RIZKNOWS LLC is a digital media company centered on providing high quality, helpful, and entertaining reviews of popular consumer goods. We operate two websites (rizknows.com) and (myslumberyard.com), a mobile app for iOS and Android, and multiple YouTube channels. Each month, we receive over three million views and, to date, have helped over 70 million people with difficult product decisions.
That’s the short version. The long version is that we dissect, test, and opine on products that people care about. Before 2016, we focused primarily on technology products and had only two team members, however, since receiving an investment from Mark Haney, we’ve expanding into the sports, outdoor, and home goods verticals and have grown to 12 team members. Our goal is to create reviews that people not only get something out of, but enjoy watching. Our approach to reviews is the primary reason that we have over 400,000 social media followers with tens of thousands of new people subscribing each month—people trust what we have to say and look forward to seeing what are reviewing. We don’t spam people and we don’t take money to provide favorable or unfavorable reviews.
We are extremely fortunate to be a part of the Haney Biz network of companies. Mark and his team have helped us through issues related to accounting, HR, finance, strategy, and more.
Monique works alongside creative leaders within innovative organizations to capture their vision and design a strategic plan to bring it to life. Monique adds the most value when she's developing partnerships, building networks and executing on projects, programs and events. She's happiest when she has a positive impact on her team and company and the work that she's done has made a difference in our community.
Since moving to the Sacramento area about 7 years ago, I have been fortunate to work alongside many of the region’s dynamic leaders in support of entrepreneurs. Along the way, I met Mark. From our first conversation, I was inspired by his vision for creating a unique business platform designed to “help entrepreneurs be entrepreneurs.” His experiences inform us about what entrepreneurs need; his wisdom and expertise guide us in building it. We have only just begun! I look forward to being a part of creating the place where an entrepreneur can walk through the door and exhale because they know we’ve got their back." - Monique Brown / VP of Operations
ROCKLIN, CA – Mark Haney, successful entrepreneur and investor, is on a mission to ignite an entrepreneurial revolution in the Sacramento region. And there’s no better man to do it. As host of the new “The Mark Haney Show,” on iHeartRadios’s Talk 650 KSTE, Mark takes to the airwaves every Saturday with contagious energy and enthusiasm, to engage the region’s most successful entrepreneurs in lively and honest discussions about what it really takes to make it to the top.
Over the last 3 years, the show, formerly named the HaneyBiz Project, has featured the stories of over 300 of Sacramento’s entrepreneurial royalty — people like Dale Carlsen, Chris Johnson, and Mike Teal with the goal to inspire, educate and connect founders with the resources they need to win.…and the response has been tremendous! Each day, dozens of entrepreneurs contact Mark to share their ideas, seek advice and get connected into the ecosystem.
As a result, Mark has ramped up the HaneyBiz platform to extend well beyond radio to include media, events, accounting & marketing services, office space, investment, connections and mentoring –all designed to move from inspiring to actively supporting entrepreneurs in achieving their dreams. “Entrepreneurs are the heroes of the American economy,” says Mark. They play a big role in the growth of our communities. And, they shouldn’t have to go at it alone. I want to help them win!”
Mark personally knows the joys and struggles of taking the risk to start and lead a company. A Roseville native and graduate of Oakmont High School, he founded and grew a suite of businesses in the security camera industry to $200M in revenue and then negotiated a successful exit. But it wasn’t always easy. “No one goes through life undefeated,” Mark shares “But, with the right partners, right investors, right support, I believe that all challenges can be overcome.” That is what Mark is focused on now – being that right partner, and right supporter for the next generation of American Entrepreneurs.
To hear Mark in action, tune in Saturdays at 9AM on AM Talk 650, on the iHeartRadio OnDemand digital platform, or view the recording of the show on Facebook Live on Thursdays. Or, connect with Mark and the HaneyBiz team by following @HaneyBiz on Instagram and Facebook, @haneybiz_ on Twitter, or on YouTube.
Come June 1, angel investor, entrepreneur and radio show host Mark Haney will be moving his business broadcast, “Entrepreneurs Unlimited,” up the dial to iHeart’s Talk 650 KSTE from CBS Sports 1140 KHTK.
But that’s not the only deal that the Loomis resident has been working on lately. Haney, the founder of Haney Business Ventures, is partnering with three local business associates to launch business service companies in the public relations, marketing and accounting fields.
“I’ve become a lot more exposed in the Sacramento region to seeing businesses fail or struggle,” Haney told me, “and I keep thinking: ‘How can I help them?’ I’m only one person, so I created my team to outsource Haney Biz help. I call it ‘Haney Biz going hands-on.’”
Medo Eldin, the former communications director at the California Municipal Utilities Association, will be leading HaneyBiz Brands, the marketing venture. Regular readers of this column will recall that Eldin is an entrepreneur himself, developing the My Team Sphere mobile and web platform to allow youth sports teams to communicate pictures, videos and messages within a private social network.
Caroline Gaines, the director of PR at Rocklin-based Haney Business Ventures, will be outsourcing her skills as part of HaneyBiz Brands, and Nick Sullivan, Haney’s controller, will be offering up his skills through HaneyBiz Accounting.
Haney, a graduate of Oakmont High School, gained his business acumen in the School of Hard Knocks, working with his brother Paul Haney to transform their father’s television sales shop into a chain of 12 video stores and then pivot into the security business as video sales waned with the advent of Netflix and other services.
He and his brother sold their security business, and Haney went out on his own. Now 53, he has invested in construction, residential real estate, security and tech industry companies. His Rocklin-based Surveillance Systems Inc., in which he partners with his brother-in-law Todd Flowers, will likely gross $40 million this year, Haney said.
Haney has described himself as an “investorpreneur.” He has co-hosted his radio show with his son Marcus Haney, who received the Purple Heart for his service in the U.S. Marine Corps during the Afghanistan War. Haney buys his broadcast time and then sells sponsorships to offset his costs.
“Talk 650 is more business-oriented,” said Haney of the station that is also home to tech guru Kim Komando and money management adviser Dave Ramsey. “I love the people over at CBS. I think they’re fantastic, but…650 has more business listeners. It’s formatted that way.”
With the move to Talk 650 KSTE, the show will get a new name and tagline: “The HaneyBiz Project: Igniting the Entrepreneurial Revolution.” The show has covered such topics as business strategy, gratitude, purpose, vision and more with Sacramento-area business leaders. The show will air at the same time: 9 a.m. Saturdays.
Cathie Anderson: 916-321-1193, @CathieA_SacBee
Sacramento, October 11, 2016 / 6:00 PM
About this event
Mark is a highly successful entrepreneur, having founded or co-founded over 20 businesses. His companies offer a wide variety of products and services, but they all share his community- driven philosophy and commitment to creating opportunities for others. He is also the host of Entrepreneur’s Unlimited Radio Show that airs weekly on Saturday Mornings at 9 am on 1140 KHTK.
His first major success as an entrepreneur came from the purchase of a video distribution company with six employees and annual gross sales of $3 – $4M. The business grew into a multi-company security powerhouse with 300 employees and gross sales north of $200M. Mark and his team executed a successful exit strategy that concluded in 2010.
Mark is active in the business community and is determined to help lead the entrepreneurial revolution in our region. He serves on boards that are creating a positive change, including the Sacramento Entrepreneurs’ Organization, Region Business, and Allegiant Giving.
For a self-professed “C” student, Mark Haney sure is pursuing a lot of majors these days.
He’s heading up Haney Business Ventures, a collection of entrepreneurial ventures in surveillance systems, real estate, limousine rentals and more, all based in Rocklin. Haney Business Ventures also is paired with Allegiant Giving Corp., a nonprofit geared toward helping military veterans and promising teens.
And maybe for extra credit, Haney hosts a one-hour Saturday morning radio show, Entrepreneurs Unlimited, to talk about turning ideas into successful business realities.
“I run into people who tell me, ‘I listen to your show,’ and I’m like, ‘What?’ ” said Haney, amazed at the show’s reach. “The master plan is to help as many people as I can.”
Haney, 53, said he emerged as an entrepreneur, radio host and consultant to other entrepreneurs after reaching a crossroads in life six years ago. He’d just sold a security company that’s main clientele was in the casino industry. He was too young to retire but also interested in thinking bigger.
His next phase started with forming Allegiant, with the idea that all businesses should find a way to make their communities better. He still follows the company’s mission statement: “With future generations in mind, I will help create opportunities for my family, friends and community. As they succeed, I succeed.”
Son Marcus Haney said Allegiant emerged during a family ski vacation in Lake Tahoe, while he was on leave from the Marine Corps. His experiences serving in Afghanistan, he said, inspired his father to start a nonprofit that supported veterans. After he left the Marines, Marcus said, he joined Haney Business Ventures as director of strategic partnerships.
“He’s the first guy in here and the last to leave,” Marcus said about his father, describing his schedule: up at 3 a.m., at Crossfit at 5:15 and leaving the office at 7 p.m.
After forming Allegiant, friends and family started coming to Mark Haney with start-up concepts for a security camera company, a real estate firm and a construction firm. Armed with some funding from the previous company sale, he invested in these new enterprises. And he put out a shingle as an entrepreneurial consultant, looking to take a good idea to the next level.
Each business he’s supported so far is a reflection of its own CEO and their style, Haney said. But they all have in common the factor he looks for in new possibilities, what he calls the “rock star CEO” who talks big and works hard to back it up.
“Guys who make you want to move,” he said, because of their infectious energy. “They have to be able to make things happen.”
Regularly, Haney said, people approach him with new concepts, ranging from a new social media app to a pest control company. But he said he’s most interested in companies that, in addition to being led by rock stars, focus on three core areas: real estate, construction or business-to-business. And he said he wants experience in the field; he’s not likely to invest in a nurse who’s always wanted to run a coffee house and bakery, he said.
Companies under the umbrella of Haney Business Ventures include Haney Garcia Realty Group, Placer Concrete Construction, Limitless Limos and Surveillance Systems Inc.
Haney and some colleagues were talking about an upcoming fundraising event for Allegiant when his newest interest began to take shape. Haney was asking radio veteran Kent Brown about the radio business, when another friend, management consultant Greg Van Dusen, said he could help Haney learn about it firsthand, through a contact he had. Within weeks, they’d put together their first show, with MMA fighter and entrepreneur Urijah Faber.
Haney said over time, they’ve established a regimented process for the show, which is heard on KHTK-AM 1140 at 9 a.m. Saturdays. Haney said he and co-host Tom Sisneros first discuss a dilemma faced by business owners and leaders, then segue to a guest who talks about possible solutions to the dilemma as well as their own background. Guests have included accomplished entrepreneurs such as EnvisionRx co-founder and sports investor Kevin Nagle and venture capitalist Jack Crawford.
In the last eight minutes of the show, the host and guest discuss what they’ve learned from the conversation and how it addresses the dilemma posed earlier.
Sisneros, who spent years working in radio as a host and DJ for music stations, said he’s seen Haney’s personality emerge since the show began in July 2015.
“There’s a lot of talk show hosts, and I don’t think he’s modeled himself after anyone,” said Sisneros, who’s currently director of vendor relations and marketing for Surveillance Systems Inc., a security camera company under Haney Business Ventures. On the show, he said, Haney mixes personal anecdotes with practical advice, as well as humor with admonitions for listeners to seize the day. Sisneros said he tries to play the harmless sidekick role, laughing in the right places and moving the conversation forward.
“His mind never shifts off,” Sisneros said. “And he loves watching people grow.”
But the best thing about the show is that listeners are hearing from someone who’s done it, Sisneros said. In addition to personality, Haney has credibility.
His son, Marcus, said he’s learned from the show as much as any listener. After briefly running a tech company after leaving the Marines, Marcus said he knew about the transactional side of business. From his dad, he’s learning about the people side.
Haney said he’s enjoyed hosting the radio show more than anything he’s ever done, if just for the feedback. He said one letter he received said the show gave the writer the inspiration to start his own electrical contractor business.
With a platform capable of reaching millions, Haney said he feels like he can do more to push economic development in the Sacramento region with his show than with his company. A Kings’ season-ticket holder, he said he believes the local spirit shown in the battle to keep the team lends itself to showing other would-be economic leaders what’s possible in their own backyard if they’re willing to try.
“My goal is to help 100 entrepreneurs become millionaires,” he said. “I really like what I’m doing. It’s going to open doors I haven’t dreamed of yet.”
Education: Oakmont High School
Career: CEO of Northern Video Systems, 1992-2010; Chief dreaming officer and “investrapreneur” of Haney Business Ventures, 2010-present
Personal: Wife Stacey, daughter Ashley and son Marcus, grandchildren Riley and Rocco
An effective business leader: “Understands his team”
Passion: “Being on the water”
Fantasy job: Head varsity high school football coach
Toughest professional decision: “To be myself”
Biggest misunderstanding about your job: “How I’ve never worked a day in my life”
First job: Newspaper carrier for the Sacramento Union
Mark Haney of Haney Business Ventures has founded or co-founded over 20 businesses with a focus on community-based values by offering opportunities for entrepreneurs and military veterans. He is a board member on the Sacramento Entrepreneurs’ Organization and Allegiant Giving Corporation which all are dedicated to strengthen the entrepreneurial spirit of its region. Mark initially launched a successful video distribution company that expanded into a security/surveillance provider grossing over an annual $200 million with hundreds of employees. He also hosts a weekly radio broadcast, Entrepreneurs Unlimited which covers an array of topics related to entrepreneurship, business, startups and more. In a recent interview with Startup Grind Sacramento, Mark discussed his entrepreneurial journey.
Born and raised in Roseville, CA, Mark started out by attaining tons of beta VCR players for the low and eventually opened up a chain of 14 video supply stores throughout the region. Once the video industry went down, they pivoted into security cameras and targeted video installers through telemarketing campaigns. They were hit hard during the 2008 housing collapse and made a successful exit 2 years later.
“My Friends, Family And Community; As they Succeed I Succeed.”
Shortly after, Mark shifted gears into more of a philanthropic approach by launching Allegiant Giving focused on the ‘heroes of today and the leaders of tomorrow.’ In his mind, the heroes were vets coming back from war and the leaders were aspiring entrepreneurs filled with drive and ambition. One of his first veteran projects was the creation of a wheelchair for a veteran amputee that allowed him to go off roading and resembled the looks of an army tank. His efforts with the vast community of entrepreneurs has allowed him to get involved with real estate, limo services and of course security surveillance systems.
“When I’m Looking for Business Partners, I’m Looking for Rockstars.”
Mark says he’s very selective who he partners with because he needs people that are going to make others move and take action. If you don’t have the attitude of a rockstar, such as the lead singer of a band, he’s uncertain whether a partnership would be mutually beneficial. More importantly, Mark emphasizes that everyone possesses natural skills that should be capitalized on rather than trying to balance out the responsibilities of an entire company. It’s a common trap for entrepreneurs to take on more roles than needed in the name of saving money. However, he says we can’t do everything alone and learning skills you’re not naturally apt at can waste a lot of time and actually cause you to lose money in the long run. He finds it much more effective to form a well-balanced team that each can offer their own unique gifts to contribute to company objectives.
“So Often we do Things we Hate…But Keep an Open Mind to Where your Weaknesses and Strengths Are.”
The full interview with Mark can be viewed here.