The Apprentice: 8 Lessons For Series 8

19 03 2012

This Wednesday sees the return of The Apprentice to BBC1, the show where several business hopefuls try to get a Job with Lord Sugar, oh wait I forgot sorry, No where they get a chance to start-up a company with Lord Sugar’s advice. OK it is easy to say the previous one because that was the idea of the original 6 series; it’s going to be a learning curve (not a demand curve).

Now I do consider myself to be an Apprentice Historian mostly because my Big Brain allows me to remember stuff I enjoy, OK I only started watching the Apprentice from the end of Series 2 onwards but still I remember a lot. So I thought with a new series about to start I would share some well learnt lessons from the series and seeing as this is series 8 I thought I would share 8 lessons for the candidates.

  • Avoid Jokes, it is a good idea to avoid jokes, let me explain. This comes from series 6 when project manager Shibby Robati promised to deliver 1000 bread rolls and only delivered 16. Now this is pretty bad but it gets worse. When the chef asked Shibby what he was supposed to say to his customers Shibby replied “Go on the Atkins Diet”. The chef was not pleased. Eventually the chef got about £150 in compensation which meant he made profit for an order he did not have. Shibby was fired by Lord Sugar in this episode.

  • Avoid un-tested technology. Series 3 featured what has been regarded as one of the worst decisions in Apprentice History when Lieutenant Paul Callaghan decided to sell Wine and Cheese to the French. Along these 2 bad choices they tried to sell sausages and decided to cook them using a Baked Bean tin with holes in it. He gave this responsibility to Adam Hosker who did as he said but despite doing this when he put the sausages in a frying pan on top of the cooker it did not cook the sausages in any way. Along with this and other things included making a loss of £225 Paul was fired in this episode.
  • Be in the background. It is strange to see some people win the Apprentice despite the fact that you don’t think they will win. Throughout the series you can tell who is a favourite to win from episode 3/4/5 onwards but sometimes you don’t spot the other people. In series 3 despite messing up the presentation of a Trampoline Simon Ambrose won The Apprentice when a lot of people thought that Kristina Grimes was going to win it. In series 4 Lee McQueen won and holds a record of not going into the final firing boardroom until the Interview round (so even when he was on the losing team he was not brought back in), he was not much of a standout until people started to notice this. Series 5 Yasmina Siadatan won and even though she was more upfront than most other people everybody thought that Robot Kate Walsh was going to win. OK Kate was a good candidate but Yasmina is by far the best candidate in the history of the Apprentice winning 3 out of 3 projects when she was project manager and eventually winning it (Ok Helen Milligan also got 3 out of 3 in series 7 but she was not hired).
  • Check your orders thoroughly. Another mistake which is regarded as one of the worst in Apprentice History. In series 2 when making Chicken Pizzas Syed Ahmed ordered 100 chickens, for 100 chicken Pizzas. That means he planned to put a chicken on each Pizza, now that does sound like too much chicken. Surprisingly though he was not fired that week, so he is lucky that he managed to stay on.
  • If you are interested in something and it becomes a task for the week, don’t put your hand up to be project leader. This is something that comes up every year in the Apprentice. A good example is from series 4 when Simon Smith who likes photography decided to do it. They lost and made a loss of £73.81p. Sadly Simon was fired that week for being out of his depth, which is sad because overall he was a nice person (unlike most people in the whole history of the Apprentice).
  • Whoever you say you are you are not Ridley Scott (unless you really are in which case no offence meant). During advertisement week you always have the occasion where one person is under the idea that they are a famous Oscar-winning director. When doing something like this, what usually happens is the team that person belongs to loses. In series 4 Raef Bjayou and Michael Sophocles decided to do  Broadway musical/Shakespearean love story instead of an advert. Raef was fired in this episode (despite the fact that both should have been fired for making the advert together and forgetting to show the product in the advert).

 

  • Do not give exclusivity to everyone. In series 4 while selling Ice Cream Lindi Mngaza and Jennifer Maguire decided to use a unique selling strategy by giving exclusivity to almost all the people they were selling Ice Cream to. One good point to mention is she was not allowed to do this. When someone asks for exclusivity to the product it does not mean they should have it. You don’t sell a certain make of DVD player to someone and tell them that they are the only person who will own it if they buy it (unless they were willing to pay Billions of Pounds for it). Lindi was fired as a result of this (Ice Cream sales not DVD player sales).
  • Stay at the same price. This refers to someone in series 4 who was not a candidate. While trying to sell fish at a solicitors firm one employee won’t budge from his price. The team think they can sell all the fish for around about £100. The employee says £50. The team keeps lowering the price but every time the man says £50, £50, £50, £50. Eventually the food is sold for, that’s right £50. The team lost that round. What I don’t understand is why weren’t all the candidates fired and this non candidate hired.

Well there you have it, while there are many more lessons to be learnt but for now as long as you take notice of these 8 lessons you will do well, possibly. For now let us enjoy all the mistakes (some of which will probably be absolutely hilarious) this year’s bunch will get up to in series 8 of the Apprentice.

The Apprentice starts on Wednesday 21st of March at 9:00pm on BBC One.

GENEPOOL

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