Even apprentices need to communicate

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Business Lessons from week 3 of The Apprentice

So, we’re onto week three of this series (or season if you’re American) of “The Apprentice”

One of the things I love about the Apprentice – in addition to it’s constant flow of amusing mishaps is it’s ability to give me inspiration for blog posts.

It’s entertainment – which is something I can easily write about AND it’s business related meaning I can legitimately post it on Linkedin without fear of someone yelling “THIS ISN’T FACEBOOK” at me in capital letters.

And last nights episode was no different.   As usual, one team did terribly and was berated by “Lord Sugar” (not sure why I put that in speech marks) and the other team did slightly less terribly and was awarded with an uninspiring night out.

This article does contain spoilers!
And anyway, I’m sure it’ll be obvious who as you watch the episode but the losing team lost because of two factors:

1 – Terrible spelling

2 – Terrible communication.

Essentially, some marketing collateral was created by the team for use in a presentation to a number of buyers from a selection of high street retailers.    On this marketing material was a glaring mistake – they’d used “You’re” instead of “Your”

If this was down to one person, then yes it’s understandable but not excusable that the wrong word could have been used.   But there were four people on their sub-team.   four pairs of eyes that could have double checked the spelling before it went to print.

You may think a spelling mistake doesn’t matter – well clearly it did as not one of the high street retailers bought into their product.

And the other error was down to a complete lack of communication between the team members and, most importably the project manager/team leader of that team.

A name had been decided for their product – this product being a talking robot.  Once the name had been agreed upon, the robot was programmed so it stated “Hi My name is Jeffrii”

Only problem being, the marketing material – (marketing material which also used the word “you’re” incorrectly”) said the Robots name was “Siimon”

And much hilarity/embarrassment occurred.

We’re all well aware that The Apprentice is, first and foremost, an entertainment show.  It’s not supposed to be an entirely accurate representation of the world of business BUT there are clearly some familiar elements there and definitely some lessons to learn.

1 – Use spellcheckers

2 – Get someone else to check your copy before you send it to the client

3 – If you, as a leader or as a team member, make a decision that is likely to affect the rest of the team and the end product, communicate that decision before you’ve made it.   Don’t just see how that affects your part within the process, be aware of the impact it will have upon others

4 – Don’t become a contestant on the apprentice unless you’re happy with being edited so you look like a simpleton

And there’s what I’ve learned – and what you can learn – from this week’s Apprentice

If you’d like support or assistance with any aspect of your sales and marketing – making sure you don’t make the same mistakes – give us a call on 0330 20 50 500 or complete the contact form on our website and one of the team will call you straight back

Dan Smith
Inspired Business Development
0330 20 50 500


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