If you’re in our Brighton office and you hear “you’ll never guess who I saw on my lunch break?”, the chances are the answer isn’t neighbouring celebs Fatboy Slim or Adele, but “Super Hans”.
As a local resident, poor old Matt King must get that vacant glare from at least one of Crunch’s 160-strong staff every time he pops out of his house. Despite being absolutely synonymous with his Peep Show character, seeing him out of context is jarring, and the penny only drops once you’ve realised you’ve accidentally been bogging him out. On behalf of us all, sorry, mate – we’re big fans!
In tribute to the rumours that Peep Show’s most regularly appearing supporting character is set to star in his own spin-off , here are five business lessons aspiring entrepreneurs can learn from everyone’s favourite crack-abusing miscreant.
Choose your business partner wisely
In ‘Sectioning’, Jez and Super Hans inherit a decrepit pub from an unwell mutual friend, but realise that they’ve made the decision to go into business together before actually bothering to lay out their goals.
“I’m just really not happy with the name Free the Paedos. I mean, can’t we call it something more normal like… The Swan and Tomato?”
“Yeah, or compromise? The Swan… and Paedo.”
Regardless of the implications of going into a business relationship with a lunatic, it’s important to make sure that you have a matching, or at least vaguely similar business model in mind.
Working as a cohesive unit can be tricky when you can’t see eye to eye on even the most basic details like what you’re selling (lager or organic scrumpies?) or your workplace decor (a washing machine in the middle of the pub?!).
Put in the hours and stop stalling
Poor old hapless Jez is also tied to Hans throughout the duration of the show through their music. The tandem’s band never really gets off the ground conceptually – the name changing from ‘The Hair Blair Bunch’, to ‘Mama’s Kumquat’, to ‘Man Feelings’, to ‘Various Artists’, to ‘Danny Dyer’s Chocolate Homunculus’, to ‘Curse These Metal Hands’… the list goes on.
The guys spend so much time bickering about outfits (zoot suits?!) and waiting for a big break that they neglect the leg work you need to build a following – in the case of a band, the action of actually playing gigs. When they finally manage to get one, Hans develops some rockstar delusions of grandeur, and doesn’t make it on stage because he’s mashed and too busy trying to erm.. seduce… Sophie’s cousin Barney.
Running before you can walk is a cardinal sin for a small business owner. Make sure you’ve covered all your bases before declaring yourself open for business – our Starting a Business Guide will help you ensure you’ve ticked all the boxes.
Don’t work without a proper business contract in place
Super Hans and Jez’s big break finally comes when they manage land a gig producing the music for a Honda TV advert. Unfortunately, the deal goes pear shaped – not only because the track is god-awful, but because the lads haven’t actually signed any contracts or negotiated their terms for working.
Of course, their chosen way to solve this disagreement isn’t to talk things through amicably, but to gatecrash Gog (the commissioner)’s flat, threatening him with a baseball bat and intentionally spilling his pretty expensive Crunchy Nut Corn Flakes.
As Mark angrily screams out:
“This is the whole point about contract law! The whole point of a contract is to make sure this kind of thing never happens!”
Listen to the man. Make sure you establish in black and white your terms and conditions of service before you start working for someone, so you can reference them later.
Back up your data
We don’t have too much idea about Hans’ backstory, but it came as quite the surprise at the end of the sixth season to learn of his fatherhood of a pair of twins. Hans casually mentions:
“I’m always going on about me twins, aren’t I? How old are they? What’s ‘Fünf’ in English? They turned fünf zwei years ago, so, what, pair of 8-ers, I reckon? Bloody love them two.”
Albeit rather nonchalantly, he discovers that his phone has deleted the only photos he has of them. Whilst his day does not seem to be ruined by the technology failure, yours might be if you don’t back up your data properly.
With Dropbox and Google Drive amongst the useful and free ways to store your work, it’s never been easier to bulletproof your business without forking out for physical hard drives.
Insure your business
With a fastlane lifestyle like Super Hans, it was inevitable that he was going to crash and burn at some point. In the episode ‘Mark’s Women’, in an attempt to reform his wicked ways, he finds sanctuary in a cult which (we should clarify for various reasons) definitely isn’t Scientology.
“You’ve been thinking thoughts your whole life, and look where that’s got you, eh.”
When Mark manages to snap Jez back to his senses, Hans is livid, and smashes Mark’s beloved, brand new HD Ready television. Despite the initial horror, Mark for once is quick to see the bright side.
“Home Insurance. It’s payback time my friend.”
In the event of an irate cult follower taking a lampshade to your business assets, are you prepared? Always remember that a solid contingency plan is vital to ensure your business is insured.
What other lessons can be learned from Peep Show? Let us know in the comments below.