The Directors View: The Apprentice – episode 12

Stuart Haining Blog, Business News 0 Comments

Well it’s the final week and a showdown between our original 5:1 favourite Mark from Australia and 10:1 dark horse Bianca, who has performed strongly of late.

The task this week is actually to start off the very businesses Lord Sugar is going to back – aided by expert opinion plus a handful of other candidates returning to help out – so all a bit odd really, it’s like starting a business on the cheap to minimise the risk! Maybe Lord Sugar isn’t as flush as we all think!

Mark selects his team of Santa’s little helpers as follows – Soloman, Sanjay, James & Sarah, who caused a few ructions again!

Bianca ran with her buddy Katie, a good choice as they work together well alongside Felipe, Lauren and Daniel – surprisingly not picked by Mark!

As we don’t want to see yet another SEO firm in the market, we have a soft spot for Bianca’s coloured tights project….although at prices from £20 to £35 you’d want them to be bomb proof!

Her team worked well, the product – aside from price and packaging – researched well, the only downside we could spot was SKU’s. A bit like our agency having to check up to 200,000 positions in Google for a campaign of only 1,000 words, to stock a dozen pairs of each colour combination could mean a retailer holding 1000 pairs of stock worth around £20k….that’s a big impact on cash flow for everyone.

Marks team came up with a great agency name of Climb Online, although they aligned it to a slightly cheesy climbing video (ably produced by Sanjay) . His pitch to the SEO world wasn’t so great, picked up for old content by the UK’s leading agency – who we’ve also never heard of!…but Mark blagged it well into the boardroom without even answering how he’d deliver quality work with no staff!

We felt Bianca performed strongest in the boardroom but in the end Lord Sugar obviously couldn’t see himself in tights (maybe they hadn’t got his favourite shade?) or didn’t fancy funding all that inventory – so a Mark was crowned a worthy winner.

Our hot tips weren’t so far off then and we think Mark is no bad choice / winning through a mix of charisma, steely determination and hard work. Not a bad thing in any employee!

We wish Mark well on his new venture and if he fancies signing us up as one of his quality delivery partners, he’ll be in good company – Seriously Helpful already provide outsourced SEO and Social Media services for a number of leading agencies both North and South.

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