Whether you’re planning on pitching to the the Sharks or just looking for tips on how to approach potential investors, knowing how to communicate the ins and outs of your business is a must. In this list, Shark Tank executive producers, Mark Burnett and Clay Newbill share their 8 tips for entrepreneurs preparing for Shark Tank.
- Be able to communicate your business masterfully.
Before speaking with investors it’s crucial that you’re able to articulate certain key areas of your business. What’s your business model? What problem are you trying to solve? Who does your company serve? Not only should you be able to painlessly answer these types of questions, you must do so in a way that’s clear and concise.
- Know your numbers.
It can’t be stressed enough: if you want to succeed in the tank, you must know your numbers backward and forward. From revenues and expenses to projections and manufacturing costs, be ready to answer any and all financial queries. Remember, the Sharks are power house investors; they expect your numbers to add up.
- Research each Shark thoroughly.
You know more about the Sharks than they know about you. Use that to your advantage. Do you homework and uncover everything you can about each of their personal and professional histories. The more information you have, the more targeted your pitch can be.
- Prepare for all potential questions.
You don’t necessarily need to study every single episode of Shark Tank like Cousins Maine Lobster founders Jim Tselikis and Sabin Lomac did, but it’s important to be prepared for any question the Sharks might ask. Does one particular area of your business make you uncomfortable? Don’t run from it. That’s probably the area that needs the most preparation.
- Be honest and forthright.
The very worst thing you can do in the tank is be dishonest or conniving. If you don’t have an answer to a particular question, it’s better to be truthful and look unprepared than it is to make something up. Don’t forget, there’s a lengthy due diligence process once the deal is made.
- Articulate your growth strategy.
The Sharks only want to invest in companies they believe have real growth potential. By articulating your strategy during the pitch, you will help them understand how you plan to grow your business. They want to know that you have a plan to take the company to the next level.
- Address your weaknesses.
Every business has an Achilles’ heel. That’s a definite. So there’s no reason to avoid it or run from it. Don’t just be aware of your weaknesses, but embrace them and be able to address them in a straightforward way. Make no mistake about it: if there’s a glaring hole in your business, the Sharks will find it.
- Play up your secret sauce.
What’s your niche? What’s your most valuable and compelling differentiator? Whatever it may be, make sure it’s included in your pitch. Chances are you have many competitors. The Sharks anticipate that. What you must prove is that there’s something special that sets your business apart.