Although many people will say they tune in on Wednesday nights for the entertainment value there is no doubt the Apprentice, every year, sparks the inner Entrepreneur in all of us and puts business back into the focus of the British public, giving it some great credibility!
The show first began in 2005 offering one successful candidate the opportunity of a lifetime and the chance to be Alan Sugar’s Apprentice; the definition of apprentice being ‘a person who is learning a trade from a skilled employer, having agreed to work for a fixed period at low wages’. Despite being £100,000-a-year job there was frustration and acclaimed exploitation from the winners so the prize changed in 2011. The stakes were raised and a promise of a £250,000 investment was made to the successful candidates business.
It’s a prize worthy of only the best business minds, so, to be worthy of such a prize the contestants must continue to demonstrate that they’re not only capable of creating and running an effective, successful business but, perhaps more importantly capable of being the best business partner!
So, we bring you our top 8 business tips that we have taken from The Apprentice:
1. Accountability: Let’s start simple by saying ‘take responsibility for your actions’! We all probably think we do this but, after watching the show and seeing it from the outside, it has allowed us to witness just how much business & pressure can make us push the blame on to others, without us even meaning or realising! So, if you make a mistake, be honest and you’ll build up respect from those around you.
2. Learn from your mistakes: It’s a crucial step in a business; to learn lessons and learn them quick!! As we advance in both business and character we’ll continue to make mistakes; it’s a part of our growth and development. However, the key to success is to step back and learn from the experience! Lessons you gain from the mistakes of your own and others will be invaluable. Just ensure you do not make the same mistake again… lessons learnt stay learnt!!
3. Leadership: Both on the show and in real life, leadership is key!! You need to accept your position, role and circumstances. Delegate and create responsibilities for other people according to the tasks, deadlines, strengths & weaknesses, ensuring that the work moves along efficiently & smoothly. Remember great leaders create great businesses!!
4. Humility: Be ready to trade in your tailored suits for overalls and put in some hard graft!! This rule seriously comes into play in business!! People buy from real people!! Be approachable to staff, colleagues and customers!! Concentrate on being the right partner instead of trying to find the right partner. Becoming the right person and creating the right relationships is what business is all about. Work on being the right business partner/company rather than searching for it in the others!!
5. Loyalty: Although the show is competitive and in most ways seen as ‘dog eat dog’ it is still important to hold loyalty within business and not be quick to throw others under the bus. Speaking negatively about companies, colleagues or employees will do nothing good but alienate the people around you and question whether you are someone good to work for or with.
6. Teamwork: We’re all guilty at times of thinking we are the only ones capable of getting the job done and then end up taking on everyone else’s work too. However, when you’re in a team you must work together! It’s not cool to hide the scissors or accidentally schedule in the wrong time in a diary. It’s not a weakness to offer your expertise or to help others! Live by the Disney motto … ‘Teamwork makes the dream work!!’ and aim for a happily ever after ending.
7. Speak Up: Face issues directly rather than speaking behind people’s back and not doing anything about it! If you don’t agree with something or have a further comment to bring to the table, grow a pair and bring it up!! Unfortunately, the best ideas are sometimes never heard. It is good to voice your thoughts and let ideas bounce around. Plus you’re more likely to become passionate about a project if you speak up!!
8. Adaptability: This is arguably one of the most important assets needed to make it in the business world. Industries change on a constant basis so it’s vitally important that you can keep on top of it, and take advantage of it. Adaptability is also key to your longevity in business. The top business people didn’t get to where they are by staying in the past; these people moved with the times and became more successful because of it!
Image Credit – Daily Mirror