You’ve seen it time and time again. The hope and enthusiasm giving way to fear and ridicule. The BBC’s Dragons’ Den doesn’t always make for comfortable viewing. Leaving with a deal clearly isn’t an easy task, and things can go wrong very quickly
So that made us think of some of the ways you can survive a grilling from the Dragons. Just in case you’re tempted to apply for the next season.
#1 Don’t overvalue your business
This is probably the most important one – so many contestants have left the den with their tails between their legs because they asked for too much. Consider the value of your business carefully and don’t price yourself out by asking for too high an investment.
You might be excited about your idea, and you might see boundless potential, but you have to be realistic.
(However, remember the story of Marco Hajikypri. He was turned down by the Dragons for overvaluing his business at £2 million. He later turned down an offer of £90 million for his business!)
#2 Explain your idea clearly
No Dragon worth their big pile of cash is going to invest if they don’t understand what your business is in the first place. Describe it as clearly and as simply as you can. If it’s an especially complex idea, think about taking a diagram or a flow chart in with you.
And make sure you rehearse your pitch – do it in front of someone else and ask for constructive criticism afterwards so you can hone.
#3 Show – don’t tell
If you can, show the Dragons your idea in action. If you’ve made a handy tool, bring it with you and let them have a look. If your business is in food, take a sample in and let them taste it! They’ll be more likely to buy-in to your idea if they can actually see it in action.
Just make sure your product is up to a good standard. It’s unlikely you’re going to get an investment if your sample falls apart in their hands or has a nasty taste!
#4 Think about what you want to give away
The Dragons aren’t just giving you money – they’re doing it in return for a stake in your business. This means you’ll lose a share of the control and future profits. So it’s important that you consider how much you’re willing to give away in return for their investment before you start
You might want that £100,000, but is it worth it if you end up having to give away 40% of your business for it? Be shrewd.
Don’t fancy facing the Dragons?
If you’d rather not stand up in front of the Dragons (and I wouldn’t blame you) then there are other, far less stressful places you can turn for funding.
For example, we offer unsecured business loans with absolutely no grilling at all – just a simple application process!