5 business lessons learned from tv’s Shark Tank

I don’t watch an awful lot of tv*. And the stuff I do watch is vary rarely live. Thank goodness for catch-up, right?

So Shark Tank, I mean, business, startups, and a healthy dose of reality tv. What more could an entreprenur want from a tv show?

Sitting down last night, with the TV all to myself, glass of wine in hand, I was ready.

Watching the show, though, I could see some major factors that were letting down the contestants (is that what they’re called?)

 

So, here are my take-aways. What a business can learn from Shark Tank

In fact, I was so stirred up, I grabbed a ratty old envelope and a pen that were on the floor, and started making notes.

Disclaimer – there is nothing new here!

  1. It’s all about presentation

From the minute you walk in the door, or your client walks in your door.

When they look at your website, when they meet you in person.

First impressions last.

It’s easy to be swayed by someone’s appearance.

It’s even easier to make a financial investment when you feel secure in an environment, when you feel this person across from you, is a match for what you want to achieve. They have a vested interest in your success (read: if they’re happy with what you’ve recommended, and it solved a problem, they’ll come back!).

So take a look at your store with a critical eye, both on and offline. What needs to be refreshed? What needs to be moved or changed? Do you need to dust or clean the windows. When was the last time you merchandised your windows.

First impressions can seal the deal

  1. Fake it til you make it. But. Only if you can back it up.

And I don’t mean telling everyone you’re driving a Porsche, when in fact you're driving a Mazda 6.

What I’m saying, is talking like you believe in yourself and your store (and you totally do believe in yourself, right!). Presenting like you’re already there. And knowing what you need, or need to do  to back it up.

It’s ok to think big, but have a system in place whereby you can make it happen when/if a shark says yes.

You've gotta have a grand plan.

But don't say you've had 200 sales, if you haven't had any. Or the only person who's purchased so far is your mum and granny.

Don’t lie! You’ll always be caught out.

  1. When you don’t know the answer – phrase your answer in a way that shows you’ve researched and predicted.

It's ok to not have answers. Especially of you're in startup phase. But don't ever go into a pitch, without having thoroughly researched the potential of your idea.

Eg, our current purchase price is $10 per unit. After preliminary talks with our suppliers, they’ve indicated this could reduce to just $6 if we do bulk orders. We haven’t yet nutted out what will consist of bulk, but my based on initial conversations is that if we buy 100 units, we can secure that pricing. This would see us with an additional $x per quarter, based on historical sales

You haven’t lied. You’ve predicted. And you’ve predicted based on research.

And that’s 100% ok.

Where can you use this in your retail biz? Well, the first place that comes to mind is financial backing. Going to a bank, acquiring capital or taking on a new partner.

  1. Know your numbers

It’s the first module of Scale Your Store the best business course designed specifically fore retailers.

And it should be your first step as well.

How many people are walking through your door? How many people are (or will need to be) hitting your website. What is the average amount they do/will spend? What seasonal predictions do you have?

Knowing your numbers helps you plan and forecast, so you can increase stock turnover and your revenue.

  1. You don’t have to be the first. Or the best

To be honest, you just have to have your shit together.

The fact that there ARE competitors in your market, shows that people want what you sell. You just have to know what you want, how much it’s going to cost, and a really good plan of how you can get there (market it).

But if you don’t have a plan that is well researched, has a marketing plan AND you can articulate clearly and concisely in your sleep, you can’t expect anyone - an investor Shark, a team member, your family and friends, and most importantly, your customers, to come onboard.

These seemed to be the key factors that stopped people from getting  the ‘Sharks’ (investors) to take the plunge and invest.

Add a little confidence, a good dash of self-belief, and a few good lugs of passion, and you have a winning proposition.

I’d love to know if there’s a tv show that get’s your biz brain fired up, OR, have you been on Shark Tank?

*full disclaimer, I will confess to being a Blockaholic, though seeing as it airs in the kids-bedtime slot, I usually have to catch up!

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