Article by Fabafterfifty
Looking back at some back episodes of ‘Dragon’s Den’, I was delighted to see that the first entrepreneur to get dragon funding was 63 years old – although 4 out of the 5 dragons had dismissed his business plan as being flawed, and only one dragon (James Caan) saw its viability and made an offer.
It made me think about how they would react to my business should I ever put myself in the den. Would I be able to get all 5 dragons on side or would none see its merits?
I’m not even about to think about company value or percentage of business I would exchange for a specific level of investment, but I thought it would be a good exercise for me to see if my business proposition was sound- just for myself. I’m sure the Dragon’s Den would be far harsher critics than friends or family, so how would I (and my various business ventures- all start ups) stand up to their scrutiny?
What do the Dragons look for? Deborah Meaden is always quick to ask for figures. Yes, I know my turnover, level of investment to date and cost base and have sales and profit projections.
Duncan seems to ask for patents, registrations etc -all in hand.
James- well I’m sure he’d ask about my background and experience in running a business before. As I have a background in recruitment (as he does) he’d probably push me hardest in assessing whether or not I have the business skills to make me or my business a strong bet. Hopefully he would believe that I do, although I suspect that I would be marked down for having more than one venture.
Peter- not too sure what Peter would ask- possibly size of market, market potential – have all my stats for this too. Definitely scaleable
And Theo – well, if it was Fabafterfifty I was presenting I’m sure his eyes would light up at the sight of my key image (a slightly naughty looking lady in pink), but on serious note I think he would be looking at my channels to market, marketing spend etc. I think he would probably suggest that I have underestimated the cost of this. He would probably ask what contracts I had already signed.
So would any or all make me an offer – really can’t answer that one! Although I think they might well suggest that I concentrate on only one business at a time! Trying to assess my own business potential in their eyes has certainly been an interesting exercise for me, and has highlighted areas I should perhaps focus on a little more.