The Apprentice 2016, Week 5: The best business quotes, gaffes and advice
It was a lesson in crowdfunding this week as the two teams sought to pitch new cycling products. But which candidate would be on their bike by the end?
A first in this series of The Apprentice, teams Nebula and Titan were given the task of helping two entrepreneurs launch cycling products and then create rewards-based crowdfunding campaigns.
After reviewing several different offerings, team Titan choose a gilet-turned visibility jacket, while team Nebula opted for bone-conduction open-ear headphones – with the launch and crowdfunding process involving a marketing campaign, creating a crowdfunding page, a PR stunt and a pitch to retail investors.
Team Titan had never lost a task going into episode 5, so could Nebula break the cycle? And what could aspiring entrepreneurs learn from this week’s installment?
Well, read on to find out…
Worst attempt at crowdfunding
While team Nebula’s headphones were certainly a product to get excited about, the team’s actual crowdfunding campaign raised just a little over £200.
Upon meeting Bruce (the entrepreneur behind the product), the sub team of Jessica, Sofiane and Paul were tasked with creating the crowdfunding webpage on Indiegogo.
A massive oversight, the trio neglected to work out the required incentives for early investors – forcing the campaign to get off to a late start.
Eventually re-initiating contact with Bruce, the team agreed that they would give an activity belt to any member of the public who invested £5 – with the belt having an actual retail value of £14.95.
Despite having a great incentive, the team failed to emphasise this value enough and it was almost non-existent on their webpage.
Business tip: When attempting to crowdfund, you need to offer potential investors an attractive deal. Thinking about launching your own crowdfunding campaign? Here’s a guide on how to do it properly.
Worst marketing effort
Opting to use a gospel choir for their PR stunt, Nebula hoped to entice potential investors by filming a video of the performance at King’s Cross Station and uploading it on social media.
Hoping the campaign would go viral and allow for a surge of investments, JD and Frances were left a little stunned, and very frustrated, by Rebecca’s video footage.
Attempting to film the reaction of the crowd rather than the singers, the marketing and design business owner got more of the pavement than anything else, causing their viral campaign to flop.
Business tip: Despite only having an iPad at her disposal, Rebecca should have been able to create a video worthy for public consumption. If you’re thinking about creating video content for your website then read this guide which shows you how to succeed – even on a budget.
Best put down by Lord Sugar
Project leader for the first time, the seldom-seen Samuel proved that Lord Sugar won’t spare anyone in the firing line.
Having led a dreadful PR stunt in Waterloo station, which involved mimes pretending they were in road traffic accidents, Sam’s narrow-mindedness meant Lord Sugar certainly wasn’t lost for words when summing up his performance (as seen in the image above).
Business tip: Despite having bucket loads of enthusiasm, Sam’s refusal to listen to his teammates suggestions ultimately caused their PR stunt to fail and caused a significant rift with Grainne. Sam could certainly have benefitted from some advice on leadership; here are our leadership advice guides.
The contestant with a bad attitude problem
The ‘Mr Nice Guy’ of the competition, JD’s demure nature and down to earth personality won him many friends in the competition and even praise from the cold-hearted Claude!
Sadly, The Apprentice is no personality contest and, as Lord Sugar states at the beginning at every episode, he’s not there to make friends but to find a business partner.
Adopting a laissez-faire-style attitude to business, JD had a little too much faith in his team and failed to show initiative – this ultimately led to him losing his place in the competition.
Business tip: Motivation is vital in business. Whether you’re working for yourself or have a team of employees, you need to be driven and determined otherwise your business will suffer. These guides will help to keep you motivated.
For the final stage of the crowdfunding campaign, both teams had to pitch to a group of large retailers.
While Titan’s pitch went down well, Nebula’s performance left a lot to be desired.
Seemingly unaware of their actual audience, JD attempted to win a crowd of cycling retailers over by talking about the bike market – talk about preaching to the converted!
Despite initially saying he would cover pricing, Sofiane passed that responsibility to the unprepared Frances mid-pitch. With no choice but to make up finance figures on the spot, Frances explained how larger retailers could place orders of 180 headphones with 40% off, while smaller retailers could get just 12 – for the same discount.
Needless to say, Nebula’s sales pitch left the crowd puzzled and unimpressed while victory was secured for Titan when they received two large investments following Karthik’s impeccable pitch.
Business tip: Pitching is core for any business; new or established. To get pitch perfect, use a pitch deck, have a 30-second elevator pitch ready and practice until your pitch becomes second nature. Advice on creating a great sales pitch can be found here.
Missed last week’s episode? Catch up on our review of week 4