Marcus Lemonis, CEO of Camping World and star of CNBC's hit series The Profit, immediately recognizes an opportunity for Sharon Yu's Magic Cook flameless cooking kit. "It's really good for anybody," he says.
Yu appears on Inc.'s most recent episode of Ask Marcus Lemonis. The video series, which spotlights one entrepreneur each week, also gives him or her the opportunity to ask Lemonis one question about a pressing business challenge.
Lemonis starts off his meeting with Yu by saying that he loves the idea of Magic Cook, because it allows someone to cook food simply by filling a pouch with water, without any fire, electricity, or gas to heat up ingredients. He also likes that Yu "took a good idea and repackaged it," since the same method has been used by the military for decades.
However, Lemonis also recommends some big changes to Yu's go-to-market strategy.
Lemonis says he hates Magic Cook's overly simplistic packaging. "It looks cheaper than it is," he explains.
When it comes to Yu's inventory model--of manufacturing orders as they come--the small-business fixer is also adamant.
Yu believes that her "no inventory" strategy is the best way to do business, because her first venture, of promotional products--which she started with just $400--brought in $12 million in revenue in two years. But Lemonis says that Yu needs to think of Magic Cook differently: "I want you to think about this as a necessity ... I want you to think about this product as if it's for everybody." To that end, he advises Yu to build up one to two weeks of supply to prepare for when orders stream in.
Yu has a big question for Lemonis. "How can I educate consumers to know this product and to get the benefit?" she asks.
Rather than consumers, Lemonis advises Yu to focus on educating someone else entirely about the benefits of the product: the buyers at major retailers like Bed Bath & Beyond.
Ultimately, though Lemonis points out that Yu has a lot of work to do, he jumps to carry Magic Cook in his own store, and the two shake hands on the deal--in the signature style of The Profit.
To learn more about why Lemonis wants to sell the kit, watch the entire video episode.