a five paragraph essay in high school, did you ever do that? All right. So my first like three pages of my proposal was like essentially a five paragraph essay. I’m like my backstory and who I was and all this kind of stuff. Right. Should not have ever been the first thing on the proposal. Right. I mean, it’s just, I’ve been talking about me, but that’s what I thought. That’s what I thought our proposal should be. So when we sold our agency, I thought to myself, what kind of business would I have hoped to have had in my back pocket? When we started out and that’s the company we built with Ugurus was a training and coaching and education company to give people a plug and play system that they can implement into their business to shore up their business skills with their tech skills.

Brent (34:37):
You know, like if, if you think about it, like my tech skills were up here, my business skills were down here. And that the result of that was I wasn’t making near as much money as I should have knowing what I knew. Right. And when I started to close that gap started to help people shore up those business skills on attracting leads, winning deals, delaying their clients. We started showing that up. We start to see, you know, massive growth for our clients and even our own business, right. When we actually started learning how to sell, learning, how to market, right. All of a sudden I went from selling, you know, two or $3,000 websites to selling $30,000 websites selling, you know, $50,000 websites instead of serving like one client a month. We went to serving five, six, seven, eight, nine, 10 clients a month. And so that’s, that’s the company we’ve created with Ugurus. And you know, we’ve had a really fun journey with this business as well. We started in 2012 and I we’ve served thousands of agency owners. We’ve got a podcast, that’s gotten hundreds of thousands of downloads and you know, done a lot, a lot of content, hundreds of webinars. Yeah, we’ve had a pretty good impact, I think on our, our niche in general.

Todd (35:52):
Very good. And what’s the name of that podcast?

Brent (35:55):
The digital agency show

Todd (35:57):
The digital agency show . Okay, perfect. So if people can check that out, if they want to learn more I think it’s, that’s something that a super majority of entrepreneurs go into a business starting from being that technician. Have you ever read the book E-Myth revisited?

Brent (36:17):
Yup. Yeah. So kind of the, that technician or the manager versus the entrepreneur.

Todd (36:22):
Exactly fantastic books. So if anybody has not read, E-Myth revisited a highly recommended, it’s one of my favorite books, but most, most entrepreneurs are a technician. They’re fixing computers, they’re making a website they’re selling on eBay or something like that. Then they decide, well, I should just do this for myself. And they start a business and you kind of got to stumble through and try to learn the business process. So it’s really cool that you guys are helping agencies do that. Now, are you focused in on agencies that are building websites and things like that, or is, are you guys someone who could also help, let’s say someone who’s making an Amazon agency and helping other people sell products on Amazon?

Brent (37:12):
We’ve definitely had a few people go through our program that are Amazon focused agencies and a lot of folks as well that have done a lot in the e-commerce space has been I definitely have people that are popping to mind right now. We, our focus is on digital agencies. So if you’re an agency and the services that you are selling are related to the web and the internet in some way, then you’re probably going to find a fit in terms of our training, around marketing your business how to structure your sales systems and processes, how to structure your fulfillment systems and processes. Most digital agencies are pretty similar. We’ve had a couple of businesses that are more traditional marketing, like traditional advertising businesses, or maybe they’re even like a PR type company. Those, while they might be able to pull some information from our program, we find it a little bit harder of a leap.

Brent (38:12):
Like we’ve had some print companies come through and things like that. And hasn’t been as great of a fit. So we say, Hey, if you’re a digital agency, we could probably help you. We are purely on the business skill side. So we’re not teaching you anything about your craft, right? So if you’re a, a company that gets Amazon, you know, backwards and forwards, and you understand how to help, you know, sellers to grow and scale their businesses within, and you’re providing some kind of service niche, right. We can help you grow your agency but not necessarily help you with that technical.

Todd (38:46):
Yeah, absolutely working, focusing on the business side of things, not the technical side of things, which makes sense. I think Amazon agencies are a super good place for, or a really good opportunity, I should say for growing a successful business right now. So a lot of people that are listening to this podcast that may be interested in learning more about your services, if they’ve already started learning how to optimize listings, run ads, launch products, and things like that, because a lot of people end up going down that route, building an agency because you don’t need as much money up front as you do for doing a private label business or even a wholesale business. So if anybody’s listening that wants to check out your guys’ service, what’s the best way for them to get ahold of you guys and find out more

Brent (39:42):
Sure you’re getting a check on our website. ugurus.com U G U R U s.com. If you want to drop me an email, brent@ugurus.com, we’ve got a couple of really cool tools we can get you access to as well as an intro call with our team. Just kind of help you out. See if we have any other resources we can provide for you, or if if we can put you in the direction of somebody that maybe it would be a better fit we can definitely help you out with that. So, yeah, just shoot me an email,brent@ugurus.com,

Todd (40:11):
All right, perfect. We’ll throw that info in the show notes as well. And you also have recently become a published author as well. So tell us a little bit about your book.

Brent (40:21):
Yeah. So the book is called get rich in the deep end. So for your listeners who are Amazon savvy, you can just do a quick search for that and get rid of the deep end. You can buy that on Amazon. That’s our primary publishing partner as well as on Kindle. So in the book, I just walked through my five, a framework for how to choose a niche, how to become known in that niche, how to attract the people that are in that niche to your business, how to establish yourself as a top level authority in that space, and then building a system to get lots of leads and clients in that niche. So those are kind of walking you through those, those five A’s of audience awareness, attract authority and acquire, and the book walks you through the how to on that. But also we follow a, a character in the book. That’s kind of an amalgamation of a little bit about my own story and my client’s stories named Heather. And we kind of follow Heather’s story through the process of choosing her niche. Now, if your listeners are going to create an agency or, or running an agency and their target service is helping Amazon store orders, then the good news is, is a lot of the who on their niche

Todd (41:34):
Is probably at least you’ve got some good creative and strategic direction around that. And so I think that book would help them to figure out the rest of that, right? How do you become like a top Amazon agency provider within this space? And so I think your listeners just get a lot out of that book if that’s something they’re interested in. Yeah, for sure. And you know, that’s something that I do a little bit of is some of the, the agency side of things, helping some seller or sellers of products grow their products and things like that. And it’s kind of the natural progression of an Amazon wholesale business. A friend of mine, Scott Needim who’s an owner of buy boxer. They do about 60 million in sales, on Amazon every year. And they have a an agency right inside their business.

Todd (42:21):
So I am adding your book to my wishlist right now, as we speak on Amazon. So we’ll definitely pick that up and give it a read because it’s always good to see things from different angles and, and different ways of going about business and stuff like that. So never stop learning basically as the, the idea there. Right? Absolutely. All right, Brent. Well, I really appreciate you coming on the show. I think people will get a lot out of this and hopefully we’ll send some people your way. If they’re interested in ugurus.com and get some sales over your book, but I appreciate you joining us. Thanks, Todd.

Announcer (43:07):
This has been another episode of the entrepreneur adventure podcast. Thanks for listening fellow entrepreneur and always remember success is yours. If you take it.

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