Shark Tank is probably the only reason I know who Kevin O’Leary is, and the only reason I care. This phenomenon of a show has helped dozens of businesses by giving them a platform to get global publicity and also funding from really, really rich people.
Though some may consider the show ‘reality TV’, we see it as a fun way to learn some business lessons. That’s why we put together this list to highlight some of the best lessons from Shark Tank.
Good ideas don’t mean success
Shark Tank pitches introduce a lot of great ideas by entrepreneurs. However, they don’t pan out sometimes. I mean, if you’re like me, you’re emotionally invested, so this really stings.
But here’s the harsh truth folks, great ideas need great execution to succeed. Chances are, for the most part, your idea isn’t 100% unique. Doesn’t mean it’s not good, just that in a world of seven billion people, chances are someone thought about it before you did.
So rather than resting on your laurels about a good idea, what’s important is that you not only test your idea but start taking action to make it successful. Put in a bit of effort, instead of looking for funding immediately before you’ve confirmed it will be a runaway success.
This might be an idea for a new product or service, or for a whole new business. Make sure to test it with the public before deciding whether it will be successful.
Negotiation is a must-have skill
Running a successful business takes more than just being good at your job. If you’re working in a startup or need investment, negotiation is crucial.
We’ve seen this on Shark Tank – bad negotiations that result in no deal or a poor deal for the entrepreneur.
You must be able to make the right offers and counteroffers to get the best deals. Otherwise, you may lose a big chunk of your company for much less than it’s actually worth. This is a delicate balance because a heated discussion can lead to problems down the road. You don’t want an unhappy or bitter investor in your deal do you?
Here are some quick negotiation tips:
- Have a final number in mind. Know exactly how much equity you’re willing to give up, and don’t go exceed that number.
- A long and painful argument over a percentage point or two can lead to a bad partnership or a worse deal.
- Always be willing to walk away. The person who is more willing to walk away has the most power in the negotiation.
See the video below for how bad negotiation skills can lead to a bad deal.
‘Elevate’ your Elevator Pitch
We all know what an elevator pitch is, but how many of us actually do it well?
But it’s not just investors you need to impress. You should be prepared to give your 10-second elevator pitch to anybody. You never know whom you’re going to meet at any time. Shark Tank is a great example of seeing great or poor elevator pitches, just watch the first 30 seconds of every segment.
Here’s a great place to start when it comes to crafting your elevator pitch.
Know your brand story
Stories influence people. If you can tell your company’s story in a unique way, you can get everyone excited about your idea.
One great example that we found really resonated with us was the Bright Wheel story. He had a simple service that answered a very important need. Rather than rambling on with a long explanation, here’s the full segment for you to watch. The fight between Mark Cuban and Chris Sacca is just gravy.
Shark Tank is not only a great TV show – it also provides great business lessons. Keep these fours lessons in mind, and let us know if you’ve come across any others.
For more great articles like this one about Shark Tank, visit the Voices section.