Reality television has become commonplace in many spheres of life, covering any number of topics – wedding planning, the lives of celebrities, makeovers, and competitions to win professional development opportunities.
Small business owners have also had their fair share of reality TV shows to choose from in recent years.
Locally aired reality TV shows that have explored small business issues from different perspectives have included: • The Apprentice South Africa (and its international variants) • Rise Mzansi • Charly’s Cake Angels • Exploring the Vine • The Big Break Legacy • It’s My Biz
Watching these TV shows can provide opportunities for small business owners to pick up helpful advice and information, look at issues from the perspective of their customers or suppliers who are themselves small businesses, and broaden their horizons by being exposed to different industries.
For small business owners participating in the reality TV shows, some of the benefits are free publicity, the potential to prove oneself by excelling in trying situations (and impressing viewers, fellow participants and judges in the process), and the chance to win money that can be ploughed back into the business.
But small business owners beware, the world of reality TV is not without its downsides.Having film crews on-site can slow down production, resulting in losses that the small business can take a while to recover from. Unlike their counterparts in the United States and the United Kingdom, South African small business owners operate in an environment that does not offer as many lucrative speaking engagements, book deals and other spinoffs linked to the reality TV show.
Small business owners therefore need to have a clear and realistic understanding of what they will gain from participating.Small business owners who watch the reality TV show may be sceptical of what is real versus what is staged, and dismiss the show despite the useful lessons it imparts. Customers and other role players who aware of the show’s popularity and are looking for attention can try to stir up drama by making false or exaggerated claims.
We want to hear from you - which particular shows (local or international) have been the most enjoyable and yielded the most insights? What have been your experiences from participating in a reality TV show?
Post By: Fadzai Munyaradzi