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Business Development

The Apprentice – Episode 6 – Lost in translation

Another classic The Apprentice episode – the tour guide task where the candidates have to organise a tour, sell tickets and take the poor unsuspecting tourists on a whistle stop tour around an area. This week, the candidates got to go to Bruges on board the enormous cruise ship – the Brittania, which can take 3000 guests!  My idea of hell on earth. My antipathy to cruises aside, the teams had to choose a theme and run with it. Bruges is an easy one to cover given it has beautiful buildings and is the home of chocolate, beer and waffles. […]

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The Apprentice – Episode 5 – Lost in London

This week on The Apprentice, the ever entertaining item buying task where I predicted, at the end of my blog last week, rubbish map reading and poor negotiation. We weren’t disappointed. Still Lord Sugar didn’t mix the teams up in his usual form, but merely sent James across to Graphene instead. Sajan was unanimously voted in as PM for Vitality on the basis he knew London. Poor Charles made a feeble attempt to claim the role, but sunk without a trace. Over on Graphene, there was no choice as Lord Sugar had already decided moaning Joanna was going to be […]

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The Apprentice – Episode 4 – Corporate Hostility

Who says you learn nothing from watching the Apprentice? For example, did you know that the football industry is worth £4bn? That was quite an eye opener. And women’s football is a fast growing part of that pot. This week’s task – a return to the usual format – organising an event. In this case a corporate hospitality box at Wembley Stadium for the women’s FA cup final. The candidates also had to run a match day stall outside the grounds to raise some extra money. They were given clients with whom they had to negotiate a price to pay for […]

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The Apprentice – Episode 3 – Robot Wars

This week – not so much Robot Wars as candidate wars as the animosity between the women built to dangerous levels! It was, on the face of it, a simple enough challenge. Programme and brand a robot to sell to two major retailers and choose a less expensive robot product to sell to independent retailers. As ever, the team that made the most profit won the task. Since the men’s team had lost the last two challenges, their numbers were getting low so team jigging was required to balance the team sizes. In an inspired moment, rather than mix up […]

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The Apprentice – Episode 2 – Three cheers for the Red, erm, Yellow and Blue

To the strains of Bond music, his lordship arrived in grand style by helicopter at the Stoke Park Hotel, Bucks for the launch of this week’s Apprentice task. (Goldfinger was filmed here for those of you who missed the show). What possessed a five star hotel to allow 17 candidates of the Apprentice, so early on in the process, anywhere near their luxury rooms? I can only assume the Beeb agreed to cover the extensive redecoration costs at the end of it all. The task – two days to design, decorate and furnish a hotel room with a £13k budget. […]

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The Apprentice 2017 – Episode One – What’s your beef?

Welcome to the class of 2017. Time to buckle up for this year’s panoply of muppetry and mishaps as the new batch of wannabe entrepreneurs attempt to win the prize of £250k and Lord Sugar as a business partner. It seems hard to believe that we’re on to series 13. Surralan has become Lord Sugar, we’ve seen Margaret Mountford and Nick Hewer move on, replaced over time by Karren Brady and Claude Litner. Oh how I miss Margaret and her incredibly expressive eyebrows and cutting one-liners. Claude Litner said in an interview before the show aired that he deliberately does […]

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A simple way to work out how much you need to sell to hit your revenue targets

I was with a client recently and they shared how much money they wanted to be able to take out of the business in the long term. So what we needed to do was some maths to work out how to get there. And here is what we did. I’m going to make up the figures to preserve anonymity. They ultimately wanted to be able to take £5000 a month from the business. Stage 1 – identify current revenue and profit margins 1. Identify current annual revenue (sales or turnover) 2. Identify the net profit (the amount left over after […]

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Webinars, Fairies and Unicorns – the Myths

If you’re a business owner, particularly one in the first few years of your business, like me, you’re probably looking for solutions to a number of different problems to help your business grow. And solutions that don’t cost a great deal of money because we don’t have infinite resources. The curse of free content The internet is a blessing and a curse in this regard. There is so much ‘free’ stuff out there, that you probably could glean the answers, but you’d have to search a lot and connect a lot of dots before you get anywhere. Or you buy […]

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The benefits of a mastermind group

What is a mastermind group? It’s a group of five to eight ambitious business owners who meet once every month in order to grow their business, and achieve and exceed their goals. If you want to grow incrementally, be competitive; if you want to grow exponentially, be collaborative. — Anonymous The meetings have a structured format, aimed at making sure you identify and record your goals, overcome blocks and measure success and achievement. The sessions are facilitated by an experienced business consultant and coach but are powered by brainstorming and support from other group members. With the impending launch of […]

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5 reasons why having a plan is essential for your business

‘Only 3% of adults have written goals, and everyone else works for them.’ Brian Tracy Many businesses seem reluctant to plan for their business. Why is that? A client I was with a couple of weeks ago admitted he was scared to have a sales forecast for next year. When I asked him about it, he said it was scary committing to figures that he was then worried about not hitting. Which was odd, given that we’d been working off a sales forecast that I’d created for him for the last six months. And that he’d almost hit target (he […]

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