The Business Lessons We Can All Learn from Shark Tank

The Business Lessons We Can All Learn from Shark Tank - let's reach success

Shark Tank is a TV show connecting aspiring entrepreneurs, and powerful and smart investors, looking for the next best companies.

Who are the sharks? These are self-made multi-millionaire and billionaire tycoons,  ready to either crush your startup dream, or help you make it a reality.

If you have something to do with entrepreneurship, the startup world, or are just thinking of becoming self-employed or climbing the career ladder in your field, this show is for you.

Shark Tank can let you see what pitching really is, and by seeing what others do right and wrong, you yourself can understand the main principles of business and sales, without even having to make any mistake or be rejected for an idea.

Together with that, we can learn plenty of things about the real world too.

The skills entrepreneurs need these days go further than the traditional business knowledge and knowing how to market things. It’s about networking, innovation, working with numbers and with words, and tens of personal qualities that can be developed over time and through practice, and life lessons like these.

So, here are the business and life lessons you can find in the episodes of Shark Tank:

1. It’s all about the pitch.

Newbie business owners hear this everywhere, and often try to get better at pitching themselves.

And while there are plenty of resources out there, it still can’t get close to the actual moment you face investors and let them hear how you describe your business idea, what exactly you mention, how you present it, how you begin the story to get them hooked, what numbers you add, etc.

Well, Shark Tank gives you some of the best pitches you can hear.

I say listen carefully to each and every one, notice the words, body language, reaction of the sharks, how you feel about the idea when you hear that person, and more.

Be sure that these are effective even though the deal might not get funded in the end. It happen. But there’s still a ton of value.

I’d even say hear the pitches you like the most a couple of times, write down the structure, try to create something similar yourself, criticize what you think can be polished, etc. That’s a great exercise.

2. Leave emotions behind for some time.

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To build a profitable business, but to also enjoy your work and find meaning in what you do, you need to be passionate about it. Be it about the niche, the type of people you’re helping, the actual product you’re creating, or the game of improving a brand and scaling the business.

Passion, however, is a strong emotion. And when it comes to venture capital, this will get you distracted, and will cloud your vision and mind.

What investors want to hear is real facts and numbers.

If you’ve always cared a lot about the business, but know that it’s time to grow now and you need a new approach, you’ll need to put your feelings aside for a while and get to work on the business valuation and numbers.

3. Negotiations requires preparation.

Many participants had to learn this the hard way in Shark Tank.

For instance, they should have known that when Mark Cuban says a decision is final, there are no compromises so it’s basically in their disadvantage to try and get more out of the deal.

In some cases, this even led to rejection because the aspiring entrepreneur decided to experiment and try and ask for more money. Not to mention that this shows insecurity, not taking smart decisions, and not reading people well.

So even if your idea and pitch are great, prepare for the negotiation part too.

It’s where you show a lot about how you can play the game of entrepreneurship, what kind of person you are, how strong you believe in what you just presented to the investors, and more.

Also, do an extensive research on whatever you can. Be it learning anything you can about the exact investors you’ll be meeting and their deals in the past, talking to people who know them, or who’ve been supported financially by venture capitalists before and had seen success with that.

4. Explain/sell how the investors will get their money back.

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Even if you don’t want to go that big from day one, aren’t sure about the 5 or so year vision of the company and market, and are more about solving a customer’s problem than seeing the big money coming in fast, you need to think through that aspect of the deal too and share it with the sharks.

Why? Because in the end of the day, they are there, looking for promising individuals like you who have something to offer to the world, but who can also help them grow their net worth.

The investors in Shark Tank are millionaires and billionaires from all fields, such as Daymond John (founder of FUBU), Kevin O’Leary, Steve Tisch (Chairman/Executive Vice President of the New York Giants), Nick Woodman (creator of the GoPro camera), and – of course – Mark Cuban (owner of the NBA‘s Dallas Mavericks, co-owner of 2929 Entertainment and chairman of the AXS TV).

Most of these started from the bottom, and got to where they are today with hard work, sacrifices, focused mind, and a vision. They’re pretty good at seeing what’s promising, and which startups have no chance of success in the long-run. That’s why they have the final say in this.

So if you wanna make it with their help, you need to show them what’s in it for them too. Make sure you include that in your pitch in the most effective way possible.

What else have you learned from Shark Tank?

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Becoming an Online Merchant: 4 Tips to Find the Perfect Product to Sell

Becoming an Online Merchant: 4 Tips to Find the Perfect Product to Sell

E-commerce is a booming industry and will only continue to grow in the coming years. That’s why it’s not so surprising that there are plenty of people who want even just a small slice of the proverbial pie.

But whether or not you are looking to establish a full-blown online store or would simply want to supplement your income by buying and selling items on the side, you have to pick a product to sell that would, well, sell.

With the right marketing strategy, one can argue that anything and everything can be sold online. However, the real challenge is finding a product that is conducive to success. How do you find that product? Here are a few pointers.

Finding The Ideal Product to Sell

1. Target Hobbyists and Collectors

You’ll be surprised by just how much money hobbyists and collectors are willing to spend to fuel their passions.

If you have a knack for finding rare items, you’ll be a big hit with collectors. Whether they’re interested in action figures and toys, lapel pins, first edition books, stickers, sports cards, or even antique dinnerware. Just make sure that everything is legitimate.

Meanwhile, there is no shortage of hobbies on which people willingly invest their time and money.

Some of the more popular ones include biking, fishing, knitting and crocheting, calligraphy, model building (including radio-controlled vehicles), and handicrafts. Look for a leisure pursuit where you can act as the product-based solution and you’ll easily enamor yourself to these customers.

2. Something Hard to Find or Can’t be Bought Locally

There are some things that can be easily found in a local grocery store or a specialty shop — say gardening or baking supplies. But what about specialty foods, magician’s accessories, eco-friendly products, and fandom items?

Most likely, people will go online to find these. You can enlist the help of Google Trends and Google Keyword Tool to get a glimpse of what kinds of products people are searching for online and use the results as a guide to pick a niche product to sell.

You can also try to sell products that can’t be bought or difficult to procure locally, like Japanese Kitkats, the “three-story” alfajor Oreos, or Asian beauty products. The latter, in particular, is a good place to start since a lot of products are only available in select countries or regions but are available through wholesale Asian cosmetics websites. Do the hard work of sourcing these products (and offer them at reasonable prices) and see just how much your customers will love you.

3. Star with The Accessories Before The Big-Ticket Items

When people buy big-ticket items such as 4K TVs, high-end smartphones, and gaming laptops, they buy them only once. Their next purchase of these kinds of products will probably be in the next two to three years.

These are big investments, after all, and people are much more reluctant to spend huge amounts so often. However, accessories are much more common purchases and people are relatively more agreeable to spending more often on these items. Especially when they’re meant to increase the performance or ensure the longer life of the bigger product.

Think about HDMI cables and switchers for TVs, charging cables and power banks as well as cases and protectors for smartphones, and gaming accessories like a mouse, a keyboard, and a good pair of headphones.

If you already sell the big-ticket items, then it’s a wise decision to add the accessories to your online catalog. If you’ve yet to choose what to sell on your online shop and/or you have a limited capital, you should consider selling these kinds of accessories first.

4. Consumables Mean Customers That Keep Coming Back

Consumables mean that you will have a steady customer base and a rather reliable revenue stream. What’s more, when people need to order products from you regularly, it’s much easier to build a loyal customer base.

Think about specialty cooking ingredients (Himalayan pink salt, anyone?), supplies for arts and crafts, and even cosmetics. Just make sure you’re able to deliver each and every time, since you don’t know when your customers will run out of their stock or order in bulk in advance.

Of course, choosing which product to sell is just one part of a thriving online business, since you should also take into consideration the demand, potential competition, and reliable suppliers, among others. However, it’s also undeniable that finding a saleable item is a huge contributor to your business success. Good luck on your journey as an online entrepreneur!

If you're into ecommerce, you might be wondering what product to sell on your online store. Here are 4 great ideas that are sure to make you money and bring you loyal customers: #ecommerce #onlinestore #makemoneyonline #sidehustle