The Transcript Is Auto Generated And May Contain Spelling And Grammar Errors
Unknown Speaker 0:00
from ABC News Radio Okay, MBT 1490 in Southern California This is biz ninja entrepreneur radio with your host Tyler Jorgenson.
Tyler Jorgenson 0:13
Welcome out to biz ninja entrepreneur radio. I’m your host, Tyler Jorgensen. And I’m really excited to have Joe Lawrence with us today. Joe runs a company called business credit workshop. And he’s going to tell us all about that and what it is and how he got there. Welcome to the show. Joe.
Joe Lawrence 0:29
Thank you very much happy to be here.
Tyler Jorgenson 0:31
Good. I just realized I put on like my radio voice there. Just a second. Yeah. And it always like temperatures back down to normal. But so Joe, where are you calling in from? What is business credit workshop and who are you?
Joe Lawrence 0:44
Well, calling in from New Jersey and business credit workshops, a company that created a little over 10 years ago that helps business owners get funding for their businesses. And I totally forgot your third question.
Tyler Jorgenson 0:56
Who are you like why did yeah, so what who is Joe Lawrence? So But you’re an entrepreneur and I get that, but tell me more about you.
Joe Lawrence 1:03
Yeah, I’m a, I’m an entrepreneur and really a diehard internet marketer at heart. But my company, business credit workshop helps business owners, you know, get funding and things like that. And I created it because I needed a way to get money myself, because I was looking to actually move out of my parents house and start my own business and make my own money, and I didn’t have any money. So I ended up, you know, finding out some techniques, which I’ll share with you guys today on how to get funding. And then later on, it created a business out of it. Awesome, very cool. So it’s amazing how many times entrepreneurs, like solve problems, and then they realize, hey, if I had that problem, and that I had to solve, then there’s probably other people like me that also have that problem. Let me see if I can help them. And that’s it sounds like that’s what happened with you. Yeah, yeah. It’s actually quite a cool story that I’m sure we’ll jump into in a little bit, but how it all happened. It was not on purpose.
Tyler Jorgenson 1:59
Yes. So What was that business that you moved out of your parents house to start?
Joe Lawrence 2:04
It was actually a real estate business. I bought this book called the pre foreclosure property investors kit. And I wanted to learn how to buy foreclosed homes, fix them up, flip them, I figured that was the best way to become wealthy or make lots of money. And I started my own real estate company and I didn’t know how to raise capital, I didn’t have anyone willing to invest with me yet. You know how it is in the real estate industry, you kind of have to prove yourself first. And that company, really is what created the need for me to figure out how to get business funding. Cool.
Tyler Jorgenson 2:39
Joe Lawrence 2:40
So I bought the book I did what most people do when they bought a book, I did absolutely nothing. And then I picked up and then I picked up the book A year later, and I read it again. I said, Okay, and I looked at my now my wife, I said, I’m gonna try something here. It’s gonna be a little wild. I don’t know if it’s gonna work out. But I don’t want to be at the end of my life and look back and regret it That’s a true story. And I’m so glad I took that leap. And what I did was two things. One in the book, it taught you how to like write letters and do direct mail marketing, things like that to kind of build up your pipeline. And in order to do that you needed to have, well, you need to have some money for marketing and stamps and all that stuff, which I didn’t have. So I went out and started getting business credit cards for my company that, you know, business credit cards, they don’t show up on my personal credit report, which I love doesn’t affect my personal credit in any way. And so I was able to get higher amounts of business credit than I could get for personal credit. And I got my first business credit card from chase launched my direct mail campaign. And you know, everyone thinks maybe it looks like an overnight success story, but it took, you know, took months and months and a lot of handwritten letters, a lot of meetings and stuff like that. But I got my first deal under contract. I sold it within three weeks of getting it and I actually quit my job a few weeks later, as a result. All right. So you switched over Are you you quit the job? is real estate still a part of what you’re doing? Or in the past? No, it’s a big part of what I’m what I’m still doing in the sense that I still have a bunch of rental properties. I did shift over about a year ago, right around the time where we met through that that mutual community of funnel hackers and stuff like that I really started making that transition into what I always knew my true calling was, which is more digital marketing, coaching, things like that. So real estate happened to be a very stressful business for me, you know, it’s very hands on, and I still love it as a great way to have cash flow and net worth, but I don’t do really barely any fixin flips anymore. I’m not actively, I only go to one real estate club meeting a month because that’s where all my friends are, but I’m not really in that community as much anymore. Okay,
Tyler Jorgenson 4:51
cool. So it was a stepping stone for you, as opposed to now you’re just doing a ton of extra things. So, so help people understand a little bit about what basis business credit workshop is what you guys do and how you help people.
Joe Lawrence 5:04
Yeah, well, the way that we help people is we introduce small business owners to local community banks and credit unions that are lending. And the way that we actually I created the company was I was, again, a real estate investor at a real estate networking event. And I was talking to another guy about, Hey, I just got some business credit. It’s really cool, because the reasons I mentioned earlier, and I ended up clearing over 100 grand in business credit pretty quickly. And the guy running the event, the real estate event said, Hey, that sounds really cool. I want to put you on stage. In five minutes. We’re on a lunch break. So you got five minutes, you gave me a bunch of index cards, and he’s like, just write down some steps. And you’re going to go on the front of the room, and you’re going to just share those steps with everyone at the end of the thing. I want you to tell everyone to run to the back of the room and sign up for your training, whatever you’re gonna call it. I’m like, What are you talking about? Dude, I don’t have a class. You know, I’m just some guy that figured something out. And I was super nervous man. Like you Yeah, sure my heart, you know, pumping on my chest. And I’m so happy I decided to say yes, because I could have easily just copped out. But yeah, I said yes. And I had a few minutes to name the company. So I said, Okay, business credit workshops, okay, we’re gonna hold a business credit workshop, and I’ve been using that name for 12 years. And we have local community banks and credit unions, attend the workshops, and we have local business owners attend the workshops, we put everything together as far as steps you need to take to get your business credit profile ready, and then where to go to actually get the money.
Tyler Jorgenson 6:34
So there’s an old saying that any project will expand to fill the amount of time allotted, right, which basically means humans are really good about taking a lot of time to do things. You were given five minutes to essentially create name and launch your business. And it’s been running for 12 years. You know, I never thought of it that way. Man. That’s a great point. Well, what’s fascinating is that the number of people and I talked about this To show all the time, the number of people that I talk to that, you know, I’ll meet them, they tell me about this great business idea that they have. And then a year later, we talk and I’m like, hey, how’s everything going? Good? I’m working on that idea. I’m like, well, cool. Where’s that? Oh, nothing’s happened. It’s still an idea. I’m like, well, it either is a great idea. And you’ve done yourself a disservice of not launching it, or it’s a horrible idea. And you’ve done yourself a disservice of hanging on to it instead of testing it and moving on. And so I love hearing stories like that about think people where they’re just, they call a gun to your head copywriting, like, sometimes you just have to put a gun to your head and say, You have five minutes to make this happen. And if it doesn’t work, you know, I’m going to kill you. And then obviously, not really, but the concept is like, when the pressure is hot, like when you have that much intensity behind what you had to do. You made it happen. And really cool. I think there’s a huge lesson in that for a lot of people that I hope they can take away from that. So you started this was 12 years ago. What are some of the Big changes or challenges that you went through in that 12 years and how did you overcome them?
Joe Lawrence 8:06
Well, one of them was the recession hit exactly as I entered the business. So, right around 2007. A, we had a little challenge, of course in 10 and 11, right. So what I had to learn, I had two choices, like, you know, I could either just quit the business and say, okay, that’s not gonna work, or I could try to adapt. And I’m really glad I decided, let me try to stick with it, because a lot of other people were kind of, you know, going through challenges or basically going out of business in that business funding industry. But I was driving home one day from work, and I saw a billboard. This is right, like dead center of the recession is and a local community bank, and it said, were still lending. I was like, Wait a second. This is a business friendly bank, they only have a couple of branches. Turns out a friend of a friend knew the owner of the bank. And so which by the way, doesn’t happen with these large national banks, right? These little tiny banks are what we found are the banks that have lots of money to lend their portfolio lender, so they lending their own money. So much so that they’re putting up billboards saying we’re still lending during recessions. And so I ended up meeting with the Vice President of Business Lending, making that that warm connection through the owner of the bank, and they ended up offering our clients a lot of programs that you couldn’t find online, like they weren’t. They didn’t have like, pamphlets, brochures or website, explain these programs. It’s all relationship based. So a big change I had to make was, instead of doing what everyone else was doing, which was like go to your usual national banks, your big brands is to go to these smaller one or two branch banks build a relationship with them. And why that way, they have great, great turnover because the guy that was there 12 years ago is still there now. It’s all those relationships are still there, and they’re really coming in handy right now. And making that change from big banks to local banks, I think kept us busy.
Tyler Jorgenson 10:00
That’s smart. Well, it gave you, you know, really a strategic advantage, right in those relationships where they can play out a lot more. And that’s huge. So, you know, I had to go through that the 2008 crisis, it was a big impact for us. You know, I was heavily invested in real estate at the time. And credit is a real issue with that. So, you know, we’ve, we’ve talked on the show before about just credit in general, what’s the difference between like, hey, like, go get your personal credit score fixed versus what business credit workshop? What you guys actually do?
Joe Lawrence 10:34
It’s actually very similar.
Tyler Jorgenson 10:36
We’ve got the obviously there’s gonna be some huge crossover, right? Like there has to be, but you guys have some like, services that aren’t just get your credit fixed, right? It’s not Yeah, it’s Yeah,
Joe Lawrence 10:47
yeah, I think some of the biggest differences are that the scoring models are different that track and monitor your personal credit. They’re not the same for business credit. So you’re still working with the Common bureaus like Equifax, Experian, but they are tracking your business credit score. And then you have Dun and Bradstreet. They’re also tracking your business credit scores. So your scoring model, you kind of have to get the hang of because it’s, it’s a little different. And there’s a service that we like to use called nav, which is nav says N as in Nancy as an Applebee’s and Victor. So nav, and nav is a service that tracks and monitors business credit scores. And we like using them because they track all those scores for us, and they actually can help you boost up your business credit score, and they weren’t around, you know, when I first started, so now I feel like technology is really making things easier as my addresses. That makes sense.
Tyler Jorgenson 11:43
Yeah. So what are the type of people that you tend to help? Like, what problems are they facing?
Joe Lawrence 11:49
Yeah, that’s a good question. So we have a Facebook group and that’s the question we asked in order to let them come in. We have 630 something people a month that answer that question, right. And I was taught that you By being a funnel hackers, great question. So there’s a few different answers they vary from people have no idea where to start, because they haven’t even heard of this concept before. So we have training and videos, modules and stuff like that get people started to people having trouble with personal credit. And so they think business credit is the place to go if you have bad personal credit, but reality there is a relationship between personal and business credit. So we have to explain that. Yeah. And then a lot of business owners, and this is like, I have a client that they run a large plastic manufacturing plant, and they have, you know, well over $5 million in sales, you know, whatever, you know, 2030 employees, and they don’t know where to get the money, right? Because they know that they could just call up a local, I mean, a big national bank or whatever. But in like our state, for example, in New Jersey, if you go look at the top SBA lending banks, there’s over 150 under 60 banks for you to go through So what we do to solve that problem that a lot of business owners are experiencing is we call the all those banks, we have to outreach managers all day long. They call the banks, they interview them, they build rapport with them. And then now we know what programs they offer, at least for the time being, and we can introduce the business owner to the right bank.
Tyler Jorgenson 13:18
That’s a big deal. So people coming in, they think that business credit is like the solution. But really, it might be but it’s probably not as simple as just ignore your personal credit. And we’ll go handle this right, you need to also take care of your personal credit. What are some Yeah, what are some tips or, you know, insider secrets that you can share with people about business credit?
Joe Lawrence 13:38
Well, besides the fact that business credit doesn’t show on your personal credit report, and working with local community banks, credit unions, those are two important pieces to consider. But a good tip would be that when you’re trying to build up your business credit score, it can actually be done relatively quickly. And you like with personal credit when I like as corny as it sounds. When I was, like 17, I had a goal is like I want to have an 800 FICO score, you know, probably not a common goal for many people. But you know, that takes a long time to get there. You know, I didn’t get there until like probably early 30s or late 20s. So, it took a while where with business credit, if you build up your business credit profile, specifically open accounts with like, like staples and Office Depot and Home Depot and get gas cards, you know, BP, gas, Valero whomever, these are all companies that offer net 30 terms or you know, small trade lines of credit to business owners, and you can get them relatively easy and they report your credit history to your business credit profile. So you could actually you’re getting an account at a company, you know, you might need a laptop so you get a business account at Office Depot, you can only use it at Office Depot, but now they’re reporting the payment history to the business credit bureaus, they’re boosting up your business credit score, and in a matter of 30 6090 days, you could have a really good business His credit score, which will help you get to that next level, which is where you start getting business credit cards and lines of credit and things like that. That makes sense. That’s awesome. Okay, so going back to the journey of Joe, right, so, you know, the real estate investor, the accidental business credit workshop launch the 2008 challenges over the past couple of years. You’ve told me you’ve made some adjustments and really pivots. Right? So your sounds like you’re leaning really into the marketing of your business and that sort of thing. What are some challenges that you’ve had to face this as you’ve decided to, like start growing? And let me tell you something, one of the biggest challenges I had is if you look at the way our company started, it was very micro niche, very local, very hands on very warm and I had to kind of make a decision of do I want to just help one person at a time or do I want to be able to help many people. And it was it was really hard because I offer one on one coaching and the only way that I can actually expand the business and impact many people is to move more towards a group coaching model, that was a hard thing to do. Because it’s, that’s a hard, there’s a super hard transition to make. But what I realized is that, which I’m glad I made that thought adjustment is that if I can empower people to make decisions on their own, and on teaching them how to make the decisions that they need to make, then they don’t necessarily need as much hand holding. And then the value that we could bring to the table would be more of well, we will introduce you to banks, you know, with a warm introduction, that are lending so I had to kind of step out, I still produce a lot of content, I build relationships with the banks and things like that, but I kind of had to step out from some of the roles in my business because I was absolutely trying to do everything myself. Yeah, like email copy, I, you know, I just hired a copywriter, you know, all that stuff. And if I just kept that up, I don’t think I mean, we would have been stuck. So you got to kind of step out of your own way sometimes.
Well, there’s a couple things in that one, you had to decide, right? You had to say, hey, they. So a lot of times entrepreneurs are victims of their own success, meaning they get started. They have initial success, they maybe even success beyond what they expected. So they don’t take time to stop and say, one a is this one, a, that’s nice one, a two, three, anyways, they don’t stop and say this is what I actually wanted versus what I actually got, right? They don’t do that analysis. And they don’t say, given what I currently have, where do I want to be? So it’s amazing how many times entrepreneurs are really, really goal oriented when they get started. But once you get running the business, you’re so busy solving the problems and running the day to day and you don’t go through that exercise a second time. So you went through that exercise where you’re like, I need to be able to be expand, which means really a complete pivot in the model of your business and really shifting to that one to many groups. coaching. How is that gone? I mean, I’m not exaggerating when I tell you it at least three x our revenue in the last four months. So, I mean, and I feel like we’re just getting started even 12 years later. But what it did is I think it allowed me to believe it or not provide a better service to people because now I can focus on things where my skill level is needed. And I hired two additional account managers to handle tasks that I was doing that were probably a $20 an hour task. So now I can provide a better service because I am able to focus more on the business and a little less stuck of being inside the business. So yeah, it’s gone really well. And it was definitely a huge, a huge change for us. And you know, a big part of that, honestly, is the whole funnel hacker community and everything with Click Funnels and being able to step away from the business and learn the proper way to create an offer that, you know, is going to blow everyone out of the water. If I didn’t learn offer hacking, if I could give one little just one funnel hacker tip it would be to learn the art of funnel hacking. I mean offer hacking. You think I could touch on that? Yeah, please. So what I what I learned is that I looked through and I did this when I first started the company 12 years ago, I bought every course on business credit, every book on business credit, and I realized there’s gaps in each one, and I saw what the holes were. And then that’s what helped me launch the workshop 12 years ago, right? And then now here we fast forward to current day a few months ago, I realized, well, I really the offers have changed. There’s new companies, there’s new competitors in the market. So I went through all their programs again, and I and I bought some of them again. And it’s funny because some of them are clients of mine. I’m client to them. So we’re all doing the same thing. Right? I recognize the names. Yeah, there’s nothing wrong with it. But I saw Okay, there’s huge gaps here and by reflecting on it offers that everyone else had. And then looking at the data from the Ask campaign asking 600 people a What’s your biggest problem with getting business credit? I connected the dots and said, Okay, this is what they want. And no one no one else is offering that I’m going to be that guy. And it turned things around for me, increase conversions, increased revenue, everything. That’s huge.
Tyler Jorgenson 20:22
Now and that if you’ve mentioned a few times, you brought in additional account managers, things like that, you’re also not afraid to invest back into your business and grow. Right. And that seems like that’s been a big factor in being able to allow you to be the guy who wants to go back to working on the business.
Joe Lawrence 20:39
Yeah, you know, in a sense, I’m cheating right. One of the books I read, I think it’s called the automatic customer. It’s the same author that wrote Built to Sell Okay, and in the cheat is that everyone switched it up to MRR monthly recurring revenue as a way of doing business right. So instead of like Netflix or every month, they get you for the 15 a month. So when you have MRR, you have monthly recurring revenue. And that’s how your business model is, you know what you’re making next month, it’s a lot more comfortable to hire someone for 3000 a month because you know, you got X amount, you know, coming in. So that was a big part of what enabled me to hire out. When I first started the real estate business. I didn’t know any of that stuff. So I figured, okay, let me get some debt. And I’ll use that’s the old school way of doing it, which can still be a good thing. I still am a huge advocate of good debt, obviously, being the founder. Yes,
it works out great.
But there’s another way to do it too, which is to learn how to increase your monthly recurring revenue. So that you now have you can forecast your business needs and your expenses and your all of that, which allowed me to hire additional help.
Tyler Jorgenson 21:45
Yeah. So a lot of times monthly recurring revenue is a one way that people do that as they set up payment plans. So let’s say you were selling let’s say you were originally selling a $10,000 course or $10,000 coaching program, you say Actually, it’s $1,000 a month, right? We do expect that you’re in it for a year. That’s actually just the type of financing. Yeah, where you’ve taken a $10,000 product, you said pay $1,000 a month, you’ll actually going to pay 12,000. So in you, like the business owner, take the risk that they could cancel for it. If they don’t they pay more in interest or in fees. So I think there’s a really powerful lesson in that cheat that you’re talking about Joe, which is, like, one predictability in a business, especially in times like this are very, very valuable if there’s ways that you can, if there’s ways that you can look at your business and say, hey, maybe these people weren’t signing up at our high ticket offers anymore, how can you turn them into monthly recurring revenue and provide great value back to them? It’s a great, great opportunity. But man, really, for me having at least a base amount of like, we only grow our business based on the monthly recurring revenue. Okay, we have bill, you know, we have other things that come in at other amounts, but I don’t, there’s no budgeting around that, right because it’s unpredictable. So everything that we build around our what we can predict, and, man, it’s either if that’s a cheat, I’ll cheat like that all day. That’s good stuff. What are some big goals that you have over the next 12 months, over the next 12 months, or even just the rest of the year,
Joe Lawrence 23:14
if we continued the growth path that we’re at, I’d be very happy. So I would like to three x the revenue of the company, again, when I made that goals, and it was in the fall of 2019. Right. And I thought it would take a year to get to that to three extra revenue because it was a comfortable income, you know, yeah, we’re the most people make some, you know, but you know, and it really blows my mind how, and everyone tells you don’t set your bar too low. But I, I guess I kind of did because I hit it in form, or probably four or five months after setting that goal. So now I have the rest of the year. And I got to redo the goal.
Tyler Jorgenson 23:51
And that’s important. Again, I’m speaking a little bit from personal experience. A lot of times when we hit the goal early, we did Oh, we hit it like I’m gonna lay back like at least set a new goal like it’s, you know, maybe your paradigm needed to be completely shattered. Or you know, so you got to find that balance right? Some people set goals so far out that it’s not only unrealistic it also is just going to set people up for failure. Right. I do think that you need to set stretch goals, goals that are beyond what feels comfortable or feels even realistic. Yes. Stretching Li realistic. Yeah, so what? So you guys are three x and then a three x again, I don’t know how many X’s that is. It’s, um,
Joe Lawrence 24:31
but I want to get that, uh, that award that’s behind you.
Tyler Jorgenson 24:35
Yeah, get a couple of them. Why why that’s boring. And you buy that award? You mean, the T ball trophy? Yeah, that’s the one. That’s my goal. But I knew it. I threw away all of my trophies from like, growing up and playing sports, except for my T ball trophy from, you know, the 80s. Okay, so maybe I don’t want to get that from you. You probably beat me but that one’s good. That one’s But yeah, absolutely. And look, I mean, you’ve got to be on track. And so the funny thing about goals, right? So, you know, again, I’ve worked with people who are trying to get to their first they’re trying to make the first dollar, then there’s people trying to make the first hundred thousand so we do a lot in the e commerce right most of our clients, I say there’s you hear the thresholds you need to hit need to get your first sale, right, then you need to get to $30,000 a month, or $30,000, you have a website that’s actually real, you can afford to at least run it properly. But you’re still running. Your next goal is 100 grand a month, because that means you can actually be a business and you can actually have other people doing the day to day. Right. And if you’re not, and then after that everyone’s goal is completely fragment. Some people are going to be in the millions, some people are going to be you know, they’re going to stay at that spot and all of those are fine. It’s just different for each person. Anyway, just some thoughts right, do you so and you’re in kind of like a service based coaching business, you know, your thresholds and your targets are going to be different. What is one major item on your personal bucket list that you’re going to accomplish before the end of the year. Yeah,
Joe Lawrence 26:05
I got to actually work on that. I’ve been so deep into my business, but I would like to continue to read additional five or six books by the end of the year. I really do enjoy that there’s a lot of good content out there that like I mentioned, the book earlier that I read, read, like Built to Sell is a great read, even though you can read that in probably two days. There’s other goals too. You know, I’ve been spending a lot more time with my family now. Especially with like, what’s going on with COVID-19 and all that. I mean, sure, there’s like nothing else to do except that
Tyler Jorgenson 26:37
we’ll have to we’ll do that and read books with them apparently, so appreciate you coming out, Joe. Guys, please go follow Joe a business credit workshop on Instagram or business credit workshop dotnet. Learn more about what he does and if you need his help reach out and say hi, thank you for coming out. Now my listeners wherever you are, it’s your turn to go out and do something.
Unknown Speaker 26:57
Thank you for listening to biz ninja entrepreneur. Your radio with Tyler Jorgensen. Please make sure to subscribe so you’re first to hear new interviews and episodes. If you found this podcast to be valuable, please share it with a friend. Don’t forget to visit our online dojo and biz ninja.com to claim your reward for listening to this show.