The Profit

The Profit season 8: What we learned from Mod Barn

The latest The Profit season 8 episode likely felt like deja vu for fans of the CNBC series, as Marcus Lemonis once again walked into the world of furniture. Would the third time in this arena be another charm?

“Checks and Balances” saw him visiting the California-based company Mod Barn to try and straighten out the company’s finances. While they made beautiful custom furniture, the owners had a hard time getting their own proverbial house in order. It was up to Marcus to lay out a real business plan before the company fell any further behind.

SPOILER ALERT: This article contains spoilers from Tuesday’s latest The Profit season 8 episode.

Here are the business lessons we learned from this week’s installment of The Profit:

001. Check yourself (especially about checks).

We’ve seen it happen a few times before, and we’ll see it happen again, but this was another episode where someone looked at Marcus more as an ATM than an investor. It was heartwarming to see the business owners bring in their colleague as a 10% partner, but Imani’s attempts at keeping hold of the books almost ruined the whole deal. If he wasn’t asking Marcus for money, he was complaining about the company losing money because of the showroom being constructed (and more on that below).

This is the downside of all reality TV shows in this genre; people look at the person—whether it’s Marcus Lemonis or Gordon Ramsay or Jon Taffer—as a well they can go to, to get money and things, instead of diving into the situation as a two-way street. In Imani’s case, he wasn’t doing it intentionally; it was just that he was so quick to react and Mod Barn was so mixed up with its numbers that he kept thinking money would help. But to the person holding the checkbook, it was pretty off-putting.

“Checks and Balances” is an example of the fact that you have to be patient and trust the process, even if it’s scary. It’s also somewhat bittersweet, considering that the previous episode showed what happens when Marcus does invest with someone who isn’t committed to that process. But Mod Barn went through those growing pains and stuck with it, and they seem to be better off in the end.

002. It’s okay to show off.

The biggest discussion in this The Profit episode involved the showroom. Marcus wanted the company to turn their Los Angeles storefront into a proper showroom, with five different “rooms” representing different product options and looks, to bring in more customers. That then became a running debacle as the showroom wasn’t done yet, they needed more money to finish it, they weren’t sure how much money they’d spent on it… But it all worked out in the end as the space was completely transformed.

It’s pretty easy to forget that a company’s storefront isn’t just a place where you buy their product; it’s also their calling card. Having a great e-commerce presence and a beautiful website is great, but places that have physical stores can’t underestimate the impact these spaces make. They can put your best foot forward, showing not only whatever your newest product is, but the full range of things your company can do. Mod Barn’s new showroom can sell specific items but it’s going to pay off even more handsomely by telling a story that draws customers in to make their own orders.

003. A little music goes a very long way.

The Profit season 8 has changed the show’s style a bit, and one of those changes is a massive increase in the amount of pop music that’s played during episodes. Each episode opens with a needle drop. Every montage or cut between scenes has a song playing over it. Unfortunately, not only does this music not add anything to the show, it ends up distracting the audience.

Another noteworthy point was that “Checks and Balances” was the first episode this season not to include an update on the business’s current status at the end of the hour. Was there nothing noteworthy to report about Mod Barn? That’s a really important part for viewers, because we want to see if Marcus’ changes actually stuck and it’s an opportunity to promote what a business is doing currently, so it was a shame to see it not included. Hopefully there will be less music and more updates next week.

The Profit airs Tuesdays at 10:00 p.m. ET/PT on CNBC.

Article content is (c)2020-2021 Brittany Frederick and may not be excerpted or reproduced without express written permission by the author. Follow me on Twitter at @BFTVTwtr, on Instagram at @BFTVGram.

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