If you want to get your small business or invention on ‘Shark Tank,' here are some great tips:
1. Do the Research.
Before going on Shark Tank or investing money into your business, make sure you have done extensive market research and understand your target demographic. Even if you believe you have a winning product, the market will dictate whether your product will be a success. I highly recommend reaching out to networking groups, and the local resources available within your community such as the local news station and the Chamber of Commerce. Also, the research does not stop once you start your business. You need to constantly stay abreast of industry trends to ensure your audience sees your product as relevant.
2. Trust your gut instinct and stay focused.
Even when others question your idea, don’t waiver or pivot your business model. I was told multiple times that Bug Bite Thing alone would not succeed. People said that I needed another product or a line of products to launch the business. I truly believed in the product. It was life-changing for me and positive feedback from customers affirmed that. Creating product demand for your business should be a priority from the very beginning. Stay clear on your path.
3. Be passionate about your business.
If someone is investing in your company, they are investing in you. As an entrepreneur, you need to live & breathe your business. We rehearsed before going on ‘Shark Tank' and we participated in multiple interviews. Project passion when talking about your business as it will resonate with the producers and Sharks.
4. Be Prepared.
This should go without saying, but you should know your business plan inside and out. Know your numbers. Identify your market opportunity, your target customer and demographic. When you go on the show, you should have visuals prepared that are eye-catching and show a great demand for your product, expected sales, etc.
5. Have a plan.
Know what the infrastructure you would need if you receive an offer from the Sharks. Be ready to explain how you will scale your business. Who would be your first hires? You should have the answers to all these questions.
6. Learn to Listen.
This is hugely important as you grow your business. Listen to your customers' feedback. No business will thrive without happy customers. When you go on ‘Shark Tank,' you may already have an idea of which Shark you would like to invest in your business. However, it is important to keep an open mind. Make sure the Shark's vision for your business is aligned with yours. Listen carefully to what each Shark is offering before accepting an offer.
7. Know your strengths and weaknesses.
Having my mother as my business partner has made it easier. We trust one another and know one another’s strengths. We, therefore, each handle different aspects of the business. Be willing to admit your own weaknesses. As the business grows, be prepared to hire for areas of the business where you don't excel. No single person can grow their business by doing everything themselves.
8. Have a team effort mentality.
You must be able to work collaboratively. You will constantly be problem-solving so you must be open to others' ideas, thoughts, and creative solutions. Make sure your team knows they are respected and valued and that everyone on your team has the same vision. You all need to be working towards the same ultimate goal.
9. Have fun!
Remember going on ‘Shark Tank' is a once in a lifetime opportunity. The Sharks are constantly being pitched, so be memorable. Don’t be afraid to stand out, and use this as an opportunity to showcase that you are a creative thinker.