Monday, November 12, 2012

INSIGHT: 16 Insights Taken From Dragons Den

Ask anyone you know what the best way to secure a stable financial future is and they will tell you that owning a business is your best bet. Here is the problem...what business should you start. You could opt to join a direct selling company like QNET that offers you the opportunity to market their products for a commission. Or you could opt to start your very own business venture selling your own products and services. There are several elements to consider if you choose to start from scratch and for this post am going to concentrate on one major element...CAPITAL.

Capital fuels business growth. Without a substantial amount of capital your business is doomed to fail. Where can you get the capital necessary to start your business? You have bank loans, family loans, charity funds and investors. I prefer going to an investor because coupled with their investment in your business, you get the added advantage of tapping into their extensive business expertise. But opting to use investors means that you have to share your overall business equity, which raises the argument; Are you willing to own 100% of nothing or 50% of something.

"Dragons" of the UK's hit series Dragons Den

I was introduced to a television show called "Dragon's Den" back in 2008 and I have learnt a lot from watching it since then. It is a show in which budding entrepreneurs present their business ideas to prospective investors, who own multi-million businesses of their own. It is a great show for anyone interested in starting their own business and today I would like to share some of the insights, that I have taken away from the television show, with anyone who wishes to start their own business and hopes to get substantial capital investments from investors.

1. Business is all about people. Personal passion, a willingness to listen and integrity are paramount in business. Without these things you won't get customers and you most certainly won't get investment.

2. Money matters. Businesses pitch their opportunities on Dragons' Den because they're looking for money to advance their business. Either they want investment or they want the Dragons' connections, which are sometimes just as good as cash.

3. Entrepreneurship is exciting. There are times of unlimited happiness and there are times of despair, times of unbridled exhilaration and debilitating worry. But it's a life, I have noticed, no true entrepreneur would give up unless he or she was forced to.

4. It's not always about the deal. Not all good businesses get investment deals and not all bad businesses get rejected. Sometimes you just don't make a deal with somebody you don't like or trust.

5. Business is about human relationships. A great presentation can help to convince an investor, but in the end, it's all about how the investor feels about you, the person involved in the venture, that matters.

6. Know the value of your business idea. The number 1 mistake that budding entrepreneurs make when approaching investors is putting a crazy valuation on their business. Do the research and find out the accepted multiple of sales/profits for your industry.

7. Know your Numbers and Details. This coincides with knowing the actual value of your business. Know all the statistics of your business venture, who your customers will be, your estimated annual sales/profits and expenses. Investors need to know the details of your business in order to evaluate the deal properly. It shows that you are serious about your new business.

8. Be prepared to give up 50% of your business. In almost every deal that the dragons were interested in, they almost always ask for 50% of the company so expect the same from other investors you approach. Investors want control or at least be a significant partner so be prepared to negotiate for it.

9. Get Sales/Contracts. Before an investor is willing to invest in your business, it needs to be proven. That is, it needs to have some sales or confirmed order of your product from eager customers. Go out and make contacts, get some sales/contracts, then look for additional capital.

10. Have a Good Story. Even if your business idea is mediocre at best, if you have a good story behind your pitch, it can turn a "maybe" into a possible "yes".  There have been numerous times that the Dragons invested in a business because of the person behind it and their story.

11. Know your Investors. This is key for any presentation...know your audience. Know the businesses that the investors own and what they specialize in. With that, you can tailor your presentation towards the investor that would match your business best.  Stroking their egos can go a long way.

12. Plan your presentation. I can't begin to count the number of times I've sat cringing in front of my computer screen watching hopeful entrepreneurs turn into quivering fish bait as they fumble, stumble, or stare wide-eyed and open-mouthed at the investors perfectly routine and expected questions.

13. Leave home the "dog & pony show". Investors have seen it all. If your business idea isn’t good enough to speak for itself, then it probably isn't good enough to warrant investment. Just get to the point and let your personality and drive to do your business impress the investors socks off.

14.  Don't miss the vision for the goal. This one refers to all those entrepreneurs who are not willing to part with a portion of their business oblivious to the fact that they will in return, lose out on the big picture of getting an investment to push their business. If their goal is to get rich from their new business that is.

15.  Bring along a co-pitcher if your presentation skills are weak. If you know you know your business inside out, but also acknowledge that you aren't so great at articulating numbers…don’t just fumble through and create an entirely avoidable poor impression. Instead, bring along your accountant, your math whiz sister, your swotty friend. Few things impress more than someone who recognises their own weaknesses and takes corrective action.

16. Sell yourself! Investors invest in people, not businesses. If the business is great but the founder is sucky, you probably won't see that investment.  If, on the other hand, the business needs some work, competition is fierce, and not much money has been made to date, BUT the founder is the most pleasant, savvy, well-turned out, and thirsty for knowledge, the chances of receiving an investment shoot sky high. You are your company’s best asset and if you're not then you ought to be.

You can always use the QInfinite commissions of US$ 20,400 to US$ 60, 300 earned weekly from QNET to fuel your side business. You can do this by registering to become an IR from the official QNET website, purchasing a product from your qualifying eStore found in your virtual office and then Finding Two (2) people to join with you. By building a strong team of your own over a 1 year period, you secure yourself a guaranteed income source and customers who trust you and would buy from your side business anytime.

NOTE: To all IR's, almost all these insights can help grow your QNET business too by using them to attract potential prospects to join your team! 

There you have it, 16 insights to help you on your way to start up your own business if you are truly adamant that joining QNET as an Independant Representative is not for you, I hope these insights help pave the way to your success faster and easier. If you have any feedback on what you have read here, share with me by leaving a comment below.


  1. Great post and now I know what to do thank you! Actually this Blog post helped me a lot. I hope you continue writing about this kind of entry.
    sell house fast

  2. Thank you Brac for that feedback and am glad i could be of some help to you.


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