I’m a sucker for Wednesday evening programmes loosely based on business. Channel 4 has recently filled the Apprentice-shaped hole with a couple of business-porn offerings, complete with the plinky-plonky strings and overly-simplistic solutions to complex problems that I love.
Bailey doesn’t normally share my passion (preferring shite American crime dramas) but even he was tempted by the opening episode of “Gerry’s Big Decision“, in which millionaire Gerry Robinson decided which struggling brewery to save: Itchen Valley or O’Hanlons.
It was a very interesting insight into the types of challenges that small breweries face, although a lot of the “lessons” were common to many small busineses — founders with massive blind spots about the weaknesses in their business model; no control over cash flow; and demotivated staff in the wrong jobs.
It also made me aware of recent the news that O’Hanlon’s are no longer going to produce the legendary Thomas Hardy Ale. Sad, but a classic case of where the head has to rule the heart — when the business is going under, can you really afford to tie up stock in an eight month brewing process?
For UK readers who might have missed it, the show is available online at 4 on demand.