Are you an entrepreneur who would benefit from making a deal on Shark Tank? The show is a great way to get your product noticed, receive some valuable feedback from some of the business world’s best minds, and hopefully walk away with a deal.
Anyone who is considering bringing a business idea to the sharks knows that making a strong and persuasive pitch is the name of the game.
Before you put your pitch together, take a look at this example as it’s been formulated after careful consideration of which type of pitches work and which don’t. Growing a start-up takes a lot of hard work and a little luck too! Know your business and have a clear vision of its potential growth before you create your pitch.
And remember if your proposed deal doesn’t get picked up by one of the sharks, it doesn’t mean that the idea’s a failure. It just means that the deal wasn’t right for the sharks at that time. Study successful pitches to learn what styles are most effective, and good luck!
Before the pitch
There are a few common traits that every successful pitch has:
- Adopt a friendly and informative tone. You’re asking for their investment. It’s very rare that a pitch that is overly aggressive or condescending goes over well with the sharks.
- Maintain a sense of humor. Relating a story about a launch or business-related event that didn’t go as planned is a great way to break the ice. Be sure to also tell how you learned and improved from the experience.
- Have an interactive pitch. If you are promoting a product, be sure to set up a fun and creative way for the sharks to try it out. This is another great way to let your personality shine!
- Develop your “elevator pitch”, making sure that it is succinct. You should be able to get your business idea across in a few minutes. Don’t get bogged down in details.
- And, most importantly, believe in your business! If you don’t have faith in the success of your company, they surely won’t either!
Keep all of these points in mind as you craft your pitch. Have an interactive part of the presentation, get your point across clearly and succinctly, and make sure that you are excited about the future of your business.
Example pitch: Simple Sugars 2013
Tell a story that clearly illustrates the need your service or product meets
As you begin your pitch preparation, keep in mind that your ultimate goal is having one or more of the sharks invest in your company. They want details on the potential market for your product or service. This is easily done by weaving a story that shows how your company fills an unmet need.
Be clear, but not too dry. Throw in some humor, maybe about how people try to cope without your product. Or how excited someone was to discover your service. The sharks are going to want to know that there is a market for the product. Of course, as we go into further detail in the next section, you’ll need to have the numbers to back up your position!
By illustrating how your company fills a hole in the market, the wheels in the sharks’ heads will begin to turn. Without a need, even the most innovative idea will go nowhere. Make this a fun and interesting part of the pitch. Some potential entrepreneurs act out a scenario where there is a need, and then provide the sharks with their solution in an entertaining manner.
Don’t be afraid to show your personality and make your pitch fun. Once this part of the pitch is complete, things will get a bit more dry. You have now set the stage as to why your company is a good investment and how it can help people. Next, you will need to get into the nitty gritty and the story the real numbers tell.
Example pitch: Brightwheel 2016
Have a detailed business plan and know your numbers!
You’ve successfully introduced your business to the sharks and they understand the market gap that it fills. Now it’s time to get down to business! While you don’t need to break out a power point presentation, you had better know your numbers down cold.
The sharks are going to ask you about the number of products that have been produced, ordered, and sold. They’ll also want to know the cost of production per piece along with the profit margin.
Make sure you can call these important numbers from memory. When you present your proposal, have distinct actions that you will take once you receive the investment. Will you increase production or marketing?
Reach additional markets, or be able to meet the current demand more efficiently? They will want to know what you’re going to do with their money and the level of profit that they can expect to achieve.
This is where many pitches go wrong. Entrepreneurs can’t speak about their production numbers. Or even worse, they have no idea how to expand or grow their businesses.
You can’t just ask for an investment without providing the sharks with a clear, well-thought out plan of how their investment will help to grow your company. Practice this part of the pitch and have someone shoot difficult questions at you. Getting this part of the pitch right is vital!
Example pitch: Ten Thirty One Productions 2013
The Shark Tank website is a good resource for potential participants to glean important insight into what appeals to the sharks and what turns them off. Research a few successful participants who operate in your industry or whose business is in the same stage of growth as yours.
Having a great idea is important, and without this, it will be hard to convince anyone to invest in your business. But, if you believe in your company and are able to articulate it to others, you are much more likely to be successful!