The Apprentice Final: Team Selection And Knowing Your Product

So, it was the Apprentice final last night, and 12 weeks of heartache, despair and excitement are now over. First, we should say congratulations to Alana Spencer on her win and new business partner. In her victory, she has become part of a very select group of individuals. It was a close final, but there were two key aspects that contributed to the success of Alana and undermined Courtney. 1. Team Selection Alana was very careful in her team selection. She chose team members that she kn...
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Apprentice Week 11 – The Interviews

As the Apprentice entered its penultimate week, we were treated to a view of the candidates under extreme pressure. The four interviewers this year were as tough as they’ve ever been, though it did reveal a lot about the candidates. It also gave us some key lessons to learn about business, especially in regards to getting funding. 1. Don’t Hide Your Failures One of the biggest mistakes on the episode was Frances Bishop not acknowledging her failures. Her successful kid's clothing brand,...
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Apprentice Week 10 – Communications, Passion And Becoming Too Close To The Product

The tenth week of the Apprentice saw the candidates attempt to create a new gin, brand it, and then sell it to national retailers. There are lots of challenges in this task – and Titans certainly appeared to be tempted by the gin tasting. Communications In Business Is Critical One of the biggest mistakes throughout the episode was Titans’ poor communication skills. Frances, developing the branding on her own needed information about ingredients from her teammates. However, they were ‘tasting’ ...
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The Apprentice Week Nine: Resource Distribution And Audience

Last night’s Apprentice was an entertaining episode. Their task was to design a Virtual Reality game and present it to an audience of experts and enthusiasts. The result was Nebula’s second win of the series. And yet again, there were a couple of crucial mistakes that made a significant difference to the performance of both teams. Assigning Resources In The Right Place The biggest mistake made by Titans was that Sofiane didn’t deploy his resources properly, something he admitted later in the a...
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Apprentice Week Eight: Communications And Teams

Week eight of the Apprentice will probably be remembered for Dillion St Paul’s singing and the return of (poor) form for Frances. The former’s singing was even commented upon in the boardroom with Karen stating how bad it was. Frances went from being an outstanding winner last week to loser again. This was her seventh loss in eight weeks. She risks being one of the worst performing candidates in Apprentice history. Yet Dillon won, and Frances stayed in the process. Why? Well, it was un...
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The Apprentice Week Seven: Poor Sales And No Passion

This week on the Apprentice, Titans lost their first task but Frances won her first. The challenge was to sell a mixture of items at a trade show. Both teams had a high-ticket product, a medium-ticket option and two low ticket products to sell at a boat show. For Titans’ securing the popular jet skis was not the winning formula they hoped for, as none were sold compared to the sale of two of Nebula’s boats. But it was also the smaller items that won the task. In the end, Nebula outsold Ti...
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Apprentice Week Six: The Truth Is Out There

When it came to the latest The Apprentice task, candidates were asked to find a group of items for the cheapest price. This is a classic episode which can be hilarious and frustrating. For example, there is little use of the internet for research, a useful if not essential tool in today’s modern world. If the internet was used, many mistakes could have been avoided. Another issue is proper planning. Too many times, candidates get so excited that they’ve found an item that they fail to think l...
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Apprentice Week Four: Volume Versus Ticket Price

Last week's Apprentice episode raised an interesting question often asked in business. Is it better to sell lots of smaller priced items or a few high-ticket items? In last night’s episode, it seemed that volume won out – but that isn’t always the case. The Difference Between Volume And Profit The idea between these two strategies is clear. You either sell lots of a product at a low profit per unit, or sell smaller quantities but have higher profit per unit. Both have their virtues, and it dep...
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Apprentice Week Three: Leadership And Love For The Product

Last night’s Apprentice proved to be as good as ever as the teams were challenged to design and manufacture a selection of sweets, then sell them in Brighton. The teams were shuffled, with Titans being led by Alana, and Oliver as project manager of Nebula. The task was as interesting as the flavour of sweets; I certainly won’t be trying salt and vinegar fudge, and it was this product that ultimately determined the fate of Nebula. While Nebula’s retail team sold out of the fudge, their tra...
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The Apprentice Week Two: Leadership, Branding And Confidence

the apprentice week two team spirit
The second week of The Apprentice gave us insight into the marketing skills of the candidates. The task was simple - create an advertising campaign for Japanese denim jeans. They had complete control over the branding, video advert, bus shelter advert and interactive billboard. As usual, there were a lot of lessons to learn. 1. Human Resources It is important to ensure you are using the right people for the task. Lord Sugar made a lot of Nebula not choosing Rebecca as project manager...
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