The tiny house movement has made a big impact in the U.S. over just a few years, with over 10,000 tiny houses and counting located across the country. But as the lifestyle becomes more popular, even the top mobile tiny house maker has found itself struggling.
When Tumbleweed Tiny House owner and CEO Steve Weissman approached serial entrepreneur Marcus Lemonis to help save his company from collapsing, Weissman did not realize he was the main culprit behind its failure.
This story by Zameena Mejia originally appeared on CNBC and includes a video.
Weissman, a former restaurateur, began running the country’s largest manufacturer of tiny house RVs in 2012, but had zero manufacturing experience.
Despite bringing in $6 million in revenue this year, Weissman’s lack of technical abilities and leadership skills put the company at risk of bankruptcy with over $1.6 million dollars of debt. Lemonis stepped in to address Weissman’s shortcomings and offer his advice on how to keep the company from failing.
Lemonis noted that, although Weissman had little experience building homes, he still managed to grow Tumbleweed Tiny House from a five-person team working out of a garage to a 70-person company working out of a 20,000-square foot facility.
With faith in both the product and the people in Weissman's business, Lemonis offered a deal: In exchange for a $3 million loan to clean up the payables and return peace of mind to the employees and 75 percent equity, Weissman had to follow a few pieces of advice from Lemonis.
Here are the two pieces of advice Lemonis used to improve Weissman’s leadership mindset.
Get involved with the grunt work
Once Weissman became more involved with the people who were lower than him in the corporate hierarchy, he better understood what was most efficient for his workers and the company overall. By removing those layers of separation, Weissman said he noticed that communication improved and there was an understanding of what the team's goals and objectives are.