People, process and product. Marcus Lemonis, the star of CNBC’s hit show “The Profit,” puts his own money on the line to save failing businesses. Each show focuses on a business Lemonis will potentially invest. The businesses are typically small, family-owned and struggling to stay afloat. Lemonis uses the people, processes and products mantra along with his money, expertise and resources to help save these businesses in exchange for a percentage of the company.

Though the somewhat erratic personalities of the business owners provide endless entertainment for the audiences at home, the real hook is the valuable business insights and lessons Lemonis impresses upon each owner. All kinds of business owners can learn three valuable lessons from Lemonis.

Lesson 1: Communication

In season 1, Lemonis steps in to help save Car Cash, a business owned by two brothers that was hit hard by the 2007 recession and the death of the owner (also the father of the brothers). Lemonis stepped in and fixed their business processes, but also helped the brothers solve a much more pressing problem: communication.

The brothers are 50/50 partners in the business, but older brother Jonathan said he doesn’t have time to listen to little brother Andrew’s ideas, which ultimately puts a strain on their personal and working relationships.

Communication is crucial for any relationship (business or otherwise) to succeed. There are lots of moving parts in a business, so it’s important to keep the lines of communication open and be transparent as possible.

Lesson 2: Know Your Numbers

Also in Season 1, Lemonis made a deal with Mr. Green Tea, a second generation family-owned and operated ice cream business. Unlike most of the business featured in the show, Mr. Green Tea isn’t in crisis. Lemonis joined the company to help them take some calculated risks by opening their own factory. The owners estimate the cost of building the factory at $600,000, ­but the actual cost turned out to be over $1 million.

The lesson here is knowing your numbers is crucial when running a business. A single miscalculation can cause devastating consequences if you’re taking a calculated risk. A business can’t make a smart calculated risk if their calculations are based on faulty numbers.

Lesson 3: Honesty

Also in season 1, Lemonis invested in Planet Popcorn, a multimillion-dollar business with a large Disney contract. The business struggled to turn a profit because of mounting debt and bad process. As Lemonis began to work with the business, he found that Planet Popcorn’s owner was undermining his efforts by making decisions behind his back. He already had doubts about the owner’s integrity, so he walked away from the deal. After the episode aired, Planet Popcorn lost their contract with Disney.

A business ran by people without integrity is doomed from the start. You can’t really be successful if the people in the company are dishonest, and you’re opening yourself up to broken relationships and potential legal consequences.

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