Five killer Sharks share their advice with Moneyish
A bright idea can truly shine like gold.
Ask five well-known “Shark Tank” investors who gathered Sunday at the Tribeca TV Festival to celebrate 10 seasons and 200 episodes of the ABC series that’s all about spinning American dreams into money-making realities.
If the idea is good enough.
Like Scrub Daddy, for instance, a humble sponge which, according to Business Insider, has soaked up more than $100 million in sales. And there’s Bombas, extra-cushioned socks, which pulled in $50 million last year. And don’t forget the Squatty Potty, a toilet-time tool with around $30 million in revenue in 2017, showing that it’s flush with success.
These entrepreneurial dream-come-trues are just three deals made on “Shark Tank.” They all began with a bright idea. Moneyish asked five “Shark Tank” wheeler dealers how you can know if your idea is good enough and ready to be pitched. Here’s a four-point checklist.
Be at the wow stage — with the product and yourself
“Whenever I was trying to sell a product, I would never go in with something that wasn’t finished, because it’s not impressive,” said Lori Greiner. “You’ve got one shot to show what you’ve got. You must be ready to go in with your best foot forward, not half-a–ed, so to speak.” To do that, she added, your product needs to be perfect, or thereabouts. You must know what you want to do with it, and be ready show yourself off as being just as impressive.
Be fluent in your company’s financials
Before you can think about swimming with Sharks, you need to know your company’s numbers inside out. Such knowledge is power. “You’ve got to remember that in America 8 out of 10 deals that are started fail in three years for one singular reason: They were never able to get their customer acquisition cover cost below the customer’s lifetime value,’” said Kevin O’Leary, aka Mr. Wonderful. Customer acquisition cost is the cost associated in convincing a customer to buy a product or service. “The benefit of getting on Shark Tank is that it takes your customer acquisition costs to zero. The show is a great platform to tap into users and potential customers.”
Be 100% sure you’ve got customers
“It all comes down to having customers who will line up for what you’re selling,” said Mark Cuban. “You have to go through the process of not just having an idea but of creating a prototype, testing it out trying and to sell it.” The real world, Cuban added, isn’t a “Field of Dreams” where if you build it, they — as in, customers — will come. “With ‘Field of Dreams,’ they knew baseball was hugely popular already,” said Cuban. “With new products you just don’t have that luxury.”
Daymond John mirrors that sentiment: “Before you can pitch you’ve got to certain that there’s some level of demand for your product or service,” said John. You can’t fake that. It takes brainstorming and research. You’ve got to put in that time, John added.
“To be ready to pitch, you must have the confidence to get out there and sell it, even when you know [you] might not be be able to produce it,” said Barbara Corcoran. “You need to have the chutzpah to come across like [you] really know what [you’re] doing to draw people in.”
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