What Karren Brady didn't tell you about running a small business
Last night was the first episode of Karren Brady's new TV series: Give It A Year.
I was so excited! Here was one of my business idols finally getting her own TV show about how to succeed in business. I made sure to get a series link on the tele.
But then came the reality: about 23 minutes of the quickest focus ever on two entrepreneurs. Bear in mind they have to cover a whole year of how each person fares, plus an intro on the stats for small businesses, who Karren is and how she succeeded in business, and that leaves about four minutes to concentrate on each person's start-up, followed by another four minutes on how they've progressed in twelve months.
Honestly! I realise this is primetime ITV, but surely they could have offered Karren a full hour. It's not like they don't already know she makes great TV. How many years does she have to do on The Apprentice for them to realise this?
And I'm not sure how anyone watching could possibly fathom how the successful story in last night's episode actually triumphed. Sure, they touched on the fact she didn't have a high start-up cost and could recoup the money in one order, but they didn't go into her marketing strategy. How did she manage to get 500% more business in one year? What did she do to persuade people to rent her product (massive light-bulb letters, if you didn't see the episode). After all, she's not unique: you can rent these letters elsewhere if you wish.
Meanwhile, the obviously deluded and going-to-fail chap (who was extremely clever with inventions but clearly didn't have a business head) was only shown to have invested far too much money without any chance of making it back.
As someone who runs her own business (and had some wise words from Karren at an event in Bristol a few years ago), I think it's important to see the bigger picture (if you'll pardon the TV pun).
So here's my plea to ITV: stop creating programmes with an American style of get in quick, get out even quicker. We want to learn things from television, not be bombarded with scant information and multiple adverts. When you've got someone as savvy as Karren Brady, she's worth more than a quick glimpse.
What did you think of last night's programme? Do share your thoughts below!