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Performance Bookkeeping as a Strategic Business Development Tool With Joey Spanjers

Joey Spanjers

Joey Spanjers is the Chief Strategy Officer and Partnerships at Teicor, a company that helps firms boost their profitability. Joey's expertise spans various domains, starting from his early days producing shows like Survivor and The Voice. Transitioning to the digital media landscape, he collaborated with brands and content creators, leading him to roles at Encompass Films and Amplify.LA. Later, as the former VP of New Business Development at Hawke Media and Co-founder of Elliot, a global commerce platform, he focused on growing e-commerce brands worldwide. With experience advising diverse industries, including consumer brands, cannabis businesses, and emerging technologies, Joey is now dedicated to helping post-revenue companies achieve rapid growth. 


Here’s a glimpse of what you’ll learn:

  • How did Joey Spanjers get into the business of finance?

  • Joey’s experience with SaaS

  • What it means to be industry agnostic

  • Why you need to understand your bookkeeping

  • Choosing your business tech stack

  • The value of communication and trust in professional relationships

  • Benefits of good bookkeeping

  • Who is Teicor’s ideal client?

In this episode…

In business, making a profit is crucial for growth and success. It allows companies to invest, expand, and achieve their goals. But many business owners don’t have the necessary data analysis and bookkeeping skills to ensure their business remains profitable. So how can business owners and entrepreneurs effectively increase their profits and thrive in today's competitive market?

Joey Spanjers, a business finance expert, believes that the key to a profitable business lies in the data. However, not everyone is passionate about spreadsheets. As such, firms that want to remain profitable need an effective bookkeeper. Despite minimal innovation in bookkeeping over time, the need for accurate financial tracking becomes crucial as a company grows, particularly in sectors like consumer goods where margins are tight. Modern bookkeeping aims to go beyond regulatory compliance, providing actionable insights akin to personal health monitoring. To drive growth and sustainability in an ever-evolving marketplace, it’s vital to embrace modern bookkeeping practices to empower your business with valuable insights.

In this episode of The Tao of Pizza Podcast, Mark Hiddleson sits down with Joey Spanjers, Chief Strategy Officer and Partnerships at Teicor, to talk about performance bookkeeping as a strategic business development tool. Joey discusses his experience with SaaS, choosing your business tech stack, and the benefits of effective bookkeeping.

Resources mentioned in this episode:

Sponsor for this episode:

This episode is brought to you by Specialized Storage Solutions Inc.


I have been in the logistics and storage industry for several decades. I know I don’t look that old, but it's true.

We provide industry-leading warehouse storage solutions nationwide.

So basically, if you have a warehouse that needs Rack, Shelving, Carts, Conveyors, or Mezzanines, we help engineering, installations, inspections, and repairs to help clients optimize their logistics operations.

Sometimes people don’t even realize that we can actually help with permit acquisition services.

We take a holistic look at your entire business supply chain ecosystem to develop the resources for continually improving your operation.

To learn more, visit or give us a call at (707) 732-3892. One of the best ways to learn more about our products and services is to follow us on Instagram. And there’s a link on our website to do that.

I will even give you my personal email address for podcast listeners, so email me at if you’re ready to take your warehouse storage and retrieval systems to the next level.

Episode Transcript:

Intro  0:01  

Welcome to The Tao of Pizza, where we feature top logistics leaders, entrepreneurs and supply chain innovators and share their inspiring stories with a holistic twist.


Mark Hiddleson  0:16  

Mark Hiddleston here host of The Tao of Pizza Podcast, where I talk with top industry innovators in the warehousing logistics and supply chain business with a holistic twist before introducing today's guests, this episode is brought to you by specialized storage solutions. And I've been in the logistics and storage industry for several decades. I'm not that old, but it's true. We provide industry leading warehouse storage solutions nationwide. 


So basically we have a warehouse that needs rack shelving parts, conveyors and mezzanines. We help with the design engineering installations, inspections and repairs to help our clients optimize their logistics operations. And Joey it's funny sometimes people don't even realize we can actually help with permit acquisition services. We take a holistic look at your entire business supply chain ecosystem to develop the resources for continually improving your operation. To learn more, visit us at Or give us a call. I even give my personal email to podcast listeners. It's


So shoot me a call or email if you're ready to take your warehouse storage and retrieval systems to the next level. And one more thing before I introduce Joey Spanjers is I have to thank Paul Jarrett of the Bulu Group for introducing me to Joey. Bulu Group specializes in the tricky ship. And Paul I had a great conversation a few weeks ago about what that means, and that episode generated a tonne of interest, so go check it out. Today we're joined by Joey Spanjers. He's a business development and strategy expert with over 10 years of experience, building and operating businesses from the ground up. 


He's helped build b2b agencies and Sass companies along with DTC brands and marketplaces. Joey's always looking for ways to connect the dots. He is the definition of I have a guy for that. His current company, Teicor helps companies grow profitably and sustainably through performance, bookkeeping, and profitability planning. He's industry agnostic, covering everything from better for you CPG to cannabis on a global scale. Joey, welcome to The Tao of Pizza. 


Joey Spanjers  2:29  

Thanks for having me. 


Mark Hiddleson  2:31  

Yeah, I love your intro. When the first time I read it, I was thinking, Man, this is a great outline for the interview. Because I really liked to go through the I can't even think of what they are. But the DTC and the 3PL in SaaS and what I remember, it was probably not that long ago, when I figured out what SaaS meant.


Joey Spanjers  2:56  

The acronyms can lose you. I mean, we have with my partner, especially as we get deeper in the finance world, it's endless. We're even making up around which will reveal at some point. So we're just just more for more to confuse people, I guess.


Mark Hiddleson  3:12  

Yeah, I have acronyms that I love. I use them to create, like I have a spacetime paradigm audit, which there's something for the S, the P the A, the C, the E, and it's like all these things. And so it was one of the I remember, I went to a lot of network meetings when I was new in the business, and it'd be like, what do you do and like we help b2b people do their DTC with the LDLs. And they're like that, and you're like, I know what two of those things mean. 


So share a little bit about and I promise in the first 10 minutes, we'll go through all those just in case. You know, so. And I love that you've built and operated businesses, because a lot of people in this space have always been in software or software development. And I think building an operating business gives you a different perspective. So before we dive into the acronyms, what was the journey like, getting to where you are, like, how did you go? Yeah, honestly,


Joey Spanjers  4:04  

I think I'm, I'm, I'm, I'm a constant problem solver builder. And so that's the probably started, you know, at a young age, but really manifested itself in college where I went to Georgia Tech, which is an engineering school, you know, one of the things I loved about Georgia Tech is, you know, also, probably what not one of the best things is didn't really prepare you for a job, but it prepared you to solve problems. 


So it's allowed me to go across industries. I think one thing that I left out in my intro as I started my career in television, working for Mark Burnett, Survivor, The Apprentice Shark Tank, The Voice and so I've just continued to jump around from industry to industry and, and really go after things that, you know, have gotten me curious and it's funny when I got into the DTC ecommerce space. I was actually making adventure films at the time and they reached out to me because I knew a lot of brands in the outdoor space. So the company OneStop was looking for. And they handled things like Indian ecommerce. And they essentially wanted more outdoor brands that were already working with CamelBak and they saw my relationship. And I was like to be honest, like, I'm probably the last person you want to work with as a direct consumer because I don't buy much. 


I'm like a terrible consumer. It's just not not very materialistic. And so, I don't know anything about shopping online. But for me, it was beautiful because, you know, working in television, you would create a story, it would go through several gatekeepers, they would whittle down this like giant ball of clay into this tiny version of tiny version of the original ball, which basically was a copycat version of Storage Wars. And you're kind of like, okay, well, that idea is not what I started with. And then, and then when you needed to get analytics on how you were doing, I remember, we would call this hotline at NBC. 


And essentially, you know, you'd sit on this recording, and they would recite Nielsen numbers, and it was like, Oh, you got off 4.3 over nine. And I don't know what that means. But I'll put it in a little Excel document. And sure. And so when I started really looking into direct consumer, I was like, wait a minute, there's this thing called Google Analytics. And I can actually see what works, what doesn't work, what I need to do more of what I need to do less of, you know, that's very, like early, basic ecommerce stuff. And I was like, wow, this is like a game changer. 


So I can tell a story directly to someone, I can create a product that they ultimately, you know, want to support by pulling out their wallet and have it in, you know, in their possession. And then I have all the analytics to tell me what works and what doesn't work. So that was sort of the first time I was like, wow, this is actually something I never considered, but is exactly where I want to be. And so adapting, you know, again, my engineering background just allowed me to say, Hey, okay, so what's, what's the challenge? Like, what do we need to do here? And it just took me a little time to get ramped up, but it was super fun.


Mark Hiddleson  6:54  

So what was your degree in Georgia to what was? What were you studying? I almost went there. For my master's degree. They're one of the only. I mean, this was 20 years ago, they were one of the only schools that had logistics, they have some kind of master's degree in legit


Joey Spanjers  7:09  

Yeah, they have, like they have, they have the best industrial engineering school in the world. So I mean, that's where a lot of your top consultants come from, I mean, pretty much, you either go into aerospace, or big tech, or you go into consulting. And so I went in as an undecided engineer, I took a few calculus classes, a few computer science classes, and I decided I didn't want to be an engineer. So I focused more on really, the reason I went to Tech was never really wanting to be the developer, but didn't want to be in the dark on how all that works. 


So I like understanding how things work together. And like understanding timelines, which has helped me a lot in my career, right, you know, when you're working with in the high tech world, or we work with a lot of developers. And so understanding like, how to communicate, how long it's going to take, being able to call BS a little bit when they say they need more time than they do, it's going to cost more than it does. So just keep everybody honest. And then understanding when things take longer, and why. And so, I guess, I ultimately was management. They're their business degrees, called a management degree. And then I had a focus on finance.


Mark Hiddleson  8:22  

So nice. I've explored all of those things. I was the same way. I did engineering for three years. And I did the precalculus calculus, and I thought I was a math genius. And I actually skipped the class to take the statics class because I thought, oh, I can do that, you know, it's not, and I didn't want to fall behind. And you had to have prerequisites. I was like, just let me take this class early. And I was so lost. And most of the people in that class were, and the instructor gave a speech. And he pointed to the other side of the school. He goes, if you guys want the easier classes, is the other side of this school. And that day, I was like, I didn't even realize I was true. 


And so I walked over there that day. And it was like, I've taken all these classes, and I was really close to having a degree in econ. So like, I can have a degree in economics in two years. I don't have to take all this other stuff. And there was math, and econ in finance, but it was nothing like calculus or statistics or engineering. So yeah,


Joey Spanjers  9:23  

my calculus teacher basically came in after dropping a and said, he said, My five year old grandson can do this work. I'm not slowing down. And everybody looked at each other like what?


Mark Hiddleson  9:34  

Yeah, I'm doing. Yeah, there's some colorful professors. And I ended up I mean, it changed my career. I still don't want to be involved in engineering, I think like you were saying with timelines and projects, you have multiple people. And there's kind of different languages between engineers and end users. And so I like being a go between. Are you kind of developing your companies? Have you done that because you did the developed SaaS or you work with SaaS software as a service. By the way, SAS is software as a service. I learned that a couple of years ago to become a chef. Yeah,


Joey Spanjers  10:07  

and tell me I don't know, I just had some Sandhill Cranes laying in my backyard. And so they're singing it. Can you hear them? Or is it? Okay? Not at all? Yeah, beautiful apples to 


Mark Hiddleson  10:19  

Apple's a brilliant tool.


Joey Spanjers  10:20  

Ah, yeah. So, I mean, originally, we started, I started in, you know, we had our own in house platform that was really managed in house. So I've done like, internally managed SaaS, and then I had a co-founder, that we went to Silicon Valley, did the whole, you know, raise much money joining incubators and accelerators and, and that was as a SaaS solution. And then you get some other involvement. And I worked with a French company that was doing CRO technology. 


And so that's so the main difference is, you know, and this is kind of appropriate for what we do is that sometimes the tools are used in house, so the software offerings used in, in house and other times, it's licenced externally, so that, you know, internal teams in a brand or organization can use those and. And with Teicor, we do a lot of work around the finance space. And a lot of the tools and algorithms that we've built are used in house. And so we have some proprietary solutions that allow us an advantage and our customers and advantage. So I don't know if at some point, maybe we do roll those out. But for now, we use them as this


Mark Hiddleson  11:38  

part of your internal product, and then his process tubes and bringing different clients because I love to share a little bit about being industry agnostic. And what that means, you know, when I read that about your pile, it's something that's come into our business too, because we do business in the beverage industry as we did in the cold storage industry, we have all these different verticals. And over the years, I mean, to me the way I built my career, you learn so much from your clients that you become an expert in their business more than their business, if that makes sense. Just because you've talked to so many of their competitors, or people in similar businesses game about just bought what we know, you know, the racking the warehousing, conveyors, projects, so you probably have similar things in your industry with working Yeah, I


Joey Spanjers  12:24  

mean, I think there's, there's two real parts to it. One is, I'm curious by nature. And so I love shiny objects. And I've disciplined myself, I mean, part of why we started Teicor is, as I was talking to my partner, TJ, he's like, I want something so boring, that, that I'm like, super disciplined and focused and not chasing what's next. But also, the other aspect is that like business, whether it's marketing, or your finances, or really anything, you do it, it's a basic math formula, right? You know, you have inputs and outputs. 


And if the formula is off, you can tell, you know, at the end result, right, and so, it's important to, to look at it like that, right? I mean, you know, the product is important. Team is important, you know, branding, messaging, all of that is important, but like you have to be, you have to be able to measure it right, in some way. And, and quantify it. And so, yeah, I think that is you can apply that across industries, right? The, you know, I started an ecommerce, and I was doing a lot of things around, you know, the pillars of ecommerce, right. It's, it's the design, it's the platform, it's the marketing, it's the customer support, it's the fulfillment, photography, and then, you know, I was good at that. 


And then I got recruited to help build a marketing agency with one of my friends. And, you know, again, it's just sort of like the same, the same exercise over and over again. And because of my background in Eecommerce, I was brought in to help solve challenges in cannabis. You know, listen, it's, there are a lot more roadblocks and hurdles in cannabis, you know, from advertising from a logistics from a licencing. And so you have, like, different parameters. But you know, the basic same thing is like, you have to be able to acquire customers at an efficient clip and retain those customers and, and do it, you know, initially, you don't do it profitably, because you're learning but as you learn, like, the business only survives if you can do it profitably.


Mark Hiddleson  14:31  

And that's where the bookkeeping comes in. And I think bookkeeping is one of those. I took it in high school. I kind of had a dream, like, I'm gonna own a business at some point. At that point, I looked at how much of a knucklehead I was, and I was like, I have no idea how it's gonna happen. But at some point, and I just want to and one of the cool things is like, I was the only guy in that class. It was all girls and I don't know what I'm like, why would it be that way? 


But I didn't really do it. But I loved learning, like green sheets and debits and credit. It was totally counterintuitive, but like writing all that stuff down, when I started my business, I had QuickBooks and everything was generating these reports. At least I knew where that stuff was coming from. I think it gave me a big advantage. And yeah, as a business owner, I kind of like, I like the marketing, the sales, the execution and for the bookkeeping, it's kind of something I have to do. But I love your company, you're like, This is a strategic advantage if you can do it, right, because that's where everything is like, if you have a question about what's working and what's not, is that all your answers will be in the bookkeeping. Right?


Joey Spanjers  15:42  

Yeah. I mean, absolutely. I mean, I don't think anybody other than maybe bookkeepers and TJ I have ever said, like, I want to start a company. So I can do bookkeeping. I mean, listen, but the reality is, if you're going to run a business, you have to keep your books, right? Yeah. Whether you do it in house or hire an expert. And, TJ loves statistics. You know, bookkeeping has been around for 7000 years. And the truth is, that there hasn't been a tonne of innovation. 


I mean, of course, you have QuickBooks, and you have zero and you have a bunch of other tools out there that allow you to do things. And there are some interesting ones that are talking about, you know, automating 100%, which, you know, I believe, kind of, and, but the methodology of how and what what makes a good bookkeeper today versus what I think will make a good bookkeeper five years from now is that most bookkeepers, you want a bookkeeper that is accurate, that as reconciling on a regular basis, you know, hopefully at least monthly. Sometimes people want to do a quarterly depending on the velocity. Now, if they have significant transactions, then they're almost doing it daily. And then you just hope they don't make mistakes and categorize things properly. 


But the majority of bookkeeping, the more majority of bookkeeping tools out there are really focused on things like, how do we keep the taxman happy? Right? And how do we make it easier for our CPA to follow our CPA to file our taxes, but as a business starts to scale, so a lot of the companies that we work with are post revenue and ready for high stage growth. We focus on CPG and consumer goods primarily because you know, it's really our Briarpatch, it's, they're usually typically complex businesses, they're selling online, they're selling, and retail and, and, as as businesses start to scale right there, some of them are very capital intensive, so margins matter. 


They have to keep basically two sets of books, right? One, they're QuickBooks and the other one is how they operate their business. Right. So that's typically a spreadsheet, a lot of times that is managed by either an internal CFO or fractional CFO. And I love I think CFOs are fantastic, and they're important piece of the puzzle. But the reality is like, the better, you know, the better the CFO, you get, typically the more complex their spreadsheet is. And as an operator, I've been an operator myself, and I know, I've spoken to hundreds of operators over the my 10 year career in ecommerce. Like, the more complicated the spreadsheet, the less likely they are to look at it. 


So it's important to take data and put it in in a meaningful way where they can, you know, Shopify has done a great job of doing that, for ecommerce operators, right, they can go look at their dashboard, they can see the important key metrics and they can move on. Right. And the same thing is, I think, is what you'll see with bookkeeping as it evolves, is that, you know, people are going to need more actual insights to keep up with the pace of business. And so bookkeeping is like a really good way to, you know, to be honest, we can, it's funny, because once we start helping people with their financials, like really, we're focused on ultimately is like, making sure people have an honest understanding of the financial health of their business, right? 


You know, you have people that are interested in longevity, and they'll go to the ends of the earth to get their blood work. There's their aura rings, measuring their sleep schedule, do all these things to manage the personal health, like, why not do that for your business as well. And so if you can make those metrics, more actionable, I think you can you can go a long way. And so that's what's that's what's been working for us for sure.


Mark Hiddleson  19:24  

And I'm glad so I'm not stoked about bookkeeping, but about waiting for somebody to come along, like you guys who are stoked about it. And I can, I mean, we, I was reading a lot about data and everything. Our company's been small, it's always had a few employees. We've done anywhere from like two to 3 million a year in revenue. Our business is unique, like most of ours, we do everything on QuickBooks. I was looking, I was like, Okay, after, you know, 20 years that's like, you know, 40 or $50 million in business and so I paid a small boutique data firm, to just Look at my QuickBooks because I go any data I have, if it's electronic, or anything, it's in there. 


So I just kind of gave it we had some meat, you know, a couple discovery meetings, everything was like, Look, I want to find out. Show me what you can do. You know, I mean, it wasn't that big of an investment, but kind of like you're saying at least like, like, what is it going to say? If it says nothing to be scared, right? Yeah, I found out that like, out of 50, everything was 50 or $60 million, like 80% of that I could connect the dots, like you were saying, connect the dots back to 30 different people. And it was actually when I started to think kind of the same time I was thinking about a podcast, because like, where's the value in my business or like the main, and it was those 30 people, because I had learned from them, they were mentors, they were customers, they'd given referrals. 


And if I hadn't done that, I'm gonna kind of know what I was, I had a feeling like, Well, these guys keep showing up everything in there. But when you could trace it, and there were these big dots that were balloons, and those balloons were like people on something with Excel that he could just do that was wild, I forget. There's another programme that goes with Excel where you can make graphs, I can't think of a turnout, where


Joey Spanjers  21:10  

Those tools are interesting, the, the, the little bit of the challenge with some of those tools is, depending on how much data you're processing, they start to slow things down. So that's why we need to start getting more into proprietary solutions. Yeah, some point of sass solution that we'd offer, but really focus on being able to handle that data properly. I mean, it's TJ, TJ, I keep talking about TJ, he's my business partner, he's, he handles a lot of the client side. And he's the one that will spend time in the spreadsheets. You know, he's the biggest spreadsheet nerd I know. I mean, for Christmas, he was given a coffee mug that said, freak in the sheets with Excel on it. But I mean, I've seen


Mark Hiddleson  21:54  

words like that,


Joey Spanjers  21:56  

yeah, the level of complexity that he's built into different spreadsheets for previous consulting people, you get that spinning wheel of death from Apple, and it's, you know, he's got a pretty powerful, pretty powerful computer. So I think those tools, I think, listen, depending on the size of your business, and you know, those tools can be helpful. But I think, I don't know if it gets you all the way where you need to be. And, you know, bookkeeping, for us, is really just the starting point. Right? 


Once we help people get their financials in place, and organized. I mean, if you can think about it, right, like on the marketing side of, you're just a DTC brand. You know, you're managing multiple ad networks, right? So you have, you have meta you have, which is Facebook and Instagram, you have TikTok, you have Amazon, you have I mean, Snapchat, Twitter, I mean, it goes on and on, right, that's just on the advertising side, then you have other platforms, like your lifecycle marketing, that could be postscript, that could be Klaviyo, you know, handling all of your emails, and then you have your Shopify data. 


And so that's, you know, there's probably like 10 tools, standard tools that you need to run just a basic ecommerce business now, like, go into retail, and we call this brick and click right. And retail, if you're selling, listen, you're selling a product, if you get into Walmart, or Target or HEB, or your local independent retailers, like there's a whole different, you know, selling reports for all that information, too. So it just gets compounded. And those are things that you have to look at every single month, and not every single week, right? And eventually, like you run out of time, right? 


And so, if you don't have good systems, you don't have good processes, and you don't have a good way to visualize it, you're essentially flying blind. Right? So it becomes very challenging to operate. And you miss things right, you may miss you know, we've gone through the books on some clients, and we've noticed that they've shipped inventory to warehouses, but the manufacturer actually left a pallet off. And so now in there, they're reflecting that they have, you know, shipped, you know, basically $15,000 worth of product that has been shipped but was never shipped and so now they have this deficit now that's recovery. 


I mean, it's already sunk into finished goods, right and it's a perishable finished goods. So it just gets more and more complicated. Or the other challenge that we see a lot to do is you know, when companies are in the early stages, they go through this lifecycle of okay, I'm gonna go razor out friends and family I'm going to start my product for the first time you know, I'm gonna figure out who can make me labels and who can make me pouches and who can manufacture the product and they have sort of a moving finish line right on when they get that done. It may take them a month, it may take them three years, right. 


But once you start in the market, you don't have this infinite timeline because once you start getting orders to big retailers, if it's missing off the shelf, there's a good chance that they're going to fill you with someone else, and you've lost that opportunity. And if you've lost it on a local store, it may prevent you from going more regionally or nationally. Or it may impact your already existing national rollout like, hey, these people can't keep up with our demand, and our customers expect to see his product on our shelf, we can't risk that for our brand. And, and so I think another thing that comes up too is, okay, when do we fundraise, right? So that friends and family was a great thing that got us to where we are. But if we keep going the VC route, you know, we're gonna be left with 1% of our company, before we know it. And, so you have to look at other options like, how do you finance? And, again, you can't do that unless you understand your financial health.


Mark Hiddleson  25:51  

Yeah. And so would you say, I love that you shared that story too, because you gave kind of a specific example of what it takes to kind of build a company, all those different things happening. Kind of systems like your ideal client right now, what kind of systems are they using right now? Or are they using the combination? And what's the combination? What do you know? What's your gut? Like? What's literally using now isn't made it just there's not really


Joey Spanjers  26:16  

a tech stack that we recommend? I mean, we're really, you know, at this point, we're agnostic, you know, we're pulling a lot of the reports ourselves. And, you know, we were up for the challenge. Right. So, I think, you know, as we continue to build up more integrations into our proprietary tools, there will be more common things like obviously, a sham Shopify, or an Amazon. But on the retail side, I mean, it's, it differs a lot, right? depending on you know, if you're in the alcohol space or not, right, if you're selling through online retailers, or independent retailers, or if you're selling, if you're working with Walmart, or target or, you know, Sprouts, you name it, there's, there's some there's some variants. 


So, right now, we don't have a tonne of preference on that. I mean, for the most part, people are going to be on QuickBooks. And you know, they're going to be using pretty standard ecommerce platforms, you know, we can really work with any right now. So I mean, more, we're really we want it, we want to be a little bit, we obviously we want to be someone's bookkeeper, you know, we help, you know, with our forecasting and demand planning, and all of our profitability planning, we're a little bit Oracle, but a lot of ways we're a therapist, you know, give us give us, give us what you don't want, we'll make sense of it. And we'll help walk you through this process. You know, and I think that's, you know, we're open ended.


Mark Hiddleson  27:42  

 Yeah, I think you should say more about that, because around 2000, it was early in my career, I've been doing this around three years. And that was just a rocket ship to the top of the sales and was making great money. And when the .com crash happened, for the first time, in like five years, I saw my income go down, like 20 or 30%. And I was thinking, Man, I need to do something that's not as reliant on the economy going up and down, that's more reliant on me. So I'm gonna get another degree, and I always knew I was gonna get a master's degree at some point. 


So now I'm, like, 30, and I was thinking about an MBA in finance, I was looking at Wharton, I was looking at schools, and I was doing a lot of soul searching, there's something just hit me. Like, study what you're passionate about, which is the mind body problem and philosophy and health and fitness. So I ended up getting my degree, a master's degree in holistic health education, as people always ask me, like, how does that relate to what you do? And it was just amazing, you know, the communication and the insights, when he talked about health systems, a lot of the same principles apply to personal health and business health. 


And then the communication factor in the therapy, but a lot of my master's degree was experiential stuff. I laugh about last night, because people say things like, what comes up for me right now? Is it so there were just like, safe ways to say things like you said, You're wrong, or it's not that way that you say to be like, what comes up for me, or I want to create a space for it as a language. But it wasn't just that it was getting into those because sometimes people get into those things, and they're scared. It's like, I'm not telling you anything, Joey, but come back. Go back. And we're only going to tell you the surface level stuff, but to do anything good. You kind of gotta get it while you're using the therapy analogy, or did I miss that? Yeah,


Joey Spanjers  29:35  

I mean, I mean, yeah, to be honest, I think we, the a lot of the success that we've had, so far has really been you know about our long standing relationships professionally. And so it's trust. It's setting expectations, it's delivering on those expectations. We always like to have a scoreboard. We like to be as communicative as possible online. What will the next month look like? What does it look like after that? And if something, listen to something, if something's off, like, we're just gonna call it how it is, you know, and be very direct. 


And so I think that probably the most common, like, not why someone doesn't work with us but what takes a little warming up to, in general, is there's this interesting dichotomy of being a founder, right, or a business operator. Because public facing like, you've created this product, whatever it is, you have this widget, and you're telling the whole world, right? I've created this project product, here's a reason a, b, and c of why you want this product. This is like, this is why it's good for you. so on and so forth, right? So you're facing your peers, your investors, like, potential buyers, like consumers on the market, right? 


And you're putting off this aura that I'm doing great, everything is awesome, like things are cruising along, right? And that you're here for the long haul. But the reality is, a lot of times the financials don't match that story. And it's not any of it's not, because anything they said to you is incorrect or false. It's just the reality is like, business throws curveballs at you, right, we had a pandemic, we, you know, supply chain, we had container ships getting stuck in the Suez Canal. regulations change, you know, you could even have a buyer change roles within an organization and the person that was had committed verbally to get your order, now they've left and someone else's replaced them, and it's got lost, right. 


So you may have bought too early on some inventory. Now you're sitting on things and, and I think for people, having someone that they can trust or letting go of that sort of like, I will let someone in and, and basically see everything I've got, it's a very, it that's where a lot of the therapy comes in. It's like you have to be someone that people can trust. Right? And listen, there's a lot of I mean, also, I don't think there's a lot to hide, right? It's just, maybe it's like, some ego, maybe it's some shame, I don't know, but it exists.


Mark Hiddleson  32:08  

It's like everything. If it wasn't for the people, everything would be running smoothly. Ah, no, I love that. And I mean, even for me, like, I'm a founder and the books, it's there. It's an emotional thing. I don't know, it shouldn't be, but I do want it to look a certain way. If it doesn't, it kind of sucks for me personally, you know, even. That's my event. Maybe it shouldn't even be that way. But


Joey Spanjers  32:37  

yeah, well, I think that's why we like our basic two offerings, right? We do performance bookkeeping. And without performance, bookkeeping, it comes to profitability planning, right. And under the profitability planning usually fits, you know, cash flow analysis, demand planning and forecasting. So if I stopped just doing the performance, bookkeeping, I'm basically saying, Here's where you are. 


And that can either be good or bad. Or, you know, or if I say, Here's where you are. But if you do these things, this is where you can go in two years. That's pretty meaningful. And that's pretty exciting for people. I think that gets people over the hump of the reality that like, Okay, here's where we are, like, we, we have to be honest with ourselves. But if we do these things, right, if we make these adjustments, if we negotiate, you know, better rates on this, or we hold inventory, or shorter timeframe, or we put the right growth capital at the right terms at the right time, like, hey, this can go exactly where I thought it was gonna go, you know, when I had this idea, and I think that's really reassuring. 


And then I think the reality is, a lot of that organizing of that data, like, takes away a lot of that. I guess, the anxiety around it's actually not as bad as they think it is. Right? You know, a lot of times we make things worse than they actually are. Yeah, it's


Mark Hiddleson  34:03  

I think there's a bias towards overestimating what you can do in a year, but a total on underestimate what you can do in three to five years, right? You can do all this in a year, you can, but you have no idea what you can do in three to five or even 10 years, especially if you have the right. I'm excited about what you're saying about having all these tools to kind of see what's working and what isn't, and add it on paper. You know, it's not just in your head. It's on paper. And it was beautiful, it's in beautiful charts.


Joey Spanjers  34:38  

I love that. Yeah, it's I mean, it's so funny, because a lot of times that's why I always encourage people just to like book a time with us, right? Because I can sit here and I can tell you all the things that we do and like maybe people listen to half of it. Be great, right? But once I show people like how we operate how we Think about things and then how we visualise it. It's just a light bulb goes on and on every single time. What? Yeah. Is that crazy? Yeah. 


And then, the funny thing is, is, you know, when we, we talked about what we have like, we're very fortunate that we have a network of people that have had great success. And so as we TJ, and I started working on this concept, we, we, we ran it by a few people. And the funny thing was, is most people are like, What are you guys doing? Right? Yeah, we're, we're basically, I mean, in several forms, we're taking all the work that nobody wants to do. And we're building a business around that. And it's funny, though, because like, it's so boring for us. It's exciting, right? I love it. 


If there's nothing more invigorating, then obviously, you know, listen, everybody loves to sign a deal. But like, I my favourite moment is when the client has sent over the data. And then TJ has about 24 hours to comb through organised, make, you know, make take his first pass at it. And then we get on a phone call. Right? Okay. I was like, Where have they been? Where are they now? Like, where are we taking them? And that is such an exciting thing. 


Because it's like, it's, you know, listen, there are some realities, but for the most part, it's an optimistic story that we're helping them tell, right, and I just see, as you see the energy, the, you know, energy, you know, the blood come back into their face again, like, Okay, this is not as bad as I thought it was. And it's like, okay, this is what I needed to do. These are the answers. I was I was, and honestly, that's like, a lot of it's like a sounding board, right? Like, it's not things that they haven't thought of, I mean, sometimes like, especially in the finance options, like, that market evolves so fast, right? 


Like, the markets change, you know, funding dries up, new, new, new vehicles, you know, really smarter finance people than me come up with new vehicles of lending money. And so like, it's hard to keep up with all that and then do the calculation, what works. And so like, I think that's a pretty common one, we're like, okay, you thought about these were your only options? Well, have you looked at these three, and this is how it fits into your business model. And I think, for the most part, like, they've thought of a lot of these things, they just haven't pulled the trigger on most of them, because they don't have the level of confidence or the deep understanding of their business to actually make that decision. So yeah, 


Mark Hiddleson  37:21  

well, you can generate, it's also an advantage, you're gonna get better interest rate, like, the better your books are in limited shows, you know, at least if you're making if you're making money, we want money. Like, that's one thing for us. I've always wanted our books. If you're self-employed, you know, it's always harder to qualify for something. And I was doing something that was a few years ago, and I was like, Man, I bought this house 20 years ago, I couldn't afford it. Like, now I actually can. 


But the bank's treating like yeah, I was like, well, he worked for yourselves, I can work for myself for 20 years, you can have a five year job and get fired tomorrow. I mean, like, this should be a strength. Yeah, luckily, you know, our books, you know, we do keep it's not that complicated. I love it so we're gonna have something in the show notes. So we'll put something in the show notes, where it's like book a call with Joey or book a call with Teicor, and we put a link to that in our gaps. That'd be great. That's the best way to find out more. And now that I've said that, do you want to say you know it, was there a certain I love the word customer avatar, but is there a certain client you'd love to talk to? Or is it you know, consumer packaged goods?


Joey Spanjers  38:28  

I mean, our current client portfolio is, you know, we have consumer goods. We just started working with this amazing conference that focuses on it's a conference slash community. They focus on helping early DTC founders, inexperienced DTC founders find community around growing their business. 


So they're not completely solid, they have, you know, great in person events, and then, you know, so that's not a traditional CPG. And then one of our clients is an animation studio. And so really, I mean, at a base level, we're just taking years of experience systems processes and a way to visualize it. So it's like just really sound business principles. So there's not really a specific industry. I would say, though, we do love CPG, we love consumer goods. But the reality is, like if you make money and are looking to grow, probably worth at least a chat. Right? Yeah. So


Mark Hiddleson  39:25  

For example, if there was a contractor that had like six employees and was gonna go from like 3 million to 10 million in the next five years in QuickBooks, would that be a good candidate? Yeah, no. I have a friend. That's a company like that. Everyone in counseling always has a friend who needs help. Right? Well, I have a friendly


Joey Spanjers  39:51  

special and that's that's a beautiful thing, too, about a lot of the dashboards that we do, I mean, people come to us sometimes not knowing what they want at all. And so we'll just have a good grasp on what everybody really needs to focus on. So we help give them a Northstar, you know, with their KPIs, and then we lay out things like cash flow forecasts, and things like that. 


But other times, you know, people need some very specific things, or there's like, a good example is if you're selling into a real retail location, and you're new, sort of in the market, you have a forecast. Okay, so we've predicted these locations are going to sell 20 cases a month over the next 90 days. And as a small business owner, you don't have a full fledged sales team to call and check on how things are doing all the time, or always be deep in the report. 


So we've been able to surface opportunities where, where we have this chart that identifies Hey, these are the stores that we're supposed to order and haven't ordered. Maybe give them a call, you know, and see if it is your product sitting in as a stock room is, you know, did Anheuser Busch come in and push it to the back? Like, who knows why that product? I mean, I, one of the things is I didn't go to college as I drove a beer truck. So I know a lot about playing that game. So some space in the grocery is stuff. Yeah. Tactics, but for the little guy.


Mark Hiddleson  41:22  

Nice. So yeah, I have a client, like a thought, a bunch of different clients, with clients there. So what about a lot like a grocery retailer that has 100 stores in California? And I mean, that's kind of bigger, they had three or four warehouses, they had external partners. I mean, it seems like and one of the frustrating things is they'll companies like that, they always think they need a bigger company like, well, we need to go to Manhattan, or St. Otter, the third solution to SAP or something like this, would accompany like that the get mastery, or you really want to deal with?


Intro  41:52  

Well, I mean, it sort of depends, right? So there's, there's, you know, with an organization that size, like we have a client that, you know, does a billion dollars in revenue, right. And so they have a full on accounting team, they have a full on CFO they have bifurcated accounting systems. And, you know, there's a lot of moving parts. So there are certain aspects that we can do, we can just, we can just laser focus on and do, you know, without consuming their resources, like too many of their resources, and giving them the information they needed. 


But right, so I would say like, a larger client like that. It's 50/50, we would, you know, go on and actually do their bookkeeping for them. We could, it would just sort of depend on, you know, how established they are. So, there's always something that we can typically do. But I will say, like, I think for us, you know, personally, we really enjoy working with companies that are, you know, have product market fit, they have revenue and are ready for that high stage growth. I think those are you, someone that's wearing one too many hats. Yeah, yeah, you're


Mark Hiddleson  43:05  

absolutely right. And then the other client I was sent to, we have one, we process returns because that's one of the things about DTC in apparel, the returns are built in, it's like 20 30%, because people will or small, mid and large, trim all off and send it back and it happens. So dealing with those returns, there's a business decision, because we've created systems where they can process it quickly, give the customer credit, clean the garments, restock it on the shelf. 


So we've built these systems, but a lot of it you're looking at this stuff and go man, and so they're mostly DTC that got a few stores, but I was like, Why don't they take half the stuff, just put it on the stores for 70% off and donate whatever doesn't sell at the store? Because the cost of restocking it in your warehouse has to be mind boggling. Yeah. You could give them actual data on that, right? I'm just sitting there looking like all these clothes aren't going to sell. And you're spending x dollars to reprocess it, put it on the shelf. So to me, that would be an ideal client. For 


Joey Spanjers  44:02  

Yeah, no, I mean, it's definitely funny, we actually had a call with a fantastic developer that I've known for years. He's, he's worked with pretty much anybody under the sun and, and he was walking us through some of the use cases that he's, you know, had in the past. And there's, there's, I think that's the interesting thing about looking at it from a modeling perspective, right, like as each, you know, a lot of what we do is in a modular capacity, right, so like, you're selling online, you're doing an Amazon, your business has, you know, multiple SKUs with a high propensity for returns and trying on different sizes. 


We can build that into the forecasting, and help alleviate a lot of that. I think, you know, probably the simplest way to do that for someone that has a CPG company specifically is, you know, making sure you're ordering and making inventory at the right time. You know, there's that clicking talk that ticks. The clock starts as soon as you manufacture that product, right? And then, and then it's you've got to have to sell through, you've got to monitor all these things, but I don't know. It's fun. Business is fun. It's like, it's like if it was all easy, everybody would do it. And exactly, that's the one for the punishment in the challenges. And I don't know, it's like, you're gonna wake up each day? Yes. No,


Mark Hiddleson  45:21  

I love it. I'm glad you guys are passionate, you're passionate about it. And so that's what I like doing business with people that are passionate is like, do you get excited? When you find something? I mean, that to me, that means like, you're probably waking up in the middle of the night or I wanted to run out of time, I wanted to ask you some personal questions like what kind of hobbies? Hobbies: The three things I'd like to ask, well, what are your favorite hobbies? What's your favorite podcast? And what's your favorite new tech?


Intro  45:50  

Oh, man, I Gosh, hobbies. So I've started an organization that's focused around the legal mushroom space. It's a community, my co creator on this. We basically just saw a big conversation happening around mushrooms. And so we started this thing called Mount Mushmore where I go around the country or we go around the country feeding people delicious mushrooms. 


So all fully legal, we're talking more about the Chaga than the Reishis. The Maitakes, the King Trumpets and tribe people will be on Portobello and White Button mushrooms and send them different ways to prepare this food. And we do a lot of the pace of all of our dinners now that we're alcoholic and so we bring in these fabulous formulators that make these elixirs and so they use all these different types of things, that you can find like a Whole Foods basically, or Ion Health Store. And we teach people how to sort of enjoy themselves and try new things outside of alcohol. So that's been a lot of fun. I love to eat and I love to host people. And, you know, the mushroom space lends itself to some funny language. And yeah,


Mark Hiddleson  46:58  

Do you have any of the regular good mushrooms? Or is it all


Joey Spanjers  47:03  

I know a guy


Mark Hiddleson  47:07  

That's, you know, my holistic health and my, I don't want you to tune into mine because we're running out of time. But my father and my father or my stepdad has neuropathy from military service, or even in Vietnam, he has a lot of things. And mushrooms are one of the I mean, he's looking into some of the therapies that actually help with that. Then there's places in Oregon, he's always looking for information. And it's actually hard to find. So we're going to something in the show notes you guys are talking about later. But can we have a resource in there for the delicious mushrooms that you're talking about? That sounds fascinating that you offer mushrooms in the foothills here, because there's good resources in Napa to find,


Joey Spanjers  47:49  

I would say one of the things that's important about the dinner to understand is that a lot of it's centered around education. So the reason why we have the meal prepared and we focus on a whole wide variety of mushrooms is to educate people on what other mushrooms are out there and different ways to prepare. The other thing that we always do is we do about 15 minutes of education. And that sort of depends on the setting. 


So if a community wants, typically we'll have someone from our community and we were lucky enough to have people that have brands, people that are writing laws, and I've dedicated their whole life to writing legislation to help with legalization researchers. I mean, we have this fascinating guy, Alex grave. Not a lot of people. A lot of people have seen his work. Not everybody knows who he is. But he's like a world famous psychedelic artist. And he talks about how art world psychedelics impacted. So I think education is really important. I think about that one. That's definitely stay tuned there. There will be some more resources because I think that's a big problem, right? Yeah, a lot of great brands out there. 


But like, people don't necessarily trust the brand that says, hey, drink this, this is the best for you. Like, right, for brands. So of course, we'd like to be sort of, you know, Switzerland on that. And then I guess the other thing is that technology Oh, man. I laugh I mean, I I went to an engineering school, you know, Georgia Tech, so you think I'd be this big technology nerd and but the reality is, I'm more excited about the anti Metaverse so like, my, my priorities in life is is RMIT is is like the new Ferrari is a regenerative farm. So I would like to build I would I tell all my friends, I'm going to build the anti Metaverse, so


Mark Hiddleson  49:30  

I love that I love


Joey Spanjers  49:34  

my kids bow and arrows before I give them an iPhone. Yeah. Yeah.


Mark Hiddleson  49:38  

That's for the meat of the book as that's my Yeah, my kids like yeah, we play football in the house. We read skateboards in the house. We do dangerous stuff. APB Yeah. To the opposite of the members. I love that I've never been a member of Facebook. I look at some cartoon or something that said somebody else is like a $5 million house on metaverse or something. 


But this is a beautiful way of saying. So that's it. And I noticed he saw the birds. I'm glad we didn't get sidetracked because one of the things I do drives my wife crazy. We have a lot of bird life in Napa. And if I see a hawk you see a lot of vultures and they're awesome, like a foot wingspan, everything will get some hawks. If I ever see a hawk, I'll stop the conversation and go hawk. So are the birds still singing out there,


Joey Spanjers  50:29  

where they left, there's like two or three of them that come to hang out all the time. And we have a golden retriever that occasionally gives them a little nudge when they get too close. So it's a little, I guess, bird and dog game versus cat and mouse and that relationship. But back to your point. It's all about systems, right? Yeah,


Mark Hiddleson  50:51  

holistic systems. And I love you know, the regenerative farm is the new Ferrari, you know, I've actually thought about that we're, you know, starting a community that generates regenerative farms instead or so. Well, I mean, yeah, I


Joey Spanjers  51:06  

I mean, I think that's so I mean, I mean, listen, like, obviously, people have to make money to live, right? And so like, we have, you know, our company, like, pays us, right. But I think the more exciting thing about it, and really, the reason why we do it is, you know, we like to see if I can help a company, right? So say someone starts a company that is, you know, a mushroom company, they're like, Hey, we have this mushroom, that's great for brain health, right. 


And we've, we've gone to the ends of the earth to source this mushroom to make sure it's organic, that it's grown properly, that you know, we extract it properly, we, we mix it with the right ingredients, and the packaging we use is this, that and the other and do all those things, right? A lot of that stuff costs money, right? And, you know, the deeper you go down that rabbit hole versus like taking something off the shelf, it gets expensive. And so if we can help those companies that have these formulas, these better few companies that have great formulas have done a lot of the hard work, and help them just do that more profitably. 


Like how much more of their company can they own in the long run? Right? Like, how if they're operating more profitably, like, do they always have to sell that company to a larger company, right? Or can they be the rest of their lifestyle business that, you know, is not paying them like a lifestyle business and, and then the formula stays intact. They're excited about, you know, waking up every single day and doing it and I think, you know, with some minor tweaks to you know, and just real awareness into what's happening in their business, I think more people can achieve that success. And so for us, it's like, that ultimately helps a lot in user rights, if you can help them do things more sustainably more profitably, then hopefully then you can price things more affordably. Right. So more people can have access to healthier options that keeps them out of, you know, having to go see their doctor all the time. Totally,


Mark Hiddleson  53:01  

absolutely healthy systems. Man, Joey, I want to be the first to say thank you. I've been excited about this. Glad we connected. Thanks, again to Paul Jarrett, for the introduction. That this has been a great, great episode. I can't wait to post it and just what's the bid? We're gonna have the best way to get a hold of you on the show notes.


Intro  53:23  

Yeah, so I mean, our website is Easy to get on there to book. I'm Joey Spanjers, my name is on there. You can find me on LinkedIn, you can reach out wherever we're pretty accessible. We like being accessible. But yeah, I can book directly from Tom's on our site, we can chat and see how we can help or we can just talk about the anti members. I don't really care. Yeah,


Mark Hiddleson  53:47  

book a strategy call. I'm going to this as my pre strategy call. And so I get Yeah, I'm definitely and I'm gonna tag some people when I post on LinkedIn that check it out. Thank you so much. Yeah.


Joey Spanjers  54:00  

Well, thank you for having me. I really appreciate it's been great. Getting to know you better. And, and thanks for giving us a voice in the world. Yeah,


Mark Hiddleson  54:09  

no, it's an awesome performance. bookkeeping, I love it. Joey Spanjers. Thank you so much.


Outro  54:13  

I take it. Thanks for listening to The Tao of Pizza Podcast. We'll see you again next time and be sure to click Subscribe to get future episodes.


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