Marcus Lemonis, the entrepreneur, investor, and star of CNBC's hit series The Profit, has sage advice for multidisciplinary startups: "The tighter your story is, the less you can screw it up."
He cringes, on the other hand, at vague descriptors like "boutique" and "outsource," which Borzou Azabdaftari initially uses to explain what his company does.
Azabdaftari appears as the featured business owner on Tuesday's episode of Ask Marcus Lemonis. Each week on Inc.com, an entrepreneur meets with Lemonis and gets the opportunity to ask him one pressing question about a major business challenge.
The Falcon Lab, where Azabdaftari serves as managing partner, was founded back in 1988 in Vienna, Virginia. The business offers digital marketing, print marketing, and print services. Today, The Falcon Lab has a total of eight employees, and is on track to do $1.2 million in revenue this year. Last year, it brought in $950,000.
"Because we offer so many things, I have a hard time getting across what we do in 60 to 90 seconds," Azabdaftari says. Lemonis is less than satisfied by his attempted description: "outsource marketing services."
He insists on the importance of having a clear, concise company description. "If you really are going to try to explain to other people what you do, you have to know yourself what you do, and your employees have to know it," he says. "When you can't do that, it's hard for people to engage."
He recommends that Azabdaftari make a list of his services, and cross out those that don't contribute significantly to the bottom line. Then, he suggests mounting that description on the wall of his headquarters, so that employees are also on the same page.
For the complete, four-word description of The Falcon Lab that the two come up with, watch the episode above.