“The Apprentice” Delivers Good Business Lessons

The recent edition of the BBC TV programme “The Apprentice” was good entertainment. But it also provides some interesting insights into running a business whether it was a simple one like selling DVD experiences to the general public or running a large company.

It can be fashionable to deride ‘business’ programmes such as “The Apprentice” but nevertheless close observation can deliver some excellent learning points.
  1. Planning. This is the most essential ingredient of any task or business. In the most recent episode the hapless team leader, Sandeesh Samra, failed to plan the task and failed to get her team operating effectively. She even opened her ‘store’ one hour late losing some potential business which could have won her the task.
  2. Sales Strategy. To make up for a lack of sales Sandeesh decided to drop her prices by 25% after only four hours. This is a cardinal sin in sales. She did not look at how the team were selling and she did not encourage the rest of the team to come up with other ideas to boost revenue. When the team did think of another approach it was almost too late.
  3. Costs. No one in the team was responsible for monitoring and managing costs. Another major error. As a result they bought twice as many DVDs to burn as they needed and no one pointed out the glaring error that they could not burn that many DVDs in the time available even if they could sell them all.
Planning, Sales and Costs were all highlighted as major areas for business leaders to keep under control. A good lesson for us all!