Tom Pellereau's guide to winning 'The Apprentice'

Published Mar 22 2012, 14:06 GMT  |  By

The Apprentice is back and Lord Sugar eagerly fired the first candidate of the series last night. 15 hopefuls remain in with a chance of surviving his blazing boadroom rants to win a tidy £250,000.

But how best should you play Sugar? Is there a method to success? Reality Bites spoke to 2011 champion and all-round good egg Tom Pellereau for his six top tips for winning the reality show.

The Apprentice Winners: Tom Pellereau

© PA Images / Ian West/PA Archive



Lesson One - You don't have to be a loudmouth or a bully:
"There are many kinds of businesspeople who are successful. And I've been fortunate enough to meet a huge range. For example, the two co-founders of Specsavers couldn't be nicer people. There is a bit of a kind of thing about being very, very tough, very hard. Business is a tough thing. But there is a time when the nice guy can come through if, and really only if, you have something that you can deliver. You have something that people want."

Lesson Two - Don't blabber:
"The one key thing in the boardroom is really think about what you're going to say, and then say it in a really clear and precise manner."

Lesson Three - Don't fear The Sugar:
"He is pretty much exactly as you see him, in real life. He just walked behind me right now actually and I'm not scared. When we have our meetings they're just quite quick and quite chat-like: they're pretty similar to the boardroom. He's a straight-up guy, so be straight with him and you'll be fine."

Lesson Four - Don't get distracted
"I'm one of those people who can be easily distracted at the cost of two ideas. I've got to really focus on one from the start because there may be two conflicting projects. There was something really important I was supposed to have done today and I'm really struggling to get down to very detail-orientated tasks. I've got to get some barcode designed and some labels. I just find it such hard work to focus. Working in a partnership with Lord Sugar has really helped with that. I have the image of him in the back of my mind whenever I'm feeling distracted."

Lesson Five - Don't interrupt Lord Sugar:
"Most importantly, shut up. Don't carry on waffling on. People regularly sort of dig their own graves when they get into the boardroom."

Lesson Six - If you do get fired, don't give up:
"Inventing things is my area. I'm pretty confident I would have certainly tried to find another investor to make it into a reality. It would be a lot more difficult and take a lot more time and be a lot more work, but this is an area that I love and I look forward to continuing with it."

Find out more about Tom and Lord Sugar's 'Stylfile' project at Stylfile.com.

> Apprentice first fired candidate interview
> Apprentice first episode review: 'I'm not looking for Lord Lucan'