Posted: Thu 10th Oct 2019
Joseph Valente, founder of ImpraGas and winner of The Apprentice in 2015, shares business lessons from episode two of the latest series.
After a fist class win from the girls in their first week the boys were coming into week two skating on thin ice (literally).
This task was fully designed to show who is creative, a great negotiator and of course who makes the most money by manufacturing ice lollies; one for a corporate client and one for the general public.
The corporate client was the key player in winning this task. The teams needed to form a very quick short relationship with the client, understanding their needs and wants whilst also maintaining a great margin and getting the best price possible.
As you enter week two the contestants start to learn each other's strengths and weaknesses. For those who are business minded and serious about becoming Lord Sugar's business partner they should be using these strengths to their advantages to win the challenges set.
This should have been the perfect task for the boys with their PM being from the ice cream sector and wanting to grow a relevant business with Lord Sugar. However, although Kenna started well with a good clear structure to his team, a set of fatal errors saw them melt away through the task.
The girls wanted to hit the ground running on this task. Off the back of the win from last week they knew what they had to do but, unlike the boys, I felt that they failed at their structure and were too concerned with their trend. The sub-team worked terribly together on the basis that Lottie didn't want to step up but wanted to step over everyone in the task.
It is important from any business sense that everyone knows exactly where they stand and what they are doing. Kenna didn't waver when he was questioned on his sub team leader even though he was pushed on this by Ryan-Mark. He played to their strengths and had a great set up with knowing who could negotiate and who could sell. He had his mind set on margins and what the profitability was going to be from selling his lollies to the public. Having an eye on your spend and profit is absolute key in business.
Know your facts, what you want to take away from the meeting and of course your numbers!
The girls (once they had finished arguing) walked out of a board room meeting! This is a huge no no! They should have known their profits and margins before entering into the meeting.
Using his negotiation skills Dean nailed this part of the task. He walked in confidently with the correct figures and knew what he needed from the meeting. This however was the only part he actually got right. The boys downfall started here and it didn't matter that they had Thomas to blow the sales out of the park where selling to the public they took nothing away from this meeting other than a deal to which they later couldn't achieve.
The fact that the girls had to take some additional time out to compose themselves not two occasions shouldn't ever happen again.
Knowing your numbers is crucial in business; without that knowledge you are flying blind. You also have to know your client and understand their wants and needs as no two people are the same. The boys lack of confirmation over the timing of the meeting with the client to hand over the products was proof of this. 'Early morning' means a different time to everyone.