He made his mark in early 2000 as the star of TLC’s home improvement reality show “Trading Spaces,” which later catapulted him into a network series for ABC’s Extreme Makeover: Home Edition.
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Now, after nearly 20 years in business, Ty Pennington is shifting his focus to help small businesses grow.
The TV host and design guru has partnered with Deluxe Corp. (NYSE:DLX) to appear in the third season of “Small Business Revolution,” aimed at turning around small-town businesses around the country.
“I like to be part of projects that stimulate the entire community,” Pennington told FOX Business.
The former model who owned and operated two small furniture stores in Atlanta and Los Angeles said one of the biggest mistakes small-business owners make is that they try to wear all the hats.
“We all make that mistake because we’re all control freaks,” he said. “The problem is that we think we can do every single category of our business, and if you really want to be successful you need to focus on what makes it you.”
Pennington, who has never shied away from showing his personality, said doing so is essential to becoming successful. Hire people to do all the other stuff, according to Pennington.
“Focus on the part that you’re best at, which is why people keep coming back to you,” he added.
He also said old tricks still work, and sex still sells.
“I think the more nudity, the better,” he joked. “I really think that’s how you’re going to get your product out there and get eyes on it.”
Over the next several months, Pennington will travel to the winner of Deluxe’s Small Business Revolution contest and help local residents update and spruce up their businesses to attract more customers. But Pennington said for owners who don’t have a lot of money to spend on renovations, focus on simple ones.
“You have to weigh what you have and what you need,” Pennington said. “If your business is so unattractive and no one is walking through the doors, even if you don’t do the entire place, there needs to be a way to do the face of the store and give it a facelift to at least get people walking in.”