Marcus Lemonis is CEO of Camping World and a serial entrepreneur. He also hosts CNBC’s reality television show “The Profit,” where he buys up stakes in small, struggling businesses and helps them turn around and succeed. He also invests his own cash in these businesses, which he selects because of his belief in them.
Lemonis believes that business owners are more willing to listen to a genuine investor rather than a consultant, and the fact that he actually buys a stake in businesses he helps turn around boosts business owners’ confidence and motivation.
According to Lemonis, businesses of every type succeed based on fundamentals, and if those fundamentals aren’t in place, failure is almost inevitable. But when they’re present and coupled with plain hard work, success is likely. He boils these fundamentals down to what he calls the three “P”s. Marcus Lemonis believes that the three “P”s successful businesses need to manage are People, Process, and Product.
Of the three “P”s, “people” are the most important. Without good people, good processes and good products only do so much. Simply put, the “right” people are effective while the “wrong” people can destroy a business. And what’s “right” for one business may not be for another. Furthermore, you can’t just look at someone’s résumé or college transcripts and tell that he or she is the right person. Sure, you can judge qualifications, but effectiveness is something businesses will pick up on (or not) in person, when they interview a job candidate interview and see how he or she interacts.
How well does a business develop and deliver the processes that make it run? Assuming a business has hired the right people, the second element necessary for success is having processes that make sense. Neither should they be needlessly complicated. Suppose you’re in the publishing business. Your product may be books, but the processes that go into turning outlines into drafts into manuscripts into proof copies have an enormous bearing on how efficient and effective creation of those books is. In most businesses, processes must adapt with the times, or the business risks being left behind by competitors.
In many cases, a company’s product is a tangible item: a tool, software package, article of clothing, or food product. But sometimes the product is a service, such as tax accounting, legal advice, or cleaning services. A great product alone isn’t enough to make a business successful, but it is essential, because people simply won’t buy irrelevant or inadequate products (or services).
But with efficient, well-engineered processes for delivering those products or services, and a team of outstanding people to make sure it all gets done and that customers are taken care of, a great product can transform a business from struggling to thriving.
Great Tools Help You Manage All Three
Every business has people, processes, and products, and ones that succeed have tools that make managing the three “P”s better and simpler. For example, flexible, powerful software that allows creation of electronic forms and workflows can affect all three. Forms and workflows for timekeeping, expense reporting, and requesting paid time off help ensure harmony among a company’s people. The same software can take needlessly complicated manual processes and automate some or all of them, saving time and money and reducing errors. Additionally, workflow software can ensure products ship correctly and that customer experiences are outstanding.
PerfectForms is workflow software designed so non-programmers can create pixel-perfect electronic forms, and then connect them into sleek workflows that are fast and that can lay down an audit trail as steps are accomplished. It can help your people use more of their time on core business functions and less on administrative busy-work. PerfectForms takes clunky, manual workflows and automates them, saving everyone time and money. Finally, it can be used to ensure that products meet consistency and quality standards, are shipped correctly and on time, and that the people who buy them can enjoy outstanding customer service.
Watch the PerfectForms demo, and you’ll see how this exceptional software can improve the state of the three “P”s in your business. It’s flexible enough, powerful enough, and easy enough to use that you can be confident your people, processes, and products all do their part to ensure your company’s ongoing success.
Numerous articles have been written over the past several months on the critical role that collaboration and “social” elements will play in helping companies move forward post-recession. The idea that rendering a process or even an entire organization accessible via a public or private network is taking the enterprise community by storm. The premise of bringing people together – especially those who would otherwise not communicate closely with another group – is long overdue. In essence, we’ve gone full circle in how we view collaboration as a business productivity tool.
The very earliest forms of structured organization for the purpose of financial profit consisted of simple business processes – producing a commodity, trading or bartering for another item or service, and a close-knit network of relationships built over years of trust and routine reliability. This is not to say that the earliest forms of incorporation were joyous and peaceful, as the oldest group activity was battle, but each transaction followed a process that was constantly being refined. Business took place face-to-face.
In the Industrial Revolution of the early 19th century, we saw the proliferation of technology, specifically for manufacturing and mass production, and the propensity for individuals with a common goal and a variety of skills to pool their resources for potential fame and fortune. It was during this time that businesses began a gradual type of disassociation with collaborative thinking; workers were separate from management, plants were separate from executive offices. International travel was becoming less prohibitive and more efficient, and global operations grew stronger, interpersonal communication got weaker.
Now we’ve voluntarily reversed what seemed to be a permanent fact of business life. We’re talking again. Business and IT departments are starting to collaborate (even if it’s not quite mainstream yet) on business process management initiatives, and solutions like workflow automation are making it possible for employees, who would otherwise be preoccupied with mundane tasks, to join the real human conversation. The communication tools we now have at our disposal – from videoconferencing to social networks to instant messaging – can help us facilitate person-to-person interaction no matter where we are and what we’re doing.
I often hear people express reserve at the idea that our daily activities are becoming so driven by technology that society might eventually feel almost robotic. On the contrary, modern technological solutions are helping us communicate more frequently and more genuinely than ever before. If anything, technology is succeeding in making us more human.