June 15, 2015
By Dave Braun
LO President

Dave Braun Don’t worry, this is not going to be an article about the ups and downs of the Kardashian clan. I, and a number of people in our company, have discovered an outstanding reality TV show about turning around struggling businesses. It’s Marcus Lemonis’ show, The Profit.

This reality show was recommended to me by a colleague. After one episode, I was hooked. You can go to countless business seminars and not necessarily get as much insight as you would watching one episode of this show.

Only a few years ago, you wouldn’t have imagined that you could see “America’s number one turn-around artist” from the comfort of your family room. Once you watch, just like the people in our company, you will make it a priority to hear more of what Marcus Lemonis has to say.

At the age of 12, Marcus owned a lawn cutting business that made $1,000 a week. At 22, without any prior political experience, he ran for a state seat in Florida and nearly beat a three-term incumbent. Lemonis shortly thereafter joined AutoNation, the largest car retailer in the U.S. and made his mark, consistently being promoted to the top.

When family friend Lee Iacocca spotted the talent in Marcus, he suggested he leave the car business and become invested in RV businesses. Only five years later, Marcus was running the largest RV firm in the country. Today, Lemonis is the CEO of Camping World, and host of The Profit, where he shares with struggling business owners what he sees to be the three keys to any business’s success:
People, Process and Product.

On every episode of The Profit, Lemonis reviews his three critical ingredients for a successful company, and how they relate to the business he is attempting to resurrect. Lemonis believes that his first principle for success, People, is the most important. He believes that no business can survive without the right people and likewise, the wrong people are destructive. His principle of Process, examines how organizations create, deliver and sell their product. Finally, when looking at the Product, Lemonis is focused on excellent quality and ensuring that the product is relevant. According to The Profit, a business must have two of the three principles solidly in place to succeed.

We’re all so focused on managing our own businesses, that we rarely get a window into the business of others. As you watch the show, you will see that a business that seems outwardly dissimilar to your own is stills, at the heart of it, dependent on people, process and product. You begin to question what you’re doing at your organization to either help or hurt yourself.  

The Profit puts the reality in reality TV. He writes a real cheque with his own money in exchange for equity. This isn’t the tribal council of Survivor — these are real people with real businesses and real turnaround results.

I find the stories inspiring. It provides a chance to see yourself in the problem or the solution. The Profit shows that business is business — you may not need to worry about inventory issues at a hair salon, but it shows that struggles with inventory are a universal issue. Similarly, the core of building any successful and lasting business depends on a few key principles.

The benefits of The Profit are multiplied if you share the show with your staff. Suddenly, you have a team that is sharing ideas and all invested in the excitement of making your business better.

Tune in to The Profit on Tuesday nights at 10 p.m. on CNBC.
Dave Braun may be reached at dbraun@landscapeontario.com.