The thought of coming face-to-face with Peter Jones, Duncan Bannatyne, Deborah Meaden, Kelly Hoppen and Piers Linney is enough to strike fear into any entrepreneur, and the Den has claimed many a victim since it launched in 2005. But as an entrepreneur that has faced the Dragons and emerged intact and with investment, I understand entirely how much pressure is involved in pitching your business to a panel of would-be investors.
Here are my five ways to impress the Dragons and any other investor in your quest for small business success.
Impress the Dragons
There’s nothing that upsets a Dragon more than lack of research, and not just about your target audience or wider market but about each Dragon’s expertise. Make sure you know all you need to know about each Dragon and their experience within their respective industries, it may just help you to bag an investment.
Also, don’t be afraid to pick a favourite, each Dragon may provide something different for your business. Determine the areas of your company that need work in order to achieve the growth and success you are looking for, and identify which Dragon has the skills to help you reach these goals.
Never forget your numbers
Whilst the heat is most certainly on in any pitching scenario, especially one being broadcasted worldwide, letting the stress get in the way of the facts and figures behind your venture can be easily done. Nevertheless, this is an unforgiven sin when pitching as investors want to be safe in the knowledge that their money is in the hands of a business-minded entrepreneur.
Unveil the bigger picture
The products or services you are offering as a business are extremely important, however, many business owners forget to reveal the bigger picture behind their growing brand.
Every investor wants to see how your business will succeed, not just in the short term, but in the years to come. Make demonstrating your product or service a small part of your pitch and take your investors on a tour of the big vision for your company. Detail how your organisation will return investment (realistically) with interest to captivate your investors further.
Connect the dots to build confidence
As a small business your profit margins and turnover may not be the most attractive proposition, however, highlighting milestones and clearly communicating your business goals will give your investors the confidence to part with their cash. Keep it compelling and straightforward, and ultimately aim to demonstrate how their investment will be used.
Think like an investor
Unbeknown to many the majority of investors do not fear failure, instead they fear missing out on the next big thing. Understanding this will not only transform how you pitch but also give you the tools to convince your panel of investors that your company is an investment that they simply cannot miss out on.
Good luck on your quest to impress the dragons!