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Tips for those wanting to succeed in
Entrepreneur Ed Wray on succeeding in the den
- Entertainment: Remember the programme makers are not going to give air-time to a “dull as dishwater” presentation. They’ll give the most entertaining pitches the most air-time. For BarbeSkew, I should have taken two girls on stage, dressed one up as a sausage and one as a beef-burger and had them trying to throw themselves into a bread-bun in order to cause as much anarchy on stage as possible! Remember Levi Roots – he was selling chilli sauce but came on stage singing with his guitar – and his pitch was a brilliant success!
- Entertainment: Yes entertainment again – Do they want the perfect pitch? No!!! Remember the lady that had a nervous giggle all the way through? Rubbish pitch but fantastic TV! Think of something that will entertain the masses. Make it unique; make people’s jaws’ drop; make it stand out from the crowd.
- Entertainment: Yes entertainment again just to really make the point! Give the audience something to remember. Call Deborah “Debbie” – she hates it. Do it once and it’s a slip up – do it 5 times and you’ll be in the final edit calling her “Debbie” 5 times with her gradually losing the plot! Or even better do like Trigger does on Only Fools and Horses calling Rodney “Dave” – keep on calling Hilary “Hilda” or Duncan “Gordon” and after the fifth time you’re a Dragons’ Den superstar!
- The figures. It’s like selling anything. All the Dragons want is the best deal ever. The biggest proportion of your business for the smallest outlay of money. So give it to them. Say you need £50k for 25% of your business. It’s all based on getting an offer – getting the offer gives you 10 minutes of air-time.
- Get the offer – but don’t take the money! Read Felix Dennis’s book on “How to Get Rich”. If you want to be rich then ownership of your business isn’t the important thing – it’s the ONLY thing. So if the Dragons offer you money, say “Yes” to get your 10 minutes on TV and then don’t sign any of the “Due Diligence” papers when they arrive. I can assure you that if the Dragons have said yes, then it will not be a difficult process to find a lender offering you a much better deal where you don’t lose any equity and can pay off the loan amount over an agreed period of time without losing any ownership of your business.