ABC’s Shark Tank is currently on its sixth season. The idea of the show is to give chance to small business owners and entrepreneurs an opportunity to showcase their products in the hope of gaining an investment commitment from a member or two of a panel of investors or ‘sharks’. Although there is a strong likelihood that an investment deal might not materialize, for many of those businesses who have tried, the few minutes of exposure on national television is enough incentive as an advertisement for their business. They might not get a Shark to bite on their business bait, but someone in the audience might.
Characteristics of Successful Businesses that Hooked the Sharks
The successful businesses that were able to land deals with Shark Tank investors had four things in common:
- They were relatively doing good in sales,
- They were asking for a reasonable amount of investment,
- They were ready to part with a greater portion of their equity to investors, and
- They were focused on providing valuable products in the categories of Food and Beverage, Household and Kitchen, and Sports and Fitness
What Makes Successful Businesses and What You Can Learn?
- Successful businesses know the need for their products
Successful business always start with a target market, understand the needs of that market, then develop a product that will effectively address that need of that particular target market. You need to identify a product that is not only unique and appealing it must prove an indispensable utility as well.
Determining your target market as well as their specific needs and wants will help you better understand what kind of product they will be very much interested in. Looking at the success stories of Shark Tank, the products that won an investment deal were not really technologically advanced products yet they serve a certain purpose which many households can relate to. This is what you need to find out from your target market.
- Successful businesses are always prepared
This means that successful businesses know the ins and outs of their business plan, including the figures necessary to project expertise and understanding of the business. This also projects a certain level of confidence in one’s company. By being prepared with facts and figures, potential investors are more likely than not to offer a lending hand.
- Successful businesses project an air of professionalism and confidence
Successful Shark Tank businesses have been motivated by professionalism and commitment right from the very start. Their passion and commitment to what they do clearly set them apart from other businesses.
As the owner of your business, you need to work harder in driving prospects into your business. Looking at the data from Shark Tank, a well-presented business pitch will more than likely nail the deal. As much as you would like to present to everyone your business in a personal manner, you can do this by creating a website that is both professionally-looking and loaded with content that are really relevant to what your customers expect from you. You don’t need too many space fillers and other unrelated stuff in your website. To help you in this effort, it is always best to seek the professional services of website developers who can help you design a truly professionally-looking website.
- Successful businesses create ways to be seen by a greater number of people
Successful businesses will always want to reach to a wider market. One of the effects of being on the Shark Tank show is that a few minutes of airtime, whether successful or not, has already helped businesses gain considerable leverage against other companies of the same nature. Being on national television creates awareness among TV viewers. This awareness can lead to curiosity and they will actively search for that business. Likewise, small as it is, your business can do well to be as searchable as possible. In such cases, you may need the services of an SEO firm to maximize your rankings on major search engines.
- Successful businesses have a proven track record of making sales.
This might be more challenging than you might think. However, it is not at impossible to drive traffic into your site, convert them into customers, and then do everything you can to keep them wanting to come back for more. This starts with a good understanding of inbound marketing activities as well as marketing automation to simplify the activities that you need for inbound marketing. You may need to have a team dedicated solely to making more creative content for your website so that people will be the ones who will search for you and your products.
Driving traffic to your website is one thing. Converting them into prospects and customers will take an even more creative approach from your team of inbound marketers. And once a sales conversation has been initiated, your sales team will have to do everything they can to employ a variety of sales enablement activities. These are crucial activities that can turn a sales opportunity into an actual sales conversation leading to revenue generation.
- Successful businesses are willing to negotiate.
Investors want to see in you that you have what it takes to persevere in your business and be successful. When you offer a significantly greater portion of your equity compare to others, you are showing your investors the confidence that you have on your product that whatever perceived losses you might incur from the equity you gave up will be more than compensated by the revenue generated by your sales. And this is often a good sign for investors to seriously consider your business as an investment.
Be prepared as well to seek an investment amount that is lower than the expected amount. You have to think as an investor yourself. Investors do not give away money just for the sake of charity. Investors would want to invest as little as they can but gain more in the end. So this combination of asking for a considerably lower investment amount in exchange for a greater equity will almost always nail that deal.
There are a lot of things that can be learned from both the stories of successful businesses in Shark Tank. There is also something that can be learned even from those businesses that failed to land a deal. Applying these principles of successful businesses to your own can hopefully help you steer your company to more fertile grounds. Of course, there will always be professional enablement services that can help you achieve this.