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You’re Hired! Apprentice Ideas That Made Careers

March 7, 2019
You’re Hired! Apprentice Ideas That Made Careers

Building a franchise takes guts, determination, plenty of business acumen and, if you’re lucky enough, a partnership with one of Britain’s most successful businessmen: Lord Alan Sugar.

Nearly 15 years has passed since the first crop of budding entrepreneurs stepped into Lord Sugar’s boardroom. In that time, The Apprentice has produced some memorable characters – some of whom have gone on to build some of Britain’s most well-known brands.

While it may be nothing more than prime-time TV to some, for the contestants, The Apprentice is an opportunity to realise their dreams of becoming successful in business.

But what do they need to realise this success? What is it about the winners that sets them apart from their rivals? This article explores some of the previous victors, and the qualities they possess.

Ricky Martin – series 8

Ricky Martin, a qualified biochemist, went on to found specialist science and tech recruitment firm, Hyper Recruitment Solutions. Ricky’s tenaciousness and absolute belief in himself propelled him into Lord Sugar’s hot seat to become his business partner – and the company has been profitable since year one.

Speaking after the series, Ricky told the BBC that the biggest thing he learned about himself was that actions speak louder than words.

“I always felt I was capable, but I went there thinking I had to shout and tell them that I was capable rather than letting them find out. I learnt it’s not what I say, it’s what I do.”

Alana Spencer – series 12

Alana Spencer’s recipe for success didn’t go quite to plan, having struggled in the early stages of the show. And since winning series 12, the baking entrepreneur has encountered some rocky roads on her way to building her franchise, Ridiculously Rich, which delivers fresh baking products around the UK.

The business grew out of Alana’s passion, one that she juggled alongside her A-levels, years before appearing on the show. In the time since, she has made her brand a household name – and the most important thing for her has been visibility.

“I’m talking to customers now, and interacting with them. People want to see a face behind the product. I’m just trying to show people what I do.”

Sian Gabbidon – series 14

2018’s series saw budding fashion designer, Sian Gabbidon, achieve her dreams of launching her own luxury swimwear brand, Sian Marie. It was never quite obvious who was going to win, but on the strength of her final pitch, Sian convinced Lord Sugar that she was the right person to partner up with.

Ultimately, it was her creativity and business acumen that led Lord Sugar to crown her the winner. But, speaking after the show, Sian offered some insights into her personality that she believes were the catalyst for her success.

“One of the key things for me going in was to just be myself. I tried to stay calm. I did not want the aggressive label. In business sometimes, that’s how people are and that’s what works for them, but that’s not how I would want to manage my own. So I tried to keep out of confrontation, focus on the prize and keep people on board.”

It’s all about quality, not quantity

It’s clear that, to be a successful franchisee, you need certain personal qualities and skills – a specific professional background is not always a requirement. Be willing to take risks, but never forget that your personality is your best trait. Let it shine through in your brand, and you’ll be on the path to success in no time.


If you’d like to discuss a franchise for sale with Rainbow, please speak to a member of our team today.