In last night's première episode of The Big Decision, franchise giant and Dragon, Jim Treliving, explored two family-owned business on the verge of collapse.
The first was New Brunswick lumber producers SWP Industries and the second was Niagara-on-the-Lake ice wine producers The Ice House.
Here are 3 business lessons we learned from Jim last night:
1. One man can't do everything - Jim was troubled to learn how much the owner of SWP Industries was responsible for on the job, particularly his role as CFO. Jim pointed out that a 6-8 million dollar company like SWP needs a CFO to monitor money and markets. A dedicated CFO would have foreseen the U.S. recession and it's impact on the company.
2. First impressions are everything - Jim was not too impressed by his first glimpse of Niagara-on-the-Lake grounds of The Ice House. Strewn refuse and unfinished projects on the lawn front undermined the quality image a hospitality company should strive to put forth. His advice to the owners was to put a little more effort into the on-site customer experience.
3. Every marketing opportunity is make it or break it - Whether it's a website with poor search engine optimization or forgetting materials for a demo on national television, a missed opportunity to market to consumers can make or break a retail company. Jim brought on a web consulting firm who gave The Ice House a valuable lesson in website effectiveness. They also learned some presentation skills from Steven and Chris producer Amrita Singh during an appearance on the show.
Watch the first episode of The Big Decision now for these and more business lessons: