Why People Matter Most To Your Startup, According to The Profit’s Marcus Lemonis


The Grindstone has partnered with CNBC to promote Shark Tank Tuesdays — with episodes airing on the network every Tuesday beginning at 8pm EST — and the season premiere of The Profit on February 25th, 10pm EST.

Watching the litany of successful companies that IPO or get purchased by Facebook for $19 billion these days, it can be hard to comprehend how to create a successful startup without a groundbreaking idea. But according to Marcus Lemonis, serial entrepreneur and star of CNBC’s The Profit, success in business doesn’t depend on a breakthrough technology. It can be boiled down to three much more simple ideas: people, process and product.

And if you look closely at the business that made Marc Lemonis successful, it wasn’t built on a breakaway, game changing product. It was built on a strategy and delivery that took years in the making.

Today Lemonis’ company Camping World has close to 6,000 employees in over 100 cities and will record close to $3 billion in sales in 2013. But it doesn’t stop there.

He built Camping World from advice given to him by Lee Iacocca: “Get into a business where you can be a big fish, not the little fish. Get into a business where you can be a change agent, where you can make a difference. It’s worked well for me.”

Lemonis decided that company was the RV business. He had worked as a sales manager at AutoNation and eventually became regional Director for the N/NE district when he had that conversation with Iacocca. In 2003, Lemonis took his automotive background and started acquiring RV dealerships. He hired smart, dependable people and provided consistently better service than individually owned RV companies. In 2006, he merged FreedomRoads with Camping World, the nation’s #1 camping and accessories retailer, and has since turned over 100 individually owned RV dealerships into Camping World RV SuperCenters.

As he told Business Insider last Fall, “My greatest takeaway is how important or unimportant people can be — how effective or how destructive they can be if they’re not the right people.”

And if you’ll notice, people are the first piece of his advice how to create a successful company. He uses those lessons every week on The Profit, where he spends his own money to help struggling businesses turnaround their finances. And next week, he’ll be answering questions from people like you during Reddit AmA on March 3rd at 12pm ET.

Have any questions for Lemonis? Tune in to Reddit next week to ask him specifics about how you can use his theories on people, process and product to make your business a success.

Join us and watch The Profit tonight starting at 10pm EST. Tweet us with the hashtag #GrindstoneTheProfit and your reaction to the episode to win an awesome CNBC Prize Pack Giveaway. Four of you will win! This giveaway includes:

• Shark Tank branded Water Bottle
• Shark Tank T-shirt
• The Profit ceramic mug
• The Profit branded Pen
• $50 Gift card to put toward business expense
• USB drive

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