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BBC The Apprentice Lording it in the Boardroom – Episode 12

05 Jun

It’s all over then. The finger has been pointed for the last time for this series. Lord Sugar got his man despite his man opening his mouth and saying things he probably shouldn’t have.

Four final candidates, four business plans, four business associates of Lord Sugars to act as interviewers. Jade, Nick. Tom and Ricky everything to gain and nothing to loose

The business plans were disappointing. A call centre, a website which would send you the ingredients for a recipe you wanted to cook, a wine hedge fund and a recruitment business. Not exactly earth shattering especially in the current financial climate.

Margaret Mountford came back as an interviewer along with Mike Soutar, Matthew Riley and Claude Littner. As is always the case there were discrepancies between the CVs and the actual facts. Nothing too excessive mind you. The candidates were made to sweat.

Jade didn’t have any costs in for her first six months; she didn’t include a balance sheet or a cash flow. Now those are the basics of a business plan, all anyone has to do is either ask their bank for a business plan pack or buy one of the business plan software packages. Both of these routes provide the necessary components for a business plan and set it all out for you. Obviously there are other ways such as talking to an accountant or a business adviser. The big flaw for Jade was telephoning people at home is sleazy, which may have caused Lord Sugar a few problems in being identified with such a business

Nick had the idea of a not simple bit of software, which would identify the ingredients. Interesting but not really a great idea. Its not like you’d buy all the ingredients every time. It would be pretty costly to develop and take time to make money.

Tom was talking big money. A £25 Million fund, which would be invested in wines that would appreciate in value over a given time period. Was it any co-incidence that Toms father is an investment banker? You decide. Interesting idea but gambling using other peoples money at the end of the day.

Ricky planned to start a recruitment company on the basis of him already being in that type of business and having had successes in it.

No brainer of the year was Ricky winning. He used a well-tried and tested approach to setting up your own business. First you find something you enjoy and are good at, then you learn how to do it at your employers expense obviously and then you make sure you have loads of contacts who like and trust you and will want to continue dealing with you; hey presto you’ve created a new business.

Ricky’s business plan was simple also; no complex software needing written, no huge and costly call centre infrastructure to setup and no need to have to protect other people’s money, apart from Lord Sugars anyway. All he needs is an office a few telephone lines, IT kit and a few bods.

The risk profiles of each business plan were also important, Toms was the most risky followed by Nicks then Jades and then Ricky’s. Entrepreneurs like Lord Sugar base all their decisions on the risk factor for each potential investment. They are better than most people at mitigating risk to a degree which makes it much less of a risk and much more of a successful project which creates profits.

Poor Ricky wins the competition and sets his future on serious success although he will have to retire from wrestling and serious fitness training. What a loss to those activities.

Not to worry if you feel you could out do the latest batch of candidates, there will be another series along in the not too distant future. Lets hope for better quality candidates next time!

Other episodes –

BBC – The Apprentice 2012 – Episode 3

BBC – The Apprentice 2012 – Episode 4

BBC – The Apprentice 2012 – Episode 5

BBC – The Apprentice 2012 – Episode 6

BBC – The Apprentice 2012 – Episode 7

BBC – The Apprentice 2012 – Episode 8

BBC – The Apprentice 2012 – Episode 9

BBC – The Apprentice 2012 – Episode 10

BBC – The Apprentice 2012 – Episode 11

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