Be yourself: When people go into business, they often try replicating both business plans and business management based on other successful companies, or in the way they have seen others do it. This is the same for many candidates on The Apprentice.
I have always found that being yourself and putting your own personality into the products, staff and customers makes your business unique, fun and different to the competition. If you try to be that someone else, you will never be as good as them. If you try and be you, you will be the best at that. Series 12 candidates, take note!
Believe in your business plan: If you are not a good advocate of your own business plan and do not believe in your own success, then no-one else will. It’s called ‘eating your own dog food’ – if you’re a personal trainer, you should have the body and the healthy diet to go with it, if you’re an accountant your own accounts should be more than in order.
For years so many candidates have entered The Apprentice with business plans for an idea that is completely separate from their knowledge and experience. Be true to yourself and develop your expertise to be the best in your own sector – you will be far more successful than if you started something completely new!
Work hard to build strong relationships: I am in no doubt that every business owner will say the same thing – but one of the hardest things in growing and building a business is finding and retaining quality members of staff that you can really trust.
Ok, so it can be extremely hard to build quality relationships on The Apprentice whilst you’re all competing for the same prize, however you can quickly see who would or wouldn’t throw others under the bus in day-to-day working life. Despite the fact business is a hard and cut throat game, a trustworthy businessman will still go further much faster!
Hold your hands up to mistakes: We all remember the Tesco coughing fit – yes I choked in front of millions of people, yes it was terrible – but instead of palming my error off onto one of my team members, I owned up to my mistake and proved myself to be a credible and honest individual, which are qualities found in every good businessman. Lesson for Apprentice candidates – be honest and maintain your integrity or you will get fired.
Utilise your business mentor: I have said this time and time again, but the real prize in winning The Apprentice is working having Lord Sugar as your business mentor. All of the great businessmen have and have had mentors – from Richard Branson to Steve Jobs.
Aside from being more experienced than you in business, a good business mentor can advise and guide you when making important decisions, which is vital when you’re struggling to see the wood through the trees. Apprentice candidates sit up and listen, as you are about to learn some of the most important business lessons in your life!