Slaying the dragons

dragons.jpgImagine this: the Dragons’ Den producers have deemed your pitch entertaining enough to make the cut and you’ve sufficiently impressed Peter Jones or Duncan Bannatyne to take a punt.It’s down to the negotiation. But no matter how much you plead to cling onto your precious equity they just stare straight back at you with that ‘take it or leave it’ smug smile.Perhaps they’ll even throw in the old classic line, ‘what do you prefer, 50% of something or 100% of nothing?’ Then there’s the wealth of knowledge that comes with the investment to consider. Realistically, what are you gonna do but relent and take the cash?Say ‘no’ of course! According to research out today, 65% of you would be brave enough to turn their back on a dragon. Easy to say, I guess, but there is evidence it’s sometimes a wise move.Ling Valentine, owner of LINGsCARS.com, stunned Bannatyne and Richard Farleigh two years ago and has no regrets.“They wanted too much,” she says. “I refused both of their offers and LINGsCARS more than doubled turnover to £28m in 2007. I am really glad I walked away. Businesses who jump at their first offer must be desperate or barmy.”Gavin Wheeldon of Applied Language Solutions also walked away and admits he only went onto the show for the free publicity. “You can’t buy that exposure,” he says.Be interesting to watch the next series, if this catches on…

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