5 Business Lessons Every Entrepreneur can Learn from the Great British Bake Off


great british bake off business lessons

Yes you heard (well, read) us right. If you think The Great British Bake Off is all about burning buns and tasting tarts then think again! Hidden within these well known bake off innuendos are some business lessons you can takeaway.

Bake Off-ism: Beware of the soggy bottom
Business Lesson: Don’t be afraid to fail

If you haven’t failed a lot, you probably aren’t going to win a lot! Being an entrepreneur definitely has its lows as well as its highs. There will be times that you will hit rock (or soggy?) bottom, but successful entrepreneurs should not be put off by failure.

Richard Branson:

“Every entrepreneur usually fails several times before succeeding, and the important thing is to keep getting up and trying again.”

Bake Off-ism: Slap those baps down
Business Lesson: Do things with motivation and determination

Being an entrepreneur can be lonely so self-motivation is key. You need to do something that inspires you without having to be influenced by others. Being able to self-motivate will allow you to slap those baps down with determination when times are tough.

Bake Off-ism: Watch out for irregular shaped balls
Business Lesson: Think outside the box

Paul (where would we be without you Paul?) may have been warning the Bake Off contestants about irregular shaped (pastry) balls, but let’s spin it on its head and turn it into a business lesson!

Being a successful entrepreneur means it’s vital that you keep your eyes open for unusual business opportunities (and products & services) that challenge the status quo. No regular shaped balls for us here please Paul!

Zappos the online retailers are a great example of a company that regularly challenge the norm. Their CEO (the legendary Tony Hsieh) states on their website:

‘Sometimes our sense of adventure and creativity causes us to be unconventional in our solutions (because we have the freedom to think outside the box), but that’s what allows us to rise above and stay ahead of the competition.’

By doing something that is not expected you can make yourself stand out from the crowd and your competition.

Bake Off-ism: Do your best to get an extra inch
Business Lesson: Use knowledge and experience to stay one step ahead.

This cheeky remark from Mel is not only great advice for baking, but also when trying to make it in the start-up world. Do everything you can to give yourself the best possible chance by ensuring that you have enough knowledge and experience on your team. Simon Woodroffe, the founder of Yo Sushi, said in an interview with Startups that his one piece of advice to would-be entrepreneurs is:

‘Find someone who has done it before and get a mentor.’

Learning from someone else’s mistakes is better than learning from your own!

Bake Off-ism: Keep an eye on your jugs
Business Lesson: Keep an eye on your finances

Another cracking piece of advice from Mel; keep an eye on those jugs (ie finances). Any experienced entrepreneur will tell you that starting and running a business always costs more money than you expect. If you are not on top of your finances, you are not going to survive if things get tough.

Cash flow issues are one of the biggest causes of company failures according to Peter Jones (the Dragon). Stay in control when it comes to finances. Knowing who you owe and who owes you what can make all the difference.

That’s it for our Bake Off-isms / Business Lessons, but what have we missed? Comment on this post with your own!

By Sarah Kerrigan at MadeSimple