Some 6.5m viewers tuned into to watch The Great British Bake Off (GBBO) produced by Love Productions, when it returned to our screens recently. This is the eighth series of the BAFTA-winning show, which now airs on Channel 4.

Master baker Paul Hollywood’s new fellow judge is food writer Prue Leith (who replaces British cookery “ledge” Mary Berry), while new presenters Sandi Toksvig and Noel Fielding provide the gags.

In case you haven’t seen it, 12 non-professionals compete over ten weeks for the much coveted “UK’s Best Amateur Baker” crown. Each week they must attempt different baking styles and methods, creating “Signature”, “Technical” and “Showstopper” bakes along the way. One contestant is named “Star Baker”, while another must leave the show.

There are many reasons why so many viewers love Bake Off. But among the “soggy bottoms” and bun and bap double entendres, the GBBO offers many valuable lessons for business owners. Such as…

 

1.)  Good time management is essential… 

Not a single minute can be wasted when you have just a few hours to create a show-stopping Croquembouche or Flaouna to pass a tough technical test. The same is true in business. To maximise your productivity and profitability, you must make every second count.
 

2.) You must be able to handle pressure…

Whether you’re in the Bake Off tent or running your own business, some pressure is inevitable, at least some of the time. If you can manage that pressure so it doesn’t turn into stress, you can overcome challenges and achieve great things.
 

3.) Proper planning pays off…

Executing a well thought-out plan is essential to wowing the Bake Off judges. Contestants are often to be seen ticking off lists while working their way through highly challenging recipes. Similarly, sticking to a sound business plan strategy can ensure that you stay on track and achieve your ambitions.
 

4.) Simplicity is usually best…

Complexity often leads to disaster on the GBBO. Leave yourself far too much to do within your available time is setting yourself up for failure. And while pushing yourself is a good thing, setting impossible objectives isn’t. Better to keep things simpler and do the basics well.
 

5.) Success is built on consistency…

Quality matters in baking and business, but you’re only as good as your last bake, task or job. Even star bakers and businesses can come unstuck if they fail to deliver quality time after time.
 

6.) Everyone makes mistakes…


Even those who have won the Bake Off have had mishaps along the way. Sometimes mistakes can be rectified, sometimes they can’t, but no one gets it right all the time. Making mistakes is acceptable – not learning from them isn’t.
 

7.) Listen to expert advice… 

There’s no doubting Paul Hollywood’s expertise. When things go wrong on Bake Off, he provides an immediate explanation, based on his deep knowledge and decades of experience. Bake Off shows that constructive criticism and advice from others can help us to improve.
 

8.) Your personality should shine through…

If used, your personality can help to set you part from other businesses, which is vital. Whether they’ve been tasked with making a macaron, bread roll or tea cake, successful Bake Off contestants put something of themselves into their creations. Being who you are can help to fuel your success. Viewers and customers like authenticity.
 

9.) Appearance isn’t everything… 

On Bake Off we frequently see outwardly beautiful creations picked apart for lacking flavour or crunch. Sometimes they’re over or under baked. Similarly, an impressive business website can be undermined by poor customer service. Substance is more important.
 

10.) Who dares (usually) wins… 

 

Sometimes you must be prepared to think outside the box and do things differently if you are to triumph. Whether that’s spicing up teacakes with masala chai or adding cream soda flavouring to your cheesecake topping, in business and the Bake Off – fortune favours the brave.

 

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