Entrepreneurs

Billionaire to entrepreneurs: Know your numbers

Knowing the detailed numbers behind a business is crucial to Tilman J. Fertitta, chairman, CEO and owner of Fertitta Entertainment, which owns the restaurant giant Landry's as well as Golden Nugget casinos.

Whenever Fertitta is asked to meet with budding entrepreneurs, the billionaire investor is always shocked about how little people know regarding the economics of their own company.

"When I go in and meet these new companies, I can tell within three minutes if they have any idea of what they're doing when it comes to the economics of their business," Fertitta said Tuesday on CNBC's "Power Lunch."

"So first thing, more than anything, know your numbers."

Tilman Fertitta, CEO of Landry's, stars in CNBC's "Billion Dollar Buyer"
Bob Levey | CNBC
Tilman Fertitta, CEO of Landry's, stars in CNBC's "Billion Dollar Buyer"

Fertitta said the one department in a company that "better be strong" is its analysis department.

"I'm not worried about the journal entries, anybody can do that. But having an analysis team that can really dig into your numbers and know if your lending costs are truly 0.2 of a point," he said. "Know your costs to every tenth, and at the end of the month, you can see where you need to fix those numbers."

For individuals contemplating starting businesses or trying to make their business grow, Fertitta said they should not be discouraged by the current economic climate.

"No. 1, business is good. But anytime you've had six good years in a row, which we had coming out of basically the recession in '09, you're going to get choppy a little bit. Everybody knows that. You're not going to have have six, seven, eight years in a row of strong growth," he said. "I think everybody is almost waiting for something not to be right, but it's not bad. It just doesn't have the growth that it had two years ago or a year ago."

Fertitta said he believes the political cycle definitely has an impact on investor confidence since people are still waiting to see what happens after the general election.

"Every time we're going to shut down the world, Congress and Obama, everybody stops spending money for a bit. So, I think everybody is waiting to see what happens. If we get a new president in '17, the economy could boom again."

Tune in to "Billion Dollar Buyer," Tuesdays at 10 p.m. ET/PT on CNBC, to watch entrepreneurs vie for Tilman Fertitta's business.