7 Must-Watch TV Shows for Small Business Owners: A Dose of Inspiration and Insights

By Chris Shaffer •  Updated: 07/15/23 •  12 min read

In the fast-paced world of business, finding valuable resources to enhance knowledge and gain inspiration can be crucial to success. 

While books, articles, and podcasts are often go-to sources, sometimes a different medium can offer a fresh perspective. 

Enter television shows—the perfect blend of entertainment and education that can captivate audiences while delivering valuable insights into various aspects of the business world.

In this blog post, we'll explore seven must-watch TV shows specifically curated for business owners. 

From the realms of entrepreneurship and finance to advertising and workplace dynamics, each show offers its unique lens into the intricacies of the business landscape. 

Whether you're seeking guidance on securing funding, understanding market dynamics, honing negotiation skills, or navigating the complexities of company culture, these shows will provide a range of perspectives to expand your knowledge and spark new ideas.

So, grab your popcorn and get ready to explore these seven TV shows that promise to entertain, educate, and ignite your entrepreneurial spirit. 

Shark Tank:

“Shark Tank” is a reality TV show that brings aspiring entrepreneurs face-to-face with a panel of successful investors, known as “sharks.” 

Contestants pitch their business ideas, seeking financial investment and guidance to take their ventures to the next level. 

The sharks, who are seasoned entrepreneurs and industry experts, scrutinize the pitches, asking tough questions and assessing the potential for profitability. 

Why It Made Our List?

This show made the list because it offers business owners a unique opportunity to observe real-life business negotiations, deal-making, and investment decisions. 

By watching the interactions between entrepreneurs and sharks, viewers can gain valuable insights into what investors look for in a business, how to effectively pitch ideas, and the importance of a solid business strategy. 

“Shark Tank” is important for business owners to watch because it provides a wealth of practical knowledge and inspiration. 

By observing both successful and unsuccessful pitches, viewers can learn from the mistakes and triumphs of others. 

The show highlights the importance of thorough market research, compelling presentations, and the ability to adapt and respond to feedback. 

Additionally, the “sharks” themselves often share their expertise and provide valuable advice, shedding light on various aspects of entrepreneurship and business growth.

Furthermore, “Shark Tank” showcases the diverse range of industries and business models, allowing business owners to broaden their perspectives and gain insights applicable to their own ventures.

It fosters an understanding of what it takes to secure funding, navigate negotiations, and build successful businesses.

In summary, “Shark Tank” is a must-watch for business owners due to its real-world depiction of entrepreneurship, investment decisions, and the essential elements of a successful business pitch.

It serves as a valuable source of inspiration and practical lessons for individuals looking to refine their business strategies and enhance their chances of success.

Mad Men:

“Mad Men” is a drama series set in the 1960s that revolves around the fast-paced world of advertising.

The show focuses on the lives of creative executives working at the prestigious Sterling Cooper advertising agency, led by the enigmatic Don Draper. 

It explores the challenges, triumphs, and personal struggles of these individuals as they navigate the competitive and ever-evolving advertising industry.

Why It Made Our List?

“Mad Men” made the list because it offers business owners a captivating glimpse into the world of marketing and advertising. 

It provides insights into the creative process, client management, brand building, and the impact of cultural and societal changes on businesses. 

The show beautifully portrays the importance of storytelling, innovation, and understanding consumer behavior in crafting effective marketing campaigns.

It is important for business owners to watch “Mad Men” because it delves into the art of persuasion and the power of effective communication. 

The characters in the show face constant challenges in selling ideas, negotiating deals, and maintaining client relationships. 

By observing their experiences, business owners can learn valuable lessons about building successful client partnerships, crafting compelling pitches, and leveraging creativity to differentiate their brands.

Moreover, “Mad Men” explores the complexities of leadership and management within a business setting. 

It showcases the dynamics of a hierarchical organization, the tensions between departments, and the importance of fostering a positive company culture. 

By watching the characters navigate these challenges, business owners can gain insights into effective leadership styles, team dynamics, and the impact of organizational culture on overall success.


“Billions” is a drama series that delves into the high-stakes world of finance, where a powerful hedge fund manager, Bobby “Axe” Axelrod, clashes with a determined U.S. Attorney, Chuck Rhoades. 

The show explores the intricacies of investing, deal-making, power dynamics, and the pursuit of success in the cutthroat financial industry.

Why It Made Our List?

“Billions” made the list because it provides business owners with a gripping portrayal of the finance industry and offers valuable insights into investment strategies, negotiation tactics, and the consequences of unethical business practices. 

The show showcases the challenges faced by both hedge fund managers and government regulators, shedding light on the complexities of financial markets and the risks and rewards of making high-stakes financial decisions.

It is important for business owners to watch “Billions” because it offers a nuanced perspective on the strategies employed by successful investors. 

The show explores topics such as risk management, market analysis, and the psychology of decision-making.

By observing the characters' approaches to deal-making and investment, business owners can gain valuable insights into financial decision-making processes that can be applied to their own ventures.

Additionally, “Billions” explores the themes of ambition, power, and the ethical dilemmas that arise in business. 

It makes viewers contemplate questions of integrity, loyalty, and the balance between personal and professional life. 

These themes resonate with business owners who often face difficult decisions and must navigate the complex landscape of business ethics.

Silicon Valley:

“Silicon Valley” is a comedy series that satirizes the tech industry, particularly the startup culture of Silicon Valley. 

The show follows a group of young entrepreneurs as they navigate the challenges of building a tech startup and pursuing their dreams of success in the competitive and fast-paced world of technology.

Why It Made Our List?

“Silicon Valley” made the list because it offers business owners a humorous and insightful look into the world of tech entrepreneurship.

It highlights the trials and tribulations faced by startups, including securing funding, developing innovative products, and dealing with fierce competition. 

The show effectively captures the unique dynamics, jargon, and eccentricities of the tech industry, providing a realistic yet comedic portrayal.

It is important for business owners to watch “Silicon Valley” because it offers valuable lessons on entrepreneurship, teamwork, and perseverance.

The show explores the importance of collaboration, adaptability, and taking calculated risks in a rapidly evolving business landscape.

It also satirizes common pitfalls and challenges faced by startups, shedding light on issues such as intellectual property disputes, pivoting strategies, and managing investor expectations.

“Silicon Valley” also touches on the ethical considerations and dilemmas associated with the tech industry, such as data privacy, the impact of technology on society, and the balance between innovation and responsibility. 

It prompts viewers to critically examine the potential consequences and ethical implications of their own business decisions and gives an all TOO real look into what the world of venture capital actually looks like in the real world.

The Profit:

“The Profit” is a reality TV show hosted by entrepreneur Marcus Lemonis. In each episode, Marcus invests his own money into struggling businesses and works closely with the owners to turn them around.

The show provides an inside look into the challenges faced by businesses across various industries and showcases Marcus' expertise in revitalizing and growing companies.

“The Profit” made the list because it offers business owners valuable insights into the intricacies of running a business and the process of business transformation.

Each episode focuses on a different struggling business, allowing viewers to witness the problems they face, from financial issues to operational inefficiencies and branding challenges.

Marcus Lemonis provides hands-on guidance, offering practical solutions and sharing his knowledge and experience.

It is important for business owners to watch “The Profit” because it presents a unique opportunity to learn from real-world business scenarios.

The show covers a wide range of industries, including manufacturing, retail, and hospitality, allowing viewers to gain insights applicable to their own businesses.

Marcus Lemonis' approach to problem-solving, strategic thinking, and financial analysis can serve as a valuable learning resource for entrepreneurs.

Additionally, “The Profit” emphasizes the importance of effective leadership, strong communication, and building relationships with employees, customers, and suppliers.

Marcus Lemonis often addresses issues related to company culture, customer service, and marketing strategies, highlighting the significance of these elements in achieving business success.

In summary, “The Profit” is a must-watch for business owners because it provides real-world examples of business challenges and offers practical solutions for turning struggling companies around.

The show serves as a valuable source of inspiration, knowledge, and guidance, allowing business owners to learn from the experiences of others and apply those insights to their own ventures.


“Suits” is a legal drama series that centers around Mike Ross, a brilliant college dropout, and Harvey Specter, a successful corporate lawyer.

Mike, despite lacking a law degree, begins working as a law associate for Harvey at a top law firm. 

The show explores the high-stakes world of corporate law, showcasing the dynamics of a successful law firm, legal strategy, and the pursuit of professional excellence.

Why It Made Our List?

“Suits” made the list because it offers business owners a captivating depiction of the legal industry and its relevance to business operations. 

The show takes a deep dive into various legal aspects, such as contract negotiations, intellectual property disputes, and mergers and acquisitions.

It provides insights into the strategic thinking, negotiation skills, and attention to detail required in legal matters.

It is important for business owners to watch “Suits” because it highlights the importance of legal considerations in business decision-making.

The show explores the potential consequences of legal missteps and showcases the value of having a knowledgeable legal team or advisors. 

By observing the characters' experiences, business owners can gain insights into managing legal risks, protecting intellectual property, and understanding contract law.

Additionally, “Suits” examines the dynamics of a law firm and the relationships between lawyers, clients, and support staff. 

It explores extremely important and often “glossed-over” topics such as leadership, teamwork, and the importance of effective communication within a professional setting. 

Business owners can draw inspiration from the characters' work ethic, resilience, and commitment to achieving professional success.

The Office (U.S. Version):

“The Office” (U.S. version) is a comedy series that takes a mockumentary-style look at the everyday lives of office employees working at Dunder Mifflin Paper Company. 

The show humorously explores office politics, workplace dynamics, and the interactions among diverse personalities in a fictional office setting.

Why It Made Our List?

“The Office” made the list because it provides business owners with a lighthearted yet insightful depiction of office life and the complexities of managing a team. 

The show examines topics such as leadership, communication, teamwork, and the challenges faced by employees in a corporate environment. 

It offers relatable scenarios that often arise in workplaces, allowing viewers to reflect on their own experiences and consider different approaches to managing such situations.

It is important for business owners to watch “The Office” because it offers valuable lessons on employee management, organizational culture, and building a positive work environment. 

The show showcases various management styles through its diverse cast of characters, highlighting both effective and ineffective leadership approaches. 

It prompts viewers to consider the impact of their own management styles on employee morale, productivity, and overall company culture.

“The Office” presents the dynamics of interpersonal relationships in the workplace, including conflicts, office romances, and the importance of fostering a supportive and inclusive environment.

By observing the characters' interactions, business owners can gain insights into effective communication strategies, conflict resolution, and promoting teamwork and collaboration.

A Quick Recap:

In conclusion, these seven TV shows—”Shark Tank,” “Mad Men,” “Billions,” “Silicon Valley,” “The Profit,” “Suits,” and “The Office” (U.S. version)—offer a diverse range of insights and entertainment for business owners. 

Each show presents unique aspects of the business world, including entrepreneurship, advertising, finance, technology, legal matters, and workplace dynamics. By watching these shows, business owners can gain valuable knowledge, inspiration, and practical lessons that can be applied to their own ventures.

To find the perfect show in this category or any other, consider the following pointers:

Research and Read Reviews: 

Look for recommendations, reviews, and ratings to gauge the quality and relevance of a TV show. Online platforms and entertainment websites often provide helpful insights and suggestions.

Consider your Business Interests: 

Identify the specific areas or industries within the business world that interest you the most. This will help you choose shows that align with your preferences and provide the most relevant insights.

Balance Entertainment and Education: 

Look for shows that strike a balance between being entertaining and informative. Seek engaging storytelling that also offers valuable business lessons.

Explore Documentaries and Reality Shows: 

Documentaries and reality shows based on real-world business scenarios can offer a more authentic and educational experience. 

They often provide insights from successful entrepreneurs and industry experts.

Seek Variety:

Consider watching shows from different genres and perspectives to gain a well-rounded understanding of the business world. Explore comedy, drama, reality, and even historical shows to expand your knowledge and perspective.

Remember that while TV shows can be informative and entertaining, they should be viewed as a supplementary source of knowledge. 

Combining TV show insights with real-world experiences, industry-specific books, and educational resources will provide a more comprehensive understanding of business operations and strategies.

Chris Shaffer

Chris lives at the intersection of business strategy and growth tactics. Having consulted with dozens of different businesses (as well as building several of his own), he brings a unique perspective on what's working across the eCommerce world in businesses of all shapes and sizes.