By now every entrepreneur has heard of ABC’s reality show Shark Tank, and most of you have probably considered baiting the hooks with your own business ideas. For those of you unfamiliar with Shark Tank, it is a show where entrepreneurs try their hand at scoring big investments and advice from self-made CEOs and business executives, the “Sharks.”
Week after week, we watch as startups and small businesses present their ideas to the panel of sharks including Mark Cuban, Kevin O’Leary, Barbara Corcoran, Lori Greiner, Daymond John, and Robert Herjavec. Some pitches inspire bidding wars between investors and the room quickly turns into a feeding frenzy. Others flounder on the surface as the Sharks look for a meatier catch.
Those that are chosen by a Shark not only have the financial support of a top executive, but also the guiding wisdom to build their product or service into an empire. Receiving an investment from the Sharks is not a far-fetched goal. If you have an idea you need help with, get inspired by past minnows that grew into big fish and follow their lead with a simple application.
The transformative power of the Sharks
With the time and dedication of the Sharks on your side, you can watch your company grow into the booming business you always dreamed of while you were hand-boxing shipments in your garage. Here are the success stories to prove it. Mark Cuban and Kevin O’Leary split a $150,000 investment into GrooveBook, a photobook-building app that was later sold to Shutterfly for $14.5 million.
Barbara Corcoran’s investment in Grace and Lace, a fashion company, which boosted its sales to a predicted $6.5 million for 2016.
Al “Bubba” Baker reached $200 million in Bubba’s-Q Boneless Ribs’ lifetime sales with the guidance and investment from Daymond Johnson.
Tipsy Elves’ ugly holiday sweaters reached $8 million in sales with the help of Robert Herjavec in 2016.
Be their next success story
I’m sure some of you probably remember watching these episodes and judging from your couch whether or not these ideas/products compared to your entrepreneurial endeavors. We’ve all done it. But being the next Shark Tank success story and working alongside some of the most influential investors isn’t as hard as you’d think.
With an investment rate of 59 percent in their last season, it turns out that the Sharks aren’t as gruesome as you’d expect. Not only are they closing deals more than half the time, but the amount they’re investing has increased dramatically since season 1. They went from shelling out an average of $181,000 per deal in season 1 to an average of $300,000 per deal in seasons 6, 7, and 8.
What it takes to get on the show
If you’re tired of watching other entrepreneur’s win the investments you know your company deserves, give it a go. There are two ways to apply to Shark Tank with your business idea or pitch: email or open casting call. Either way, you’ll need to know your product/pitch down to the smallest details, as you can see from the questions on the Shark Tank initial application.
You have nothing to lose; even if you don’t receive a life-changing investment the Sharks are sure to give you constructive criticism that may turn you into a success on your own.