5 Ways You Can Emulate Lord Sugar!


Looking back at Lord Alan Sugar’s career, he has been involved in a wide range of industries. For example, he founded Amstrad, which over the years has sold products such as computers, games consoles, telephones and set-top boxes, while other businesses owned by Alan Sugar have sold beauty products, provided private jets for hire, as well as recruitment and botox treatments. In addition, he has invested in property through his subsidiary, Amsprop, as well as an ill-fated foray into football club ownership.

While investing in a number of different industries and having numerous products can create distraction and lead to your resources being spread too thin, on the plus side it means that you diversify the risk of failure and can tap into strong growth rates in a number of different spaces.

New Industries

On the whole, Alan Sugar becomes involved in industries that are going through periods of significant change. That may seem like an obvious statement to make, since all industries change to an extent. However, some change more quickly than others, with technology being an obvious example, and even beauty products and recruitment going through considerable changes in recent years, with regard to their mainstream prevalence and online nature, respectively.

In other words, seek out industries that do not have a well-trodden path to success, but rather are open to new methods and new means of delivering products and services to customers.


Alan Sugar is a household name and has been for many years. Certainly, he is better known now as a result of appearing on The Apprentice, but he has understood the value of getting his name (and those of his companies) in the public domain since the very early days of his career. Undoubtedly this has boosted the sales of his various businesses – even if not all of the media attention has been thoroughly positive.

These days, doing so is easier than ever. The development of social media means that your name and your business can connect with customers and potential customers through channels such as Twitter, Facebook and YouTube.

Cash Is King

While many businesses use considerable amounts of leverage and maintain a relatively low cash balance so as to ensure that capital is being used efficiently, Alan Sugar tends to run his businesses rather differently. For example, he tends to maintain a generous cash reserve, which allows him to take advantage of any opportunities that may exist as well as helping to give the business more breathing space during challenging periods.

While sales growth and company size may matter to many business people, it seems to be the case that revenue is vanity, profit is sanity, but cash is reality according to Alan Sugar.

Don’t Give Up

While Alan Sugar is a hugely successful businessman who has risen from relatively humble beginnings, he has had a number of failures along the way. For example, he described his time at Tottenham Hotspur football club as a ‘waste of my life’ and a number of products, such as the Amstrad Em@iler, have proven to be unsuccessful.

Despite this, there have been a number of notable successes, such as his property empire and many of Amstrad’s products. As such, it seems as though the odd failure doesn’t dampen Alan Sugar’s enthusiasm to succeed, which is perhaps the most important step of all for anyone who wishes to emulate what he has achieved in his career.

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Peter Stephens doesn't own shares in any company mentioned. We Fools don't all hold the same opinions, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors.