What We Can Learn 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?

Anyhoo, When I saw the ad’s for Shark Tank, I was a little excited.

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?)

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

So, here are my take-aways.

Disclaimer – there is nothing new here!

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!).

Fake it til you make it


Only if you can back it up.

And I don’t mean telling everyone you’re driving a Porsche, when in fact your driving a Volvo.

What I’m talking about, is talking like you believe, presenting like you’re already there. And knowing what you need to back it up.

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

You’re allowed to hustle your butt off if you have a grand plan, but don’t lie.

You’ll always be caught out.

Phrase your answer in a way that shows you’ve researched and predicted.

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 prediction 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 ok.

Know your numbers

It’s the first module in The Launch Pad (my course that walks you through the steps to opening your own store).

And it should be your first step as well.

[Tweet “Know your numbers inside out. Don’t hide from them.”]

How many people are walking through your door? What is the average amount they spend? Which days are better sales days for you?

Knowing your numbers helps you plan, and forecast, so you can reduce your overheads and wastage.

These seemed to be the key factors that stopped people from getting through to the ‘Sharks’ (investors).

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

I’d love to know if there’s a tv show that get’s your biz brain fired up. Leave me a comment.

*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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1 reply added

  1. Trish Springsteen March 26, 2015 Reply

    Absolutely agree with your points – first impressions do count so make them count, know your information. With the fake it til you make it – agree you have to have integrity and you can’t lie – I actually like to term it stepping into your confidence cloak – pretend the confidence until it grows on you.

    I would add to your great points – structuring your pitch – and presenting it effectively. Concise, coherent and competent, along with knowing your audience in this case who you are pitching to and making sure you hit the points they want.

    Thanks for an informative blog post.

    Trish Springsteen – Public Speaking Mentor Coach Author

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