5 strategies every startup entrepreneurs should learn from Shark Tank

For newbie entrepreneurs, the best way to get even more inspired and focused in your business is to meet and get to know business leaders and learn their trade secrets on how they became successful.  There’s always that impact when successful business owners can relate to the hardships you are going through right now.  But meeting these business moguls is not that easy.  They are not like Hollywood stars that you can easily watch on tv shows and cinemas.  The best you can get is from reading articles about them or watching a few TV shows that features their businesses.

What if you can get to watch 5 to 6 multi-million business leaders in one TV show?  Wouldn’t your mouth just drop seeing them side by side  while sharing tips on how to increase your business sales to millions just like them?  Well, that’s where the TV show “Shark Tank” enters.  I may have started late in watching this program, but every season always comes up with kicks that will make you think twice in running your business.

This show presents a panel of potential investors, also known as sharks, who will watch aspiring entrepreneurs present their businesses while seeking investments to be able to grow their companies.   In return, the sharks will be asking relevant questions from history to financial background of the business and decide if they are interested to invest or become their partners.

Shark Tank started its first season in 2009 and is now at season 9 this year.  Each seasons gives you 24 episodes with 40+ minutes each.  And 1 full episode is packed with 5 different entrepreneurs pitching their ideas to their potential investors.  It simply mimics the tension inside a board room where you get to see the reality of how creative these entrepreneurs find their way to convince the sharks to invest.  Of course, there are good deals made in the program and some are none.  Nevertheless, any entrepreneur startups will definitely get to take some life lessons while watching each episodes.

So here are some proven strategies that we can learn from Shark Tank and reasons why you should watch this show:

You can start a business no matter what age you are.

There was an episode where an impressive 11 yr old Moziah Bridges  presented as the CEO of his company, MO’s Bows.  He started when he was 9 yrs old and taught by his grandmother how to sew bow ties that he can use to make his look more dapper.  He even gave and advice to “Figure out what you love doing and find out how to make money out of it!”  I’m pretty sure you’ve heard of that advice, but not from an 11 yr old kid!  Your age may be 13 or 30, but the the important thing to take note is that you have a choice whether to go for it or not.  Your passion can definitely  be used as an inspiration to light you up in your business journey just like Mo’s bows.  But it doesn’t end there, hard work, dedication and focus will help you go a long way.

Your may have a crazy idea but the sales speak louder than craziness.

Have you met a guy who offers drawing cats for you in any way you like and sends you that card for almost 10 dollars?  Well that’s the business made by Steve and probably one of the craziest and funniest presenters in the show.  Of course, it was received with ridicule by the sharks.  He started with different online avenues to sell and probably made a market out if it.  At the end of the day,  Mark Cuban, one of the most sought after sharks, decided to invest.  And the two of them dancing at the end of the episode was definitely an unforgettable moment in the show’s history.

According to Mark Cuban, “Most people think it’s all about the idea. It’s not. Everyone has ideas. The hard part is doing the homework to know if the idea could work in an industry, and then doing the preparation to be able to execute on the idea.”  There are indeed crazy ideas out there.  But once you tap with the right crazy market, your business will fly.  As long as you can prove that there is market for your business no matter how crazy it is, then there’s money to earn and business will grow.

Some businesses needs more time to grow.

Don’t get fooled into expanding your business right away when you still need to focus on improving your product and business model.  That’s why sometimes, the sharks has to clearly see how their investment can help in the company.   It is also important to know if what you have is a business or a hobby.  They would require someone who is full time with the business and not expect a shark to do most of the job.  This is why expanding the business too soon when you are just starting to build up the market is a red  light for them.

Know your numbers well.

More than having a great product, it is important to be able to present your business very well.  This includes knowing all the financial status and capabilities that you can offer.  These sharks are good at valuing your business, and sad to say they can see a mile a way if the valuation you are offering is off the charts.  It is important to base your proposals with realistic goals and know how much you can play around with their offer.  Sometimes if their offer is not good for you, you can still try to counter and hope that your convincing powers will be enough for them to agree with you.

Stay hungry.

As Lori Greiner, another one of the sharks, quoted “Dear optimist, pessimist, and realist–while you guys were busy arguing about the glass of wine, I drank it! Sincerely, the opportunist!”

Shark Tank is hosting 5 to 6 business moguls where they have the chance to invest in startups presented to them during the show.  One would wonder why a multi-millionaire would still invest in small business startups.  They are supposed to be running large businesses already so how would these new investments even benefit them.  It’s so easy to say that they just want to earn more instead of letting their money sleep in the bank.  But as you watch the show, they share some moments when some of their investments went downhill and how much they have learned not to let it happen again.

Like any human beings, they experience failure.  But that doesn’t stop their hunger to continue going for success even if it means a risk is at hand.

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