The Apprentice 2016, Week 3: The best business quotes, gaffes and advice

This latest episode saw teams produce sweets and sell them on Brighton Pier. But which contestant left a sour taste in Lord Sugar’s mouth?

With last week’s episode ending with both teams losing, the newly re-arranged teams of Titan and Nebula were keen to show Lord Sugar they had what it takes to be his business partner.

This week’s task allowed candidates design and manufacture their own brand of sweets, before heading to Brighton to sell them.

With some contestants believing they were natural-born sellers, you’d be forgiven for thinking this task would be as easy as taking candy from a baby – but is it ever really that simple on The Apprentice?

Remembering that a spoon full of sugar can sometimes help the medicine go down, we’ve complied this week’s worst business decisions, quotes and gaffes – so aspiring entrepreneurs can learn from where the candidates have failed.

Worst business decision

Keen to tap into the on-trend market of salted confectionery, Oliver’s team decided to sell salt and vinegar flavoured fudge and, in keeping with the seaside surroundings of Brighton, called their brand Suck it & Sea.

Unfortunately for Oliver and his team, the unique flavourings weren’t a hit with retailers and, ultimately, it was the inability of the trade sales team to sell their stock that led to their defeat.

In the end, Oliver got his just desserts and became the third contestant to be fired by Lord Sugar this series, rubbing further salt into his wounds!

Business tip: In a food or confectionery business, product is everything and Nebula’s poor offering meant that consumers and retailers alike just weren’t biting. Want to avoid the same mistake when setting up your food business? Read our guide here.

Best Lord Sugar putdown

Ironically not one to sugar-coat his words, Lord Sugar once again saw fit to use his quick wit to point out an obvious business flaw for team Titan.

With Sofiane, Trishna and Courtney tasked with selling sweets to Brighton and Hove Albion football club, it was Sofiane’s questionable sales technique, and inability to listen to the client, that caused an early stumbling block in negotiations and eventually led to them selling at a lower price.

Business tip: Testament to the idea that hearing isn’t listening, Sofiane’s inability to take in his client’s demands caused early tension in the negotiation process, and at a time when he should have been winning their favour.

Each step of the sales process is vital if you want to close the deal. Worried about how to sell? Read our guides on selling here.

Worst customer service

Having somehow miraculously closed a deal with Brighton Hove and Albion football club, faults in team Titan’s production meant they weren’t in a position to fulfil the original order of blue and white coloured sweets.

Chancing his arm, Sofiane decided to include black sweets in the order and attempt to fool the buyer into believing these (along with the white sweets) were half football-style sweets that could be joined together by the customer.

Rather unsurprisingly, the buyer saw right through Sofiane’s trick, but did still make a purchase.

Business tip: Customer service is key to success for any start-up and small business. Prospective customers certainly won’t be coming back if they feel undervalued or mis-sold. 

Worst product

Founder of a sausage business, Oliver seemed an ideal candidate to lead team Nebula to victory – given that this was a food task. Unfortunately for his team, Oliver appeared almost pig ignorant to the art of making Brighton rock with his inexperienced hands causing many of the sticks to become warped and virtually unsellable.

Identified by the ever watching eye of Karen Brady, one of Nebula’s earliest, and eventually most damaging mistakes, was deciding to produce Brighton Rock – something which is notoriously difficult to do.

Business tip: One of the biggest mistakes any entrepreneur can make is rushing out into a crowded market to sell product they actually know very little about. That’s why market research is so important. Read our guides here.

Best business advice

Ending up on the losing side, it’s fair to say that some of the blame for team Nebula’s failure can be placed on their sales team of Mukai, Paul and Aleksandra, with Paul making a total of zero sales.

Failing to stick to their price, and desperate to sell, the cost of their sweets spiralled down when negotiating with the potential buyer -with the team eventually losing 40p per bag.

Business tip: A golden rule of sales, Nebula fell victim to the trap of failing to set a pricing strategy that would enable them to make a profit. Read our guides on budgeting and setting prices here.

Missed last week’s episode? Catch up on our review of Week 2 here.

Catch up on our review of Week 1 here.

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