For more than a decade, Shark Tank has helped dozens of entrepreneurs achieve the American Dream by helping them team up with wealthy and well-connected investors who can help take their businesses to new heights. But while Shark Tank has been responsible for lots of success stories, there have also been a lot of people who have left the tank with no deal. In some cases, the product or service simply isn’t deemed investment worth by any of the Sharks. In other cases, however, a bad pitch results in an otherwise decent idea falling flat. Needless to say, a strong pitch could make a world of difference when entering the Shark Tank.
Since there are a lot of people out there who don’t really understand what the Sharks are looking for, Mark Cuban has decided to chime in with with some advice on giving a strong pitch. Whether you’re hoping to be on the show one day or simply a fan who likes to predict who will get investments, this article is for you. Keep reading to find out what kind of Shark Tank pitches are likely to result in a deal.
Mark’s Idea Of A Good Pitch
As a well-known billionaire businessman, Mark Cuban is probably inundated with business ideas on a regular business. Even outside of Shark Tank he probably gets approached to invest in all sorts of things. As someone who has seen and heard a lot of things, the first thing Mark looks for in a pitch is simple: he wants to see a product/service he hasn’t thought about creating himself. Mark told CNBC that those creative ideas always end up getting the best deals and being the best investments. He continued, “There’s some 12-year-old kids somewhere coming up with an idea to do things in a way that we never would have envisioned. When “that 12-year-old comes up with an idea, on ‘Shark Tank’ or anywhere,” and presents, “I think to myself, ‘Why didn’t I think of that?’”
What The Sharks Look For In A Presentation
No matter how good an idea is though, a good presentation is also key. If you’ve ever seen the show, you know that a poor presentation is never going to get far with the Sharks. Below are some of the things that the Sharks want to see in a presentation.
We’ve all heard the phrase “preparation is key” and that really is a true statement when it comes to being on Shark Tank. Real sharks can smell blood in water, and the Sharks on Shark Tank can smell fear as soon as someone steps in the room. Any time a someone comes into the Tank, they need to make sure they’re as prepared as they possibly can be. During the presentation, entrepreneurs should clearly be able to explain what their product/service is and what problems it solves. Some of the best presentations come from people who have already anticipated which questions the Sharks will ask.
There’s nothing that sets off the alarm bells like a person who comes into the Tank asking for a big amount of money in exchange for a small percent of the company. Prior to coming on the show, entrepreneurs need to be realistic about how much money they need, how much equity they’re willing to give up, and most importantly, how much their business is worth. If the Sharks like what you have to offer and see you’re serious about making a deal, they’ll be more likely to walk to to work with you.
Money is the only thing that matters in the business world, so one of the first things the Sharks usually want to know is how much money a business has made. When stepping into the Tank you should know exactly how much your business has made and how much it’s projected to make within the next year or so. If your business doesn’t have many sales, be prepared to be grilled by the Sharks – or even worse, laughed at.
No one wants to invest in a business that can easily be duplicated. For that reason, Sharks are more likely to invest in things that are difficult or impossible to knock off. One of the ways to ensure that your project won’t be replicated is to register a patent. Before coming onto the show, it’s important to apply for a patent if necessary because the question will definitely come up. There have been lots of people who have lost deals because they didn’t/couldn’t get a patent.
The Value Of Shark Tank
Many businesses that have been featured on Shark Tank have gone on to make millions of dollars. At this point, just being on the show can be a great way for a business to get exposure even if they don’t walk away with a deal. Since most people only get one chance to pitch an idea on the show, it’s important that they make the most of the opportunity.