Five of Britain’s most enterprising and wealthy Dragons Den Investors show you how to negotiate deals on Dragon’s Den. They all know how they built their own fortunes from scratch.
Lets take note of each before we proceed:
1.James Caan made his millions building a global business in the recruitment industry and now has an international private equity firm.
2.Duncan Bennatyne’s 200 million pound business empire includes hotels, casinos and health spars.
3.Debrah Meaden earned her fortune in the holiday and leisure industry.
4.Theo Paphitis is a retail magnet who has transformed many businesses in Britain.
5.Peter Jones has built up a multi-million pound empire with the business portfolio that ranges from telecoms and leisure to property and media.
In the den, the dragons are ready to back up the right businesses with their own money but will anyone convince them to invest.
It simply works like “America has got talent” where there are contestants and judges but in this case the judges are these five business tycoons. You simply walk into a room with them seated and you pitch your business idea/plan. All they do, they take some notes as the presentation is ongoing and the moment the presenter say “Thank you for listening and your time” they start firing questions. I have seen some guys crash because of poor negotiation skills while in fact they have a good product, some at all didn’t have what we call a “sound” business plan.
The interesting part is these tycoons ask very simple questions, questions like;
- What is your business
- What is your background
- Why did you start your business
- Is there a market for product
- Give us a forecast for your business in the next 3 years
- How did you start your business
- And much, much more
So why this story?
It compelled me to take a hard look at my business as a blogger, do I have a sound business plan, and can I explain what I do in a split second without leaving the other person scratching their head. I have to admit though by watching Peter Jones grill some of the contestant left me with one thing and one thing ONLY but to ask myself the following:
- What is the goal of my business?
- What kind of products or services am I going to offer to my customers?
- Who is my ideal customer?
- What is my biggest competition?
- What will be my competitive advantage when it comes to sales?
- How much time and money I need to invest before you will see the return?
- What are the costs to start this business?
- What are the maintenance costs for this business?
- What is the value of the business I am are building right now?
- And much,much more
What about you, have you taken a hard look at your business, can you convince a millionaire to invest in your product or even partner with you, if yes, GREAT you’re doing an excellent job, if not you have work to do my friend, get your hands dirty.
I like all of them and interesting enough they understand and know their numbers like the back of their hands. They are quick to spot a good or a bad investment simply by asking some of the above questions. They are also pretty straight forward; they don’t mince their words and do keep a good eye contact. These to me are good traits of successful entrepreneurs who know how they made their millions.
James Caan on the other hand is kind of laid back, always thinking outside the box and in many cases he was able to walk away with some good deals while his colleagues bailed out.
Peter Jones without a doubt is a tough negotiator.
Theo, Debrah and Duncan are also fantastic business investors but these two above just stood out for me, as you know there is always number 1, 2,3 and so forth.
Dragons Den, found on BBC knowledge is a good business TV programme for marketers who want to learn the basics and art of negotiating.
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