- Jeanine Ibrahim at The Biz Fix2 days ago
For some entrepreneurs, the best education comes from the real world—by making mistakes, learning from them and by seeking advice from business owners who’ve failed and succeeded before them. A good candidate to learn from is Marcus Lemonis of CNBC’s “The Profit.” The CEO of Camping World and Good Sam, he has his hands in more than 100 businesses, and he’s planning to add another one—Crumbs Bake Shop, a once-popular cupcake chain that went into bankruptcy in early July. He dispenses advice every day on social media and via e-mail. Friday on “The Biz Fix,” he’s answering some of the most popular questions. What’s a good type of business to invest in and why? Good investment opportunities include businesses with relatable products and services that go beyond fads to possibly last for generations.
- Jeanine Ibrahim at The Biz Fix10 days ago
Derek and Debbie Kaye tell eager foodies who seek advice on starting a food truck one thing—don’t do it.
The married couple cut an exclusive licensing deal with Eddie’s Pizza, a restaurant on New York’s Long Island, to sell a version of its bar pies out of a truck. Four years later, they say it’s become increasingly difficult to make money on New York City’s streets.
“On a monthly basis, we’re spending over $1,000 in parking tickets and fines alone just to maintain our business on the streets,” Derek Kaye said.
Tough rules and regulations, along with required permits and licenses, create obstacles that eat up their profits, the couple said. Truck drivers often wake up at 3 a.m. to fight for prime lunch spots, even though they can’t legally park and operate at a paid meter.
“We even go to a spot knowing that we’re going to get a $60 ticket, and we just take it because we like that spot,” Debbie Kaye said.
Marcus Lemonis of CNBC’s “The Profit” advises them on how to make more money, and how to hire help without spending a lot.
- Hakimah Shah at The Biz Fix17 days ago
The Julie Wilcox Method is an online, subscription-based program that integrates yoga, fitness and food.
Owner and namesake Julie Wilcox founded it in January after eight years as a yoga instructor. It hasn’t been in business long enough to be profitable, but she hoped to change that by signing up large companies and their employees.
“My biggest hurdle right now is to land some of the bigger fish, some of the bigger companies with thousands and thousands of clients,” she said. “I haven't nailed those yet.”
Marcus Lemonis of CNBC’s “The Profit” said that in order for her to land these kinds of accounts, she would have to make some major sacrifices.
“The first thing I would do is find one or two companies, and I would make it so affordable to them, just to get somebody in the till,” he said. “It's going to be painful for you, because you're going to feel like, ‘I'm worth more than this.’ I think you have to get that out of your mind and say, ‘I'm just getting my foot in the door.’'
- Liza Hughes at The Biz Fix27 days ago
Grace Hightower De Niro started her business, Coffees of Rwanda, two years ago. Her goal was to help increase the sustainable farming system of that formerly war-torn country, and toward that end, it buys coffee beans directly from Rwandan farmers at above fair-trade market price. She was inspired by a speech she had heard by the country’s president, Paul Kagame.
“One of the things that resonated with me was when he said he wanted for his country, his people, ‘trade, not aid,’” she said. “I had not heard of a so-called Third World country being this progressive-thinking. So I went there … saw the people and met the people and met the farmers, and they just have this amazing sincerity and gratitude and a desire to create, a desire to work.”
Marcus Lemonis of CNBC’s “The Profit” met with her at New York City’s Tribeca Grill Screening Room in May 2014. He gave her succinct and actionable advice—change the name.
- Hakimah Shah at The Biz Fix1 mth ago
Longtime friends Khat Rabbani and Ashley Williams began selling hair extensions out of their cars in 2011, with no idea how far their initial $2,000 investment would take them. By the end of the year, it had turned into $70,000, and then $700,000 the year after that.
They opened Hair Are Us, their flagship store in Atlanta, which was joined a year later by a location in Miami. Revenue exceeded the $1 million mark, but not without sacrifice.
“In the beginning we put everything on the line,” Williams said. “We didn't do anything else but sleep and eat Hair Are Us.” Luckily, they knew who their future customers were, and they knew how to target them.
“We went to colleges, we went to all your different nightclubs, restaurants, the malls, anywhere you can think of,” she said. “We were there, leaving fliers. And we realized that it was working when the phone started to ring.” The phones haven’t stopped ringing ever since.
(Related: Time to drive out stubborn employees?)
- Hakimah Shah at The Biz Fix1 mth ago
When Sherri Heckenast bought Team Demolition in 2008, she had grand dreams of turning the Joliet, Illinois , derby series into a motorsports behemoth.
“My vision was to get it to the highest level we could,” she said. Think Monster Jam, and you’re on the right track.
Six years later, each race draws 10,000 adrenaline junkies to the Route 66 Raceway, where teams crash their way to a $7,500 prize. Yet , Team Demolition is hardly the household name she originally envisioned . S he told Marcus Lemonis of CNBC’s “The Profit” that reaching a national platform is something only a new generation of drivers can accomplish.
“New blood would grow not only the competition side, but would grow the fan base,” she said.
Lemonis agreed, adding that new people are necessary where such a dangerous sport is concerned. Last season alone saw Team Demolition drivers rack up three broken backs and a multitude of broken fingers and elbows.
- Jeanine Ibrahim at The Biz Fix1 mth ago
Five years ago, Russ D'Souza and Jack Groetzinger were frustrated.
They wanted a single, convenient website where a user could find the best deals on concert and sports tickets, and it just wasn’t there. So like other entrepreneurs before them who built businesses from nothing, they created SeatGeek.
With $100 million worth of tickets flowing through the ticketing platform in 2013 alone, conventional wisdom says it’s been successful so far. Still, SeatGeek faces the challenge of getting its name out there, so Marcus Lemonis of CNBC’s “The Profit” spoke with the founders about their marketing plan.
How does it work?
First, SeatGeek doesn’t sell tickets.
It culls and lists inventory from all major primary and reseller websites like TicketsNow, eBay and Ticketfly. It then allows buyers to create custom searches based on factors such as seating, price and venue. Its proprietary software, Deal Score, ranks these seats from “amazing to awful,” based on a scale of zero to 100.
(RELATED: Shoe maker considers the ultimate offer)
- Hakimah Shah at The Biz Fix1 mth ago
Flat Out of Heels sells rollable ballet flats for women. CEO Dawn Dickson launched the Miami-based company in 2012, and the product has been selling like crazy ever since. She even started a second company to build vending machines to sell them. Demand was high, but Dickson didn’t have the money to keep the shoes in stock. “I can sell out my product,” she said. “I just need to have it on hand all the time. That’s a tough pill to swallow, when the reason you’re not making money is because you don’t have the product.” After receiving several large orders, including one for 10,000 pairs, she began desperately searching for funding. Eventually, she received what seemed like an impressive offer -- a large retail company wanted to buy the brand. (RELATED: Looking to grow your business? Do this) Dickson would have stayed on as CEO for two years, as well as, retaining the vending machine company, and she still would have been able to sell her own shoes.
- Hakimah Shah at The Biz Fix2 mths ago
Sandy Marsico had a vision of a digital marketing agency that was creative, collaborative and fun when she founded Sandstorm Design in 1998. Six employees later, she seemed to be off to a great start.
“I remember taking a break to pick flowers down the street,” she said. “It was fine because there were only a handful of us and everybody knew what everyone was doing.”
But once six employees grew to 10, she lost control of what had been a dream company in the making.
Employees began arguing in the office, making a once-harmonious atmosphere combative and toxic. Coming to work was becoming an unpleasant grind, never a good position for the boss to be in.
(RELATED: Want to expand? Marcus says do this instead)
Eventually, she decided that enough was enough. She took back the company’s reins and laid down the ground rules for employee conduct, which Marcus Lemonis of CNBC’s “The Profit” said were essential to a healthy work environment.
“It’s really about building a box,” he said. “You tell them, ‘Have as much fun in the box as you want, but you can’t leave the box.’ These are the rules of engagement.”
- Liza Hughes at The Biz Fix2 mths ago
Jimmy Bannos Jr. is the owner of The Purple Pig, a Mediterranean-inspired restaurant on Chicago’s Magnificent Mile whose menu offers lots of “cheese, swine and wine,” among other things. He has a problem that a lot of restaurant owners would love to have—his restaurant is too popular.
Doors open at 11:30 in the morning, it stays jam-packed until closing, and customers have made it such a big hit that a four-hour wait to get a table is not unheard of. As problems go, it’s not such a bad one to have, but Bannos, who just won the James Beard Foundation’s Rising Star Chef of the Year Award for 2014, thinks it means it’s time for the business to expand.
Entrepreneur Marcus Lemonis of CNBC’s “The Profit” visited the restaurant in April. After examining the operation and doing some research on the local competition he advised Bannos against expanding, advising the restaurateur to raise prices instead.