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Billionaire: Watch out for this

Many entrepreneurs never know a good thing until it's gone, says Tilman J. Fertitta, chairman, CEO and owner of Fertitta Entertainment, the powerhouse behind restaurant chain Landry's and Golden Nugget Casinos.

This billionaire is no stranger to success ... or the troubles that can come with assuming success will last forever.

"The biggest mistake that people make in business is when things are really good, they forget they're ever going to be bad again. And so they keep spending, spending, spending," Fertitta said.

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"

While it may seem logical to think that initial success gives a business license to spend more, Fertitta says businesses should always make sure they know how much they are already spending.

"You've got to understand your numbers. You've got to understand the cost of your product. You've got to understand the cost of your labor," he said.

Even when businesses take off, entrepreneurs should also pay close attention to the balance sheet.

"The reason that small companies fail is the accounting never keeps up with the growth of their product," Fertitta said.

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