10 Tips From The Sharks
There’s a well known saying that you may have heard of: it’s a dog-eat-dog world. It’s a little dated and a little ruthless, but perhaps there is some value in being told to look out for your own interests, especially in business.
Take the popular Network 10 show, Shark Tank. Five of Australia’s most successful business superstars gather to hear and buy into prospective entrepreneurial breakthroughs. “Having already invested over $9 million of their own money, Australia’s Sharks are out for the next great Aussie idea and aren’t afraid to take on each other in order to get it.” If the success that these moguls have experienced is the end-goal, what else can we learn as entrepreneurs from these sharks?
1. Ideas Are Not Businesses
It takes more than a good idea to establish a successful business. If all you have is an idea, you have a start, but that’s about it. Make sure you have the expertise to examine your idea and see it through or find the resources and people to help you get there.
2. Have a Growth Plan
A visionary business idea is great, but it’s got to have the potential to grow; you’ll need a plan for scaling, manufacturing, distributing, and pricing. From there, you’ll be better equipped to endure, evolve, and prosper.
3. The Customer is Top Priority
Establishing your target audience as an entrepreneur is key. These are the people whose lives you’re aiming to change with your service or product. Keep their wellness, spending habits, and needs in mind; this is key for targeting them effectively.
4. Know Your Market
Research. It’s essential to test the waters with surveying methods to see how you fit into the market, and how it will react to you. Willingness to research shows a willingness to invest in something practical and useful over something that ’just feels right'.
5. Results get Results
Even if this is your first time testing the market, remember that results get results. If all you’ve got to show is your expertise in your field of business, be ready to demonstrate it, be ready to testify about the quality of your work, ethic, and product.
6. Hone Your Pitch
If you aren’t able to articulate why people should be interested in your service or product, you don't know your pitch. Consequently, if you don't know your pitch, neither will anyone else. A successful pitch is confident, short, and sweet. Do it right, and people will want to know more about your product and potentially invest.
7. Focus on Connections
“It’s not what you know, it’s who you know.” The extent to which this statement is true probably varies from person to person. Still, there’s no denying: even if you don’t know many people, the people that you do know can be your greatest advocates. Embrace these people, and invite them to share in this journey with you. After all, two heads are better than one.
8. Ask for What You Want--and Stop Only When You Get It
Getting a business off the ground is no small feat, and it’s no time to be too shy or proud to ask for help. Cutting corners and settling will not only damage your reputation as an entrepreneur, but it will also damage the quality and integrity of your product. Be bold, be upfront, and get it right each time you ask for help.
9. Think Like a Customer
Like Bill Gates said, “Your most unhappy customers are your greatest source of learning.” Think like, empathise with, and anticipate what your customers want and need. Be ahead of the curve, but also listen to the curve.
10. Numbers Aren’t Everything
We love numbers-it’s part of our job. Still, there are only so many ways to be passionate about numbers. What we are truly passionate about is the people that are represented by the numbers. Taking care of clients is the top priority, and if this is done successfully, numbers of clients, revenue, and growth will follow. Win-win.