Monday, October 21, 2013

Popular Business TV Shows

With colder weather setting in, there’s no better time to cuddle up on the couch to watch captivating and riveting business television shows.  If you’re yawning at the suggestion, there’s a whole host of business TV shows that are extremely entertaining while at the same time cover core fundamentals of running a business.

The ProfitThe Profit is a new series that recently kicked off on CNBC featuring Marcus Lemonis, CEO of Camping World, as he hunts out struggling businesses and tries to turn them around.  He puts his own money on the line in return for large equity stakes in the businesses.  His business ideas are sound and his ideas are creative, but oftentimes the business owners are content in their stubborn ways despite the businesses going downhill.  You’ll also see gross mismanagement where tens of thousands of dollars go missing due to poor controls as well as complete business turnarounds.  It’s entertaining to watch and also provides valuable lessons on running a business.

Shark Tank - The Shark Tank on ABC is on its 5th season and continues to entertain.  Each episode features the Sharks, a group of wealthy investors looking for a healthy return, who hear pitches from various entrepreneurs who are seeking investments in their businesses.  The pitches range from absurd to brilliant.  The entrepreneur gives an overview of their business and discusses the money making potential.  If a Shark is interested, the Shark negotiates a deal with the entrepreneur.  The show effectively captures the tension in pitch meetings between the entrepreneur and the tycoon investors.

Kitchen Nightmares and Restaurant ImpossibleKitchen Nightmares on Fox, starring Gordon Ramsay, and Restaurant Impossible on Food Network, starring Robert Irvine, both feature chefs who visit struggling restaurants in an attempt to turn them around.  You’ll be shocked at the state of the restaurants when the chefs first arrive.  The d├ęcor is typically dated, the food is poorly prepared, and the customers have stopped showing up.  After watching an episode or two, you’ll surely feel somewhat hesitant before eating out next without seeing the restaurant kitchen up front.  If you don’t see many customers dining at an establishment, it’s a telltale sign to turnaround and try a different place.  The two shows focus on redoing the menu, overhauling the drab interior, and promoting a grand reopening.  It’s entertaining to see how a little business acumen and expert cooking skills can completely transform a struggling restaurant business.

Pawn StarsPawn Stars on History follows the activities at the World Famous Gold & Silver Pawn Shop in Las Vegas.  You’ll see the staff interact with customers as they come in to sell, pawn, or buy items.  Some of the items are extremely valuable while others are nearly worthless, to the chagrin of the owners.  As part of this process, you’ll learn about the history of the various items and see some cutthroat haggling for the best possible deal.  Overall, it’s an entertaining show worth watching.