The Apprentice – Episode 8 – Canine Capers and a shock in the boardroom | The Chameleon Guide
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The Apprentice – Episode 8 – Canine Capers and a shock in the boardroom

Staggering new statistics this week in The Apprentice –  A quarter of the population has a dog (over 11 million). That’s a lot of poop that needs scooping!  And owners spend £11bn, yes, eleven billion pounds, on their dogs. I couldn’t believe that figure so I looked it up on line – it’s actually over £12bn!! I’m in the wrong business!

All of which leads (see what I did there?) neatly to this week’s task. Running a doggy day care service.

The two services available were running a dog spa or doggy training classes.

They also each had a mobile team tasked with raising extra money either through cleaning up dog poo (I can’t think of a more polite way of putting this) or offering dog photography services.

As ever, the team that made the most profit won.

The task

In other shocking news – Charles finally got to be PM. I’m not quite sure how that happened – maybe his hang dog expression finally suited the task – boom boom.

Anisa was hoping to be sub team manager, but Charles chose the only non dog owner, Andrew, to have that role. Much to his disgust.

Over on Graphene, in an unprecedented move, James, the PM from last week, put himself up for the role again this week and got it. PM twice in two weeks – it’s never been heard of!

His sub team choice was the rather odd combination of the Rottweiler Elizabeth with Joanna the moaner.

Both teams wanted the prize dog spa service, but Joanna blew Graphene’s chances of success by whining on about how little she knew about dogs and flinching and screaming every time a dog came near her. No surprise then that Vitality, who were much more positive, got the gig. Leaving Graphene with the training classes.

Both teams then had to book as many appointments as possible to fill the available slots the next day. This was challenging as they also had to learn how to wash, blow dry and give head massages to the pampered pooches, or learn how to get dogs to sit, lie down, beg or run round an assault course at the same time.

The Graphene sub team were very good and cheerfully took on the role and managed to get all the training class slots filled.

Andrew over on Vitality wasn’t having any of it – he was too busy swearing in front of his prospective client at a very posh hotel!

Both teams had been given the opportunity to bid for a job pooper scooping at said hotel and to run a photography session for a dog charity.

Despite the rather shocking expletive laden outburst by Andrew, Vitality managed to get the hotel gig but grossly underpriced what was a mammoth job for £120. They won because Graphene over complicated their offering. Though when it came to doing the job, the wily hotel manager talked them into clearing the goose poo (of which there was considerably more) as well for a small additional fee.  I thought she was spectacularly mean when she decided they hadn’t cleared all the goose poo properly and docked their final pay.

Graphene managed to win the photography shoot after dropping their pants on the pricing, but did a terrible job as they managed to take most photographs with the dogs obscuring the human models who were wearing t-shirts with the charity slogans on defeating the purpose of the shoot.

James had also made a faux pas on selling the training classes, making, what he thought was a clever decision to put the price up, from the £25 that Elizabeth/Joanna were selling the tickets at, to £45.
Unfortunately this backfired as the dog owners talked to each other about what they’d paid and there was dissension in the ranks.  Elizabeth brilliantly saved the day and offered a refund to those who’d overpaid. The result? They bought tons of the additional gifts and goodies they had on sale at the end of the classes. Which beautifully highlights how you can turn around a customer complaint into a win for everyone.

Over at the doggy spa, there was a lot of thumb twiddling because they hadn’t sold all the slots (thanks Andrew). Charles showcased his ‘managerial’ style which involved him doing absolutely nothing and bossing Michaela and Jade about. His excuse, and be prepared to raise your hackles ladies, was that because they both had long hair, they’d be naturals at grooming the dogs. *growls ominously*

The remainder of the day was spent with the teams rushing around selling garden poop cleaning services door to door. I was staggered at how much people were prepared to pay for a poop picking/antiseptic spraying. The northern saying ‘where there’s muck there’s brass’ was never so true.

So where did all this furry frolicking leave the teams?


It seemed pretty obvious to me that Graphene were likely to win. Mostly because of Andrew’s refusal to help book appointments for the doggy spa which was the main revenue generator at £120 a pop. So with only had four sessions booked, they missed out on a chunk of good money.  Charles should have put his foot down and insisted they did the appointment setting, but he was too busy delegating to think about things like tactics. The only question in my mind was whether Elizabeth’s refund strategy had paid off.
It did, in pooper scoopers!

Across the three categories of the main activities, mobile sales and additional sales of goodies, Graphene beat Vitality paws down.
And the proof of the pudding for Elizabeth’s refund policy was that they generated £407 in extra goody sales compared with less than £115 for Vitality.

They were the glossy furred, wet nosed, waggy tailed winners with £1278 sales to Vitality’s whimpering, tail between the legs £815.

So who was in the dog house? (it’s nearly over folks, the canine ‘comedy’ is coming to an end I promise). Charles brought back Andrew and Anisa, who’d been a damp squib all day.

I don’t think I need to say much more than has already been said. Charles was ineffective, Andrew difficult and obstructive (and swearingly lacking in professionalism) and Anisa just unfocused and unheard.

As to who went? Well, *hoists bra up and leans across the bar* Charles obviously went – that’s a given. But that wasn’t it. We already knew HRH had too many candidates left for the remaining tasks, so it was no massive surprise that Anisa went too. But then, shock of shocks, Lord Sugar also said that Andrew immature and was in the process five years too early, so he got the heave ho too!

As Lord Sugar said that ‘I have to close my eyes and envisage these people working with me, and I can’t’.

The remaining candidates waited in vain for the return of one or two, but had to make do with a phone call to let them know they’d all been fired.

As one wit said ‘On the plus side there’s three more servings of dinner’. That’s the sort of positive outlook that will carry them a long way through life.

Next week – Inventing a recipe kit. You know where I’m going with this already – it’s more likely to be a recipe for disaster

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About the Author:

About Karen Espley, blogging for The Chameleon GuideKaren Espley of The Chameleon Guide works with ambitious small business owners on her Profit Accelerator Programme. She brings pragmatic and real world advice in a group setting to help her clients make a significant difference to their business through increasing profits and running a highly effective business.

Offering workshops and group profit programmes for companies wanting to reach their full potential.