Tips from CNBC’s The Profit, Marcus Lemonis

14931337134_c542b63999_mFor the most part, reality TV is an overly dramatic filler. It helps pass the time and most of us walk away feeling a little less screwed up, by comparison, and a little less depressed about the state of our lives. But every once in a while, the reality TV genre creates something genuinely enlightening and uplifting. CNBC’s
The Profit with Marcus Lemonis is one such gem.

While many so-called “reality” shows use scripting and selective casting for the best dramatic effect, Lemonis is actually the real deal. The Lebanese-born entrepreneur was adopted into a Labanese-Greek family in Miami, FL at 9 months old and raised in the United States around a family-owned business. He started his first business at 12 years old and has since grown into a renowned entrepreneur and philanthropist who is lauded for his brutally honest and extremely effective advice for flipping businesses from money pits into profitable ventures.

Through many years of experience and several successful business ventures, Lemonis has acquired a unique perspective on how businesses should operate, specifically small businesses, and what it takes to make a business that has some potential into a real success.

The following are some bits of advice that Lemonis has offered on his reality TV show, The Profit, where he evaluates struggling small businesses and determines, by the end of each episode, if he would like to invest in them. Sometimes it works out for the owners, sometimes not, but each episode is a learning experience for small business owners who are looking for the right solutions to a business’s unique issues.

First, the three-P mantra:

  • People
  • Product
  • Process

According to Lemonis, these are the three essential elements he evaluates about a business to determine its potential and the issues the business is really experiencing. As many problem-solvers can attest, one of the hardest parts about fixing any issues is correctly diagnosing the problem. By evaluating these elements, Lemonis pinpoints the key problem and solution areas of any business.

For people, this means having not only the right employees, but also the right employees in the right places. In one episode, a small business had a family member in a key sales position. While the person was dedicated to the success of the business, the individual’s skill set just wasn’t right for the position.

For product, Lemonis looks at what is being sold and how it’s being presented. In one episode, he discovered a small business who made cleaning supplies but named them after close friends. Using a cleaning product named “Ted”, while cute to the owners, wasn’t working for the general public. He recommended renaming the product for better marketing and sales.

For process, Lemonis targets the way the business is run in every sense, including book keeping and the process of bringing in sales. He looks to help the business increase efficiency and make the most of every opportunity. So when, in one episode, he found that the business had a great ability to bring in cash, but had no real process for managing that money (it was just lying around everywhere!), he recommended putting a detailed process in place to track the funds and manage them effectively.

Lemonis also advises business owners to remember who’s in charge. It’s easy to let a business get away from you if you’re not careful. Suddenly, it takes over your life, all of your time, and still barely churns a profit. As a business owner, you have to make sure you are in charge and are managing every aspect of your business intelligently, which is not as difficult as it used to be with the level of technology available to business owners today.

These are just a few bits of advice that Lemonis has to offer, but there are plenty more to see within his show, which you can watch online for free at cnbc.com. You can even apply to be on the show at https://www.marcuslemonis.com/ if you think your business has what it takes—and if you’re ready to take some hard advice. It’s certainly not for everyone, but those who have the right attitude about change and the right product or service to sell might learn a lot from the experience—and maybe even change their business for the better.


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AshleyAbout the Author – Ashley Choate is a native of Jacksonville, FL where she lives with her son, dog, and three cats. She graduated Magna Cum Laude from Jacksonville University with a BA in English and holds an MAED in Adult Education and Training. She lives for reading and writing, learning and teaching, and figuring out the day-to-day traumas and joys of mommyhood. .

 Top Photo Courtesy of Alan Taylor @ Flickr CC.