So Dragons’ Den is well and truly back, and there are more people after an investment for a high quality and unique business venture. Well, maybe only unique – the high quality part of some of these business ideas are up for debate.
One by one, men and women stand before the panel of Dragons, perspiring violently and, by the looks of it, trying very hard to breathe so that they avoid fainting.
Not everyone walks away from the Den with a huge investment – a lot of these entrepreneurs walk away with only their sweaty palms, and their self-esteem and dignity shattered.
So how do these entrepreneurs blow their chances of securing an investment in their new business ideas, and how are some of them successful? Because, to be honest, this many series into the show, you would have thought that these guys would have worked out how to avoid ridicule.
When in the Den, here are three top tips to avoid rejection and public humiliation:
1) Do not forget your figures or numbers.
This seems to happen a lot. People seem to walk into the Den and suddenly forget how many units of their product they have sold or how much everything is going to cost them.
Take Laura, for example. She brought into the Den a new fashion magazine concept, (although to be honest, it didn’t sound like it was groundbreaking), and then during her pitch, completely lost track of how much funding she was looking for- £100k turned into about £120k, and then it just kept increasing.
When you’re trying to convince someone to give you A LOT of money, try and remember how much you need, otherwise you just sound like a kid who is going to their parents for their £10 pocket money and then tries to wrangle a few extra pounds without anyone noticing.
2) Do not step in front of the Dragons with a product that doesn’t actually work.
That sounds obvious but it happens. You create a state of the art piece of technology which promises that you can create the most complicated password in the world and you won’t need to remember it, because this piece of tech will do it for you, and then you go to use it and then, BAM; it doesn’t actually work.
The guy who walked into the den with this idea just stood there seemingly incapable of speech. Awkward…
3) Do not ramble about your product.
It’s all well and good walking into the Den with some innovative baby-aid-type-thing but I literally have no idea what it was because she just wouldn’t stop chatting about irrelevant rubbish.
When Duncan, one of our Dragons, starts rolling his eyes, you should probably stop talking- you’ve probably blown you chances of an investment by then.
Some ideas do make it through, like one guy’s concept of a pop up memory house for people with dementia. It is possible to do a good pitch – they do happen occasionally, but most other ideas like pitches for new toilet brushes just end up tanking.
Although let’s be honest, we generally just watch Dragons’ Den to watch those awful pitches and ridiculous ideas that we constantly dream up, but would never dream broadcasting on national television.