Showing posts with label Entrepreneurs. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Entrepreneurs. Show all posts

Tuesday, November 5, 2013

5 Things That Entrepreneurs Can Learn From Shark Tank

By Ilan Nassimi

Written with love by the editorial team at Fueled, an award winning Android application design agency.

The hit reality show 'Shark Tank' offers a fascinating glimpse of a do-or-die drama as entrepreneurs attempt to hook a venture capitalist. Even though most entrepreneurs don't make their funding pitch in front of the cameras, the thrashing that goes on in that tank can actually add some clarity to what are murky waters for many. Here are five vital lessons that any entrepreneur can take away from 'Shark Tank':

1) Value your business intelligently

Venture capitalists are number crunchers, and they're experts at business valuations. Before you jump into a pool of money-hungry sharks, get some sound advice about what your business is really worth. Once you have that number in your head, decide the amount of equity that you're willing to give up to an investor. Retaining as much equity as possible shouldn't be your only goal. Trading the expert advice and guidance of a shark in exchange for a larger slice of the pie can translate into 50% ownership of a success, compared to 100% equity in a failure.

 lessons for young Entrepreneurs

2) Have a good grasp of the numbers

To be taken seriously by potential investors, it's essential that you have an accurate understanding of the financial aspects of your business. If you can't discuss your sales figures or your cost per unit without getting confused, it raises a red flag to anyone considering putting their money into your business. You should also be able to communicate that you have a clear and logical plan for the funds you're seeking. If you can't back up your plea for cash with facts and figures, don't expect a shark to take the bait you're dangling.

3) Demonstrate your passion and commitment

Sharks don't want to put their money and expertise into a hobby business, because anything less than a full-time effort on your part directly impacts their chances of getting a decent return on their investment. They want to know that you live and breathe the business, and that you have the drive and determination to succeed. True dedication and passion can overcome any number of obstacles, and sharks understand this. If they feel you're lacking either, an investor might pass on your business even if it's profitable.

4) Understand your competition and your market

When you head into a meeting with potential investors, be ready to answer questions about who your competitors are, whether there's a market for your product or concept, and how you fit into the bigger picture. Scoping out the competition and performing market research are essential early steps for any startup, and sharks are keenly aware that overlooking either can spell disaster for a young business. In order to get the funding you need, you have to show a shark that your business offers the promise of longevity and profitability.

5) Define what you're bringing to the table and then bold it

Is your concept one-of-a-kind? Is your product patented? Sometimes, investors are sold on a concept or product, but occasionally, they'll see something in an entrepreneur that convinces them to invest even if the numbers aren't quite there yet. Before you look for funding, figure out exactly where your strengths lie, and put all you have into emphasizing them.

Are you an entrepreneur who's looking for investors to help catapult your startup to the next level? What lessons and strategies have you gleaned from watching the weekly feeding frenzy?

Inspirational Songs for Young Entrepreneurs

By Ilan Nassimi of Fueled

Written by the editors at Fueled, an agency thatmakes stunning iPhone apps.

You’ve got talent, great ideas, and plenty of ambition. You know that it’s just a matter of time before you’re entrepreneurial spark catches fire and ignites an explosion of consumer interest. Still, even the best young entrepreneurs need to keep their spirits up when things are challenging. These songs will keep you going as you build on your concepts and develop your business.

1.     Billionaire (Travie McCoy)

This song captures the heart of the entrepreneur’s dream. McCoy sings about everything he would do if he were a billionaire, about how that fantasy is always lurking, always driving him “every time I close my eyes.” It’s a great inspirational song because it encourages you to keep a vision of what you want your life to be no matter what happens, and to set goals for what you’d do with your success.

Songs for Inspiration

2.     Mean (Taylor Swift)

When you’re on your journey to the business big leagues, you’re undoubtedly going to have people who tell you “no,” or “you can’t” or even “don’t be stupid.” There are going to be people to want you to give up on everything you want to achieve. This song is a fantastic reminder that you shouldn’t let those kinds of comments stop you or get you down and that, one day, you’re going to overcome and leave those who put you down in the dust.

3.     (It’s My Life) Bon Jovi

As an entrepreneur, you’re probably coming to realize that success requires you to take some chances. You’ve got to just go for it sometimes. This classic song pushes you, reminding you that you are in control of your destiny and to grab the opportunities that come to you in ways that leave you with no regrets.

4.     Heart of a Champion (Nelly)

Making it in business means having an internal drive to succeed that squashes the doubts of everyone around you. It means being proud of yourself enough to stand up for what you can do and believe in. In this song, Nelly raps about how no one can beat him or hold him down because he’s got the “heart of a champion.” You bring that same attitude to the corporate table and you’ll make it.

5.     Fight Another Day (Addison Road)

Not everything in business goes perfectly. In fact, sometimes things are downright disastrous. But you do not need to stay broken. You can learn from what happens and come up with bigger, bolder and better ideas and strategies. This song reminds you that, through whatever heartbreak you might face, you’ve got to get up and keep fighting. The courage to do this is what separates the barely-making-it businesspeople from the ones who become household names.

6.     One Step at a Time (Jordin Sparks)

Getting a start as an entrepreneur can be tough. (Okay, really tough.) You likely will find yourself frustrated and impatient, wanting things to be easier and to move faster. This is especially the case if you’re doing a lot of your business work on your own without a strong support network. This work reassures you that everything will fall into place when its meant to. It reminds you to have faith in what you’re doing and that, if you just keep at it, little by little, you’ll get where you want to go.