News

Rooms fit for Crap Advisor – but what have we learnt about business?

4 min read

13 October 2017

Director

When it came to episode two of this series of The Apprentice, the challenge winners were chosen on which room Lord Sugar “hated the least”, with both only fit for sale via “Crap Advisor”.

Needless to say, episode two of 2017’s The Apprentice was certainly entertaining, but have we learnt about business?

“I give them the fruits – it’s up to them to make the juice”

Except the juice was yellow Sajan? Iconic branding, such as the British flag, isn’t there to be changed – with Lord Sugar, Karren Brady and both the designer and general manager of Stoke Park all revealing their disregard for the boys’ use of yellow over white. Big mistake lads.

Knowing your market is vital in business. How can you expect to successfully sell a product or service without understanding your target audience? What have we learnt about business? In this case, the lads steered way too far from the Stoke Park demographic and even their own “Best of British” theme.

“If I’ve paid £750 for my room – don’t tell me how to use it”

Neither business pitch is worth shouting about, but the boys were in a league of their own. From revealing costs to interrupting the potential client, it’s no surprise they were shot down – and quickly. Honing your pitching skills is key for securing new business.

From knowing your target audience, right through to the product or service you are offering – knowledge is power and confidence is key, without them, you will quickly crumble.

“Bottom line – you need to know your margin”

Despite his claims for breakdancing, Jeff’s fate was sealed when he practically discarded the margin, making an extremely slim profit – and, even worse, revealing what the boys had spent for the task during their infamous pitch.

In business, your bottom line is everything and if you’re not making any money, or don’t have the potential to make any money, it’s time to re-evaluate and move on.

Entrepreneurs often fall into the trap of becoming “busy fools” – their Google Calendar is full of meetings after meetings, but are any of them actually converting? Knowing your margin and knowing what works is extremely important for business success, in both a product and service environment.

Where there is little risk there is little reward… but the girls still got one?

Although the girls won for a second week running, something can be said for treading too cautiously. A budget of £5,000 was going to give them a clear profit, and if it wasn’t for the boys’ clear lack of interior design and pitching capabilities I am not so sure they would have won?

Business is as much about taking risk and opportunity as it is about knowing your margin. What have we learnt about business from this? Not everything will work and you will make mistakes – it’s how you recover and come back from your ‘failures’ that really counts.

Mark Wright is director of Climb Online and winner of The Apprentice 2014 – he’ll be back next week with lessons of the latest episode

Image source: BBC