At the beginning of April, one of our clients made an appearance on ABC’s Shark Tank, pitching the coolest toolbox we’ve seen.
Wondering how you can get your product in front of the Sharks? We’ve put together a guide below.
Landing a Spot on Shark Tank
Launch a good product. If you don’t have a good product, you won’t earn a spot on the show – it’s as simple as that. This is more complicated than it seems at face value, though. Start by understanding your target customers, know who they are, what they like and dislike and what pain points you’re trying to ease. As you create your product and improve upon prototypes, make sure you’re consulting your target audience and getting their feedback. Launching on a crowdfunding platform such as Kickstarter or Indiegogo can be especially helpful because it’s a way for you to get your target market involved and help them feel like a part of the process, which results in them rallying around the product and helping make it successful.
Ultimately, to ensure you have a good product that people are actually interested in purchasing, you’ll need to get as much feedback as you can and build up a vocal community who loves your product.
Make a high amount of pre-sales. Investors want to see social proof before they invest their money. This is why pre-sales are important – not only do they reduce risk when it comes to minimum order quantities, but it also proves to investors that people actually want your product.
Once again, crowdfunding on Kickstarter or Indiegogo is extremely beneficial here. A successful project not only gives you social proof, but it also brings you a large quantity of customers who helped create your product and are therefore emotionally invested and want to see it be successful.
Pitch your business in an e-mail or attend an open call. Regardless of which option you choose, you’ll have about one minute to sell your product, so make sure you’re prepared to make a strong statement in a short amount of time. Your pitch needs to be compelling, needs to show off your product well and needs to convince investors why your company is worth their investment of time and money.
To get started, we suggest downloading an application and thinking critically as you go through and answer all the questions.
How much money do you need and how much equity are you willing to give up?
How can you describe your product or business in great detail in the shortest amount of time? What does it do?
What will you do with the funds you receive?
How long have you been operating? What stage is your company in?
How much money have you invested in the company so far?
What are your total lifetime sales?
What were your gross and net incomes last year?
What are your sales projections?
Why do you want to pitch your business to the Sharks?
What is your unique selling proposition?
How did you come up with your business idea?
What are the biggest hurdles you’ve overcome?
Preparing for a Shark Tank Appearance
Once you’re accepted, you’ll have to prepare the pitch and presentation before standing in front of the Sharks. In some ways, this may be where the hard work really begins. Below are a few things to keep in mind as you’re getting yourself and your business ready to be on the show.
Watch and learn. One entrepreneur recommends preparing for a Shark Tank appearance by watching as many episodes as possible, noting tough questions and taking notes on entrepreneurs who perform exceptionally well. The show is filmed live, and you need to be completely prepared for any situation that could arise.
KISS. Keep it simple, stupid. Don’t use abbreviations or jargon in your pitch to the shark. Rather, keep it short, sweet and simple. Use everyday language to describe what the product is, why it will make money, how much you want from the Sharks and how much equity you’re willing to give up.
Your mom doesn’t count. Test your pitch in the real word, with people who aren’t biased. Turn to objective clients, acquaintances or even strangers to see if they’re interested in what you’re selling. Then, after testing your pitch and your product with them, get their feedback. What would make your product better? What would make your pitch more compelling?
Make it interesting. At the end of the day, ratings are what the producers care about. Therefore, make yourself shine. Be quirky, enthusiastic, funny or even weird – just don’t be boring. Regardless of how good your product is, you probably won’t make it onto television if your pitch isn’t compelling and interesting.
Keep it real. Focus on your successes in your pitch, but don’t try to hide your failures. Generally you’ll find more favor in the eyes of the Sharks if you show how you learned from your failures than if you cover up your mistakes. In fact, Daymond John has said that pretending you’ve never seen hard times is the most common mistake he sees from companies on the show.
If you’re interested in pitching your business to the Sharks on Shark Tank, get in touch with us. We know what it takes to strike a deal with a Shark, and we know how to get you there. From launching your product, to creating pitch decks, to marketing your business after your episode airs, we’ll help you navigate the waters of a Shark Tank appearance.