Winner of 2016’s The Apprentice, Alana Spencer, explains why cooperation is the key to any business task – and why having a big ego isn’t
I found this week’s episode very interesting. The contestants had to sell ice lollies – one product for the public and one for a corporate client. I love these sorts of tasks because its right up my street (I own my own cake company, Ridiculously Rich) and similar to what I do on a daily basis. It was quite exciting to see Kenna, who has an ice cream business, take part in this challenge. This task was definitely designed with him in mind. However, it was a shame that he didn’t show Lord sugar that he had what it takes.
Both teams obviously wanted to charge as much as possible in order to win the task. Actually £3.50 for a lolly, even the most premium lolly seems kind of crazy if you ask me. Maybe in London... But here in west Wales, you wouldn’t be paying £3.50 for a lolly. With that in mind, they had to pull something quite spectacular out of the bag. The girls tried, but it was slightly style over substance. But for the boys’ team, I understand what Kenna see was doing - he was really focused on margins. But ultimately, you need to make a product that people like. And the first thing people see in a product is the look of it. Putting in a bit of money and having it look nice would have been a start. But they didn’t make it look appealing, they made it look like some sort of rude “Ann Summers purchase”. They both slightly missed the mark with the actual products, in my opinion.
There are quite a lot of very young people in this series, particularly the boys. And it seemed to me that the young ones often end up in the board room. I think Kenna (project manager) did a relatively good job of managing the team to be honest, especially at such a young age. He knew what he wanted and that was to keep the margins as high as possible, and he stuck with that. Fair play to him, he had a vision. What he showed is that he is very business oriented, but what he didn’t show is that he was very product driven. I guess he failed in that respect. But he did a very good job in keeping the team together. With regards to the sub team, they had that little argument about changing the plans. I think there’s a lot of egos in there and there’s a lot of people waiting until the cameras are rolling to say certain things from what I’m gathering.
I think there was some unnecessary arguments going on between them. I think when you’re in that situation you should go with what the decision is and not cause a row for the sake of it. I think people cause a row so they can go into the board room to say “Well I did say, so and so.”
I think Dean was unfairly brought back in to the board room. He was the one who actually secured a deal with the corporate client and he had nothing to do with the production of that product. He was just frankly given a terrible product. I think sometimes you just have to accept the outcome. I don’t think they should have sold those lollies for a pound and I think they did the right thing to just walk away. Because the product was terrible, and that was not his fault. In the end, I don’t think it was right for him to be in the board room this week.
Lottie came across this week as feisty again, she doesn’t seem to listen to other people. She was so adamant that she wanted to put the rosemary in the lollies and ultimately that could have lost them the task, because that meant they had to reduce the quantity sold to the corporate client quite significantly. She is a force and if I was in there, I would see her as a threat because she knows her own mind. I think she does need to learn how to work as a team a little bit more, and if she does that, she could be a real contender.
I found it ridiculous that all the girls left the meeting room to have a discussion during the negotiations. Someone in that group should’ve just made taken the decision on their shoulders instead of leaving because that looked really unprofessional. If you did that in real life, what you’d say is you’d get back to them tomorrow by email so it’s not really showing a true representation of what that business deal would look like. But in that environment, you have to make decisions and live by them. I think there’s a bit of back covering going on with them wanting to go outside and discuss it.
In the show, the contestants had 20 minutes to get ready in the mornings. I’ve heard a lot of comments saying there was no way that is true. I can 100% confirm it is, and you do have 20 minutes to get ready. Sometimes its half an hour but it’s usually 20 mins. That is definitely real.