Whichever business stage you are in at this very moment – startup, established, high growth – you have been faced with many tough situations up to this point, situations which have challenged your drive while simultaneously teaching you valuable lessons. While our team of business strategists at MCDA CCG believe in the power of personalization, we agree that success falls on these common grounds: passion, hard work, and perseverance.
All of which can be seen from the most successful Shark Tank entrepreneurs.
For those of you who are not yet familiar, Shark Tank is an American TV show centered on business and the American dream. Started back in 2009, it invites small to medium sized business entrepreneurs from all around the world pitch their idea/business model to a panel of five investors, persuade them to invest money in their idea — to turn their dreams into million-dollar realities.
While we’re talking about the lessons you can take away from this series, remember that it is a tv show, and the scenes that you see are played to emphasize drama.
Without further ado, lets get started!
- Your product/service should solve a problem: Don’t over complicate it; too often, groundbreaking ideas showcased both on the show and in daily headlines generate feelings of self doubt within those who are trying to gain traction in the market. However, it’s these complexities in these elaborate ideas that generally require substantial investment, meticulous research, and a bit of time. While there’s no doubt we will always need revolutionary ideas to shake up our society and enhance our lives, were saying that you should never let ideas like these discourage you at any point in your journey. In fact, many of the most successful products and/or services seen on the show began with the simple goal of solving a particular, widely experienced problem in a strategic manner.
- Learn from criticism: We all know that feedback and criticism feeds our growth, yet still, many become sensitive to it and take fault-finding words to to heart. When we take these words personally, we fail to see the message. In the show, the sharks communicate to the contestants why they do not want to offer a deal, while also providing words of advice identifying their weak points and how they can proceed.
- Know everything about your business/product top to down: There have been many presentations in Shark Tank, where the product or service intrigued the the judges, but failed to secure a deal. Why? Because the business owner(s)/entrepreneur didn’t know their numbers by heart. Whether this happens because the participant succumbs to the bright lights and the set-involved pressure or slacked in their preparation work, they missed their chance for a deal. We always encourage entrepreneurs to know everything about the numbers involved in their business-sales, profits, etc.-to ensure they make the most informed decisions even in the most stressful situations.
- Do your homework. Following the lesson above, always do your homework and learn everything there is to learn. As seen on the show, some entrepreneurs come in with a unique idea, yet they have no understanding or education of the data in their market. This signals a serious concern; while you may think people will purchase your product/ service, there is no proof to validate your assumption. Study your market, the size of it, the trends involved, etc., to enlighten you with marketing plans and growth strategies.
- You don’t know until you ask: Throughout the length of the show, all kinds of deals and evaluations have been made, and in that number is a substantial number of participants who were not afraid to ask or negotiate terms. Either the person convinced the panel that their offer was worthy enough to accept or they themselves had to refuse/accept a deal, its always worth it to ask!
- Know your absolute bottom going into a negotiation. As a business owner, you should always focus on your bottom line. Occasionally, enthusiastic entrepreneurs are so focused on getting a deal, they can’t differentiate the quality offers from the unfavorable terms. In some cases, entrepreneurs take too long to make their decision, and within the timeframe of their internal debate, they risk worse deals or none at all. If they knew their absolute bottom going into the show, they have a better chance of making a decision on the spot to secure the best deal.
- Accurate valuations earn you respect: Let’s get this out in the open, you won’t advance your business if you don’t pay attention to its most updated value. Just watch one episode and you’ll see at least one entrepreneur seeking capital who doesn’t understand how to judge the value of their business. We have many articles talking about the importance of business valuations, and getting them done right. When participants fail to corroborate their valuation, they walk away with nothing or accept ridiculously control-losing offers.
- Be open to adapting: Just as Covid-19 has proven, you must be willing to adapt your business to meet the needs of the ever changing market. In the show, we see deals where entrepreneurs come in with a specific vision, one of the investor offers a deal contingent on adjusting the vision, and the resistant participant eventually accepts. Later, we see the working success of those accept outside guidance.
- Don’t drown in opportunity: Win the battles you’re in before moving on to new opportunities and new battles. If you try moving into so many different directions you lose sight of your original vision, and risk failing altogether. Focus on bringing your product or service to success, and expand from there.
What have you learned from Shark Tank? Comment below!
And if you have questions pertaining to the lessons listed above, give our office-headquartered in Placentia, Orange County, California- a call today. Whether you need to secure investment, valuate your business, effectively apply your market data to your operations, help you grow- + more- our team of business experts are excited to discuss how we can meet your needs no matter your current stage. Don’t wait, contact us today!