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Tuesday, October 21, 2014

15 Reasons To Watch CNBC's "The Profit"









This show, hosted by investor/business turnaround expert Marcus Lemonis, is one of the few that really does give you something for nothing: priceless advice.
A synopsis doesn't even come close to doing it justice. Because what you learn from actually watching the show, and its various interactions, is that business theory isn't just an abstraction - it works.
It's education for business and for life. In that vein here are 15 juicy takeaways from tonight's rerun episodes ("Courage B." and "Planet Popcorn"):
1. No matter how profitable the concept, if your business partner demonstrates a lack of integrity, walk away. But not before you call them on it.
2. Relationships have to work for the business to work. Never allow someone else to mistreat you, at work or anywhere. Don't treat your employees as your friends because you need a big power trip. 
3. Get yourself under control. Don't yell at people. Don't condescend to them. And keep your ego in check, especially the control freak in you - it could cost you everything.
4. Most people have too limited a view of their own potential. Or, on the flipside, they fail to market themselves properly because they're convinced that their brilliance "sells itself."
5. Narrow your product line - the 80/20 rule. Find your niche. It's generally "the thing people always ask for but which is getting a little boring."
6. When you need an expert, bring in an expert. 
7. Management controls are unsexy but critical. If you're leaving cash lying on the floor, literally, stop it.
8. A small boost in quality can mean a huge boost in sales because you have that "premium" image.
9. Packaging, packaging, packaging, packaging. For example, fewer items and more variations. For another, more sturdy packaging (canisters) brings in more money than plastic bags and it isn't much more expensive.
10. Focus on margins more than revenue.
11. Do your research before you walk into the room. Not only does this educate you, but you have a competitive edge with a cocky prospect. For example, try buying their domain name before you start talking.
12. Emotional intelligence is your secret weapon. For instance, ask questions again and again until you drive to the point you're trying to make. When you ask a question, listen to the answer. Solicit opinions from those who are quieter, marginalized, scared.
13. The brand matters, but only insofar as it helps build a profitable business. And the purpose of the brand is to tap into the customer's wishes effectively, not only to disseminate your personal vision. It's where your talent meets their need that you strike gold.
14. "Greed is good" - to an extent - because it focuses you on a common goal. 
15. People will respect you if you know what you're talking about, are willing to invest in your own ideas, and dress as though you take yourself seriously. It's the combination of the three that works, not any one in isolation.
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Disclaimer: This blog is written by Dannielle Blumenthal in her personal capacity. The opinions expressed here are the author's own and do not reflect the view of the National Archives and Records Administration, or the United States government. Image via CNBC Prime.com