Reality television shows have become popular – some wildly popular. Among them are dozens of excellent shows that focus on business. See if you can name the entrepreneur TV shows in our fast and fun quiz. Test your knowledge – take the quiz!
Entrepreneur TV Show Quiz
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#1 This business TV show is about entrepreneurs looking for investors.
Shark Tank features entrepreneurs who seek funding from a panel of investors to get their businesses to the next level. The investors are the “sharks in the tank” who decide whether to invest after seeing a presentation by the entrepreneur. Some of the presentations are very polished and impressive. Shark Tank is a must see for anyone thinking of starting a business and seeking funding. It’s especially good for entrepreneurs with consumer product ideas.
Image: ABC Network screen capture
#2 This entrepreneur TV show features restaurant owners in trouble. The emotion can be raw.
In Restaurant Impossible, Chef Robert Irvine has just two days and a $10,000 budget to turn around a struggling restaurant. Often the biggest challenge is convincing restaurant owners of the need to change. Along the way, he also teaches them the basics of running a profitable restaurant.
This show is about Main Street small business. Every business owner can learn key principles of operating a business successfully, no what industry you are in.
Image: FoodNetwork screen capture
#3 This family business features quirky characters who buy and sell to make a profit.
Pawn Stars follows three generations of the Harrison family who run a large pawnshop in Las Vegas. The show features people who bring in items to sell. The items can be valuable antiques or collectibles — or mundane objects and even outright fakes. The family must use their knowledge and skills, aided by the occasional expert, to assess the value. Then they must use their negotiating skills to work a favorable deal so they can turn a profit upon resale. Whether they finalize a deal or the disappointed seller walks away, it’s always interesting.
The “Old Man” has passed away but reruns are worth watching for the family-business dynamic as well as the pure entertainment value.
Image: History Channel screen shot
#4 This assertive CEO has been known to say “my way is the ONLY way” as he dispenses advice.
Marcus Lemonis is the CEO of multibillion-dollar corporation Camping World. But he also hosts The Profit, a business reality TV show where he helps turn around struggling companies. He will make a cash investment and take a stake in the company.
Lemonis claims to have turned around over 100 companies and holds strong opinions about what it takes for a business to survive. He’s known for his “people, process, product” principle and for saying “when I have skin in the game, my way is the only way your business will survive.”
Image: CNBC screen capture
#5 This show features a business makeover – and sometimes the owners don’t like the advice!
Jon Taffer has owned or flipped more than 600 bars and nightclubs in his career. In Bar Rescue he, with the help of a few other experts, attempts to rescue a struggling bar. He starts with sending in his wife to do an undercover visit to diagnose the issues, while he and the experts watch remotely from the car. Then he brings in new technology, trains staff, improves the premises and sometimes rebrands the business.
At times the owners and staff are emotionally invested in the status quo. While they know they need help, they may resist change. Taffer’s strong style can make for some fiery scenes as owners are forced to confront what’s wrong and how to fix it. This show illustrates a niche of small business present in almost every Main Street in America.
Image: Spike / Paramount screen capture
#6 Artisans showcase their talent and compete to win a $100,000 prize in this TV show.
In the show Ink Master, several renowned tattoo artists serve as judges where other top tattoo artists compete to display their creative and technical abilities. The challenges are varied. Artists tattoo people on the show. All artists compete for a cash prize and the publicity of getting featured in Inked Magazine. The judges don’t hold back in critiquing the work, so these artisans cannot have thin skin. But the end result is they hone their crafts, whether they win or not.
Image: Spike / Paramount screen capture
#7 Business owners compete in vehicles for cash as the show travels to different locations.
In The Great Food Truck Race, Chef Tyler Florence hosts a competition among food truck purveyors. They visit different cities each week and stop in at unique small restaurants along the way. The shows highlights a trend in the restaurant industry toward mobile restaurants, i.e., unique and culinarily-interesting food trucks. These trucks are miles beyond the basic hot dog cart or “roach coach” serving construction sites.
Image: FoodNetwork screen shot
What We Like About Entrepreneur TV Shows
The entrepreneur TV shows in this quiz run the gamut — from startup entrepreneurs, to artisans, to family businesses, to Main Street small businesses. Yet they have several things in common.
- They highlight the drama and emotion in business. Look for tears and angry confrontations, as well as unabashed joy and gratitude.
- You learn a lot about business. Unlike a tedious study course, lessons wrapped up in 30- to 60-minutes of entertainment keep you involved.
- You realize that small business and entrepreneurship is about people. This is not the detached world of corporate offices and boring spreadsheets. Rather, it is roll-up-your-sleeves activity. Customers, staff and human interaction are at the center of the small business world.
- You see real business owners in action – not actors. You get to see how owners think … what makes them tick.
Starting and running a business is a lot of responsibility. But it’s also rewarding, as shows like these demonstrate.
In case you can’t tell, we’re real fans of entrepreneur TV shows here at Small Business Trends. After you take the quiz, let us know your favorite show in the comments below.