Detmer's Corner: Profiting From Reality TV
“What’s this,” my wife joked in a tone she would use to scold a child. “Have I caught the super-serious Mike Detmer finally immersed in a reality show,” she smirked pointing to the TV as evidence.
“Honest honey, it’s not as it appears,” I said excusingly. “This isn’t a typical reality show. It’s all about business and has practices that can help technology integrators,” I exclaimed. “And I’ve got to share them with my readers,” I added.
While reality TV shows have dominated the media for over a decade, you’ve probably guessed that I’ve never been a fan. That is up until now. The Profit is a reality series on CNBC Prime that features business mogul Marcus Lemonis who, in the show, invests in businesses with potential that need him in order to grow.
Having turned-around over 100 companies, Lemonis demonstrates extraordinary leadership and business savvy as he takes on the challenges required to turn a profit.
Watching the show, I couldn’t help but think of some technology integrators I know and how they would benefit from what Lemonis does. His techniques are pretty straight forward. They involve key management qualities like analytical thinking, clear communications and decisive actions; all of which can be adapted easily to your business to fine-tune it. While I advise you to take a show in for yourself, here’s an overview of Lemonis’ practices that you can apply today.
1. Look at the 3 P’s in your business: Analyze your business by segmenting it into three basic silos. Lemonis frames them as People, Process and Products. Lemonis tends to weigh people a bit heavier than the process and products. He believes that the right people will implement appropriate processes and generate the right products or services to fill customers’ needs. You should do the same.
a. Rate your people to be sure that your shining stars get encouraged, your emerging talent gets the training it needs and your employees with no hope get replaced. While not on the show, I would suggest you to try a 9-box talent rating method so you can get a balanced perspective about everyone. Use the results of your 9-box review to better understand the talent in your organization and how to leverage it. If you need a 9-box example, simply send me an e-mail request.
i. Oh, and don’t forget to rate yourself. Watching The Profit exemplifies that sometimes a business owner can be a limiting factor without even knowing it.
b. Map your processes to ensure they are making things better for customers and easy for employees to execute. Involving your team in the mapping process comes with the added benefit of increased employee ownership which links to higher company morale, something Lemonis stimulates in the businesses he invests in.
c. Analyze your products and services to be sure that they are competitive in performance and price compared to your competition. In doing so remember that you integrate technology for people who want to use it but don’t necessarily understand it. So being the lowest in price may not be best position for you or your customers. When establishing your prices, remember the words of the great motivational speaker Zig Ziglar who said, “It’s easier to explain price once than to apologize for quality forever.”
2. Communicate like a pro: Watching Lemonis in action exemplifies how important clear communications are to an evolving business. Emulating his style can take you a long way. For instance, he tends to listen more that he speaks. When he does speak it is with a good amount of forethought, direct and to the point. His communications set the tone for a leadership position and yours can do the same.
3. Take decisive actions: During the episode I watched, Lemonis canceled a deal. After spending days with an arrogant business owner, whose business was failing, Lemonis had seen enough to know the owner was his own worst enemy. Lemonis acted decisively and withdrew. You too need to act decisively when addressing issues that arrive in your business. Sometimes it is difficult to make a decision; I’ve seen people who are emotionally-attached and hope that time will solve their problem. Unfortunately their procrastination frequently leads away from their desired results. Don’t be one of them.
An effective management tactic is to benchmark successful methods. I encourage you to watch an episode of The Profit, benchmark Lemonis’ techniques and let me know how applying them will help your business. Naturally should you have any questions, drop me a line at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Good Managing! •