Marcus Lemonis Vs Grafton Furniture
The Owner(s): Steve and Mary Grafton
In this episode of The Profit, Marcus Lemonis visits Grafton Furniture. Grafton Furniture offers a complete custom capability, which executes designs and alters products to perfectly suit customers’ demands. They specialize in creating classic and contemporary furniture that fits any style.
It is located at Miami, Florida and was founded by a Cuban immigrant Esteban Grafton in 1964. It started as a small workshop limited to re-upholstery but has grown into a design laboratory and production facility. Today, the furniture company is owned by Steve and Mary Grafton.
Grafton Furniture is a kind of “generation business” that struggles to survive in this modern and more demanding economy. For decades, it has produced and sold custom-made furniture that well-fitted the pocket of the wealthy individuals and it succeeded. But when the economic downturn occurred, the business was losing. Steve, son of Esteban and the second generation business owner suffered financial difficulties that resulted in the condo and car seizures.
Today, Grafton Furniture is doing all it can to keep the business profitable and continue providing jobs for its multicultural workforce. Steven, Steve’s son will soon manage the business and it’s crucial that he knows all the aspects. But, Steve is having trouble letting go of Steven and listening to his innovative ideas. Grafton Furniture is facing some challenges in maintaining the highest quality standard in furniture-making.
Problems/Issues In The Business Found By Marcus
- The debts are piling up.
- Father and son are struggling to work harmoniously.
- Outdated facilities.
- A limited group of clients.
- Unorganized working place.
- An absence of a clear working process.
Marcus is pleased to look into the Grafton Furniture business system. He loves to help people from the place where he was raised and experienced all the hard work to keep a good business. He can relate to the Grafton Furniture business very well considering that he grew up in the place and it’s also a business manage by the generation. Marcus’ family used to run a Chevy dealership in the area and he wants to share all his learning to avoid business failures like what he experienced.
Because Marcus has convictions that Grafton Furniture can do a lot to pay their debts, improve the system and compete in the bigger market. He offered the Grafton family a staggering $1,500,000 investment. He will provide the money for 45% ownership, full business control. He wants to use the money to pay the debts, provide working capital and help the family survive. It was not hard for the Graftons to agree and they accepted the offer. Marcus signed the check, Steve accepted and the deal was sealed.
Solutions Suggested/Implemented by Marcus To Improve The Business
- Pay the debts.
- Help the relationship between Steve and Steven improve.
- Buy and install new machines and facilities.
- Use the old showroom to widen the production area.
- Renovate the entire place.
- Produce furniture for different customer groups.
- Introduce a new and highly efficient working process.
During The Show…
Marcus met all the staff to tell them about his investment and that he was happy to help all the people obtain success for all their dedications. He talked about transforming the place to be more conducive and the implementation of a new work process. He checked the Grafton Furniture showroom and was not impressed. He decided to give Steven the full responsibility regarding quality control and convert the area as an additional production space. They were able to find a new showroom in a better location.
Marcus proposed for the creation of three product categories namely:
- The Quick Ship
- The Semi-Customs and
- The Customs.
He then asked Steve to design and build four different accent chairs that will represent the 4 American regions as part to the Quick Ship campaign.
Conclusion and Updates on the Business
Although Steve had difficulties of giving more control to Steven. He eventually realized its importance. Marcus told him that most second generation business owners have a 60% failure rate, while third-generation businesses have a 90% failure rate. Steven was given more trust and responsibility now and he is happy with it.
Marcus took the father-and-son team to DirectBuy to market their products. They wanted to promote and sell their “All American Dream Collection”. Marcus and the Graftons were happy receiving all the feedback from this. They were invited to join a conference to showcase their products and international skills in furniture-making. This opens them up to even more business opportunities.
Marcus gave the Graftons and the Grafton Furniture workers a bigger surprise with the new artistic company design painted on its building walls. We wish this company all the best.
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