As a small business owner, it’s most likely hard to find extra time to sit around and watch television. And once you do find the time, it might be hard to justify using that extra time to channel surf.

But the tube holds more small business inspiration than you may think. From new shows to old favorites on Netflix, they can be a wealth of knowledge for your business – from innovative ideas to solutions to common problems.

Looking for ideas on what to watch tonight? Here are five shows that will help you overcome obstacles you find in your small business and reach new heights:

  1. Shark Tank

In this popular reality TV show, entrepreneurs in need of funding present their ideas to investors, or the ‘Sharks’ as they are called on the show. Shark Tank can be a great way to get your creative juices flowing by exposing you to new ideas in the marketplace and showing you how entrepreneurs developed them. By listening to their pitches and studying what works and what doesn’t, you can better prepare your own pitches, whether they are for lenders, investors or potential partners. By watching it regularly, you can learn to identify red flags in businesses that tend to drive investors away and close gaps in your own business plan before they derail you.

If the original Shark Tank isn’t enough for you, we recommend Beyond the Tank to get an inside look into what happens after the initial show.The Sharks dig into the businesses to get a clearer idea of where they are investing their money, you’ll have a chance to learn from their observations and advice. Why learn everything by trial and error on your own when you can soak up valuable lessons from the comfort of your couch?

small business inspiration

  1. The Profit

Self-made millionaire Marcus Lemonis knows a thing or two about starting from scratch. As an entrepreneur, business owner, investor and philanthropist, he’s more than qualified to be giving struggling small business owners advice and investment. By the end of Season 3, he’d already invested $35 million into small businesses across the U.S. We’re big fans of The Profit here at Hatchbuck; any friend of small businesses is a friend of ours.

Use your holiday downtime to catch up on the first three seasons so that you’re ready to watch Season 4 kicking off on August 23, 2017.

small business inspiration

  1. Kitchen Nightmares

In this show, failing restaurateurs get help from well-known chef Gordon Ramsey in putting their eateries on the map. Tough-talking Ramsey pulls no punches in diagnosing what’s wrong—whether it is terrible food, awful décor, incompetent managers or poor communication between employees—and helps turn the situation around before it’s too late.

small business inspiration


Even if you don’t run a restaurant yourself, by watching this show you can learn about the blind spots that cause small business owners to make poor decisions, why quality control is so important, the financial factors that can lead to failure—and turnaround techniques you can use if your own business falters. If you’re having a rough day, watching the owners of the restaurants on this show reach new heights will give you a boost of encouragement.

  1. Silicon Valley

If you work in the tech industry or brush up against it, you’ll find it hard to stop watching this satire about the Silicon Valley startup scene. Set in a startup incubator, it chronicles the misadventures of Richard Hendricks, a brilliant but socially inept engineer who designs a new way to make large files smaller and launches a company called Pied Piper. As Hendricks and his team try to grow the company, they face challenges ranging from lawsuits to companies trying to steal his idea. Hopefully, you won’t face drama like this in your business, but you can learn a lot about how to avoid getting duped from some of the realistic scenarios in the show.

small business inspiration

  1. The Apprentice

With Donald Trump preparing to take office as president, previous seasons of The Apprentice are fascinating for many reasons. Whether you voted for the Donald or not, this blockbuster reality show offers interesting lessons in leadership and managing people that may give you valuable ideas for your own business. And if you are searching for inspiration to tunnel around obstacles that are blocking your success, the most successful contestants on the show will give you the massive dose you need—even if you’re the only one in your business with the power to say, “You’re fired.”

small business inspiration