When Erin Patinkin, the co-founder of a Brooklyn, N.Y.-based bakery called Ovenly, tells Marcus Lemonis about her aggressive plans, he balks: "I think the idea of opening up more retail locations is a death wish," he says.
Lemonis, the famed star of CNBC's hit series, The Profit, discusses his reservations with the "lethal" bakery business on the most recent episode of Ask Marcus Lemonis. Each week on Inc.com, a featured business owner gets the opportunity to pick Lemonis's brain, and have him answer a pressing question about his or her biggest challenge.
Patinkin says she wants to open up two stores each year. Currently, Ovenly has two locations, and also wholesales to high-end grocery chains. She hopes that the business will soon become the most-recognized bakery brand in America. "How do we maintain this super homey, classic brand, while expanding into other markets that make sense for it?" Patinkin asks.
Lemonis lays down the risk factors associated with expanding her business on the ground. "If you have a key to the place, you don't want to be in that business," he tells her. "Because that rent check is going to keep coming, especially when the customers don't."
Instead of opening up more retail locations, Lemonis suggests that Patinkin concentrate on building out her e-commerce branch. "I would take your unbelievable recipes and your unbelievable story and your charisma, and I would try to -- on a parallel path -- go online," he adds.
That could mean selling do-it-yourself kits or gift baskets.
He says there's another, simpler way for Patinkin to expand her retail presence, without taking on the burden of a massive rent factor. To find out more, watch the episode above.