Guest blog: I went on Dragons' Den and rejected James Caan's offer

Appearing on the BBC's Dragons' Den was a terrific experience and we were confident enough in our business to expect one of the Dragons to make us an offer. However, the offer made by James Caan - £100,000 for 30% of our business as opposed to the 5% we were offering - was simply too much to give away.

And the continued success of the past year since we first appeared in the Den has simply confirmed our decision to walk away from James Caan's offer. We have since learned  that we are the only business in the show's history to not only match but exceed its financial targets after turning down a Dragon, something we are very proud of.

Our appearance last weekend (Sunday, October 10) on Dragons' Den Revisited coincides with the most exciting time yet in our business - the national retail launch of our two Paragon laundry detergents, Halo and Halo Sports Wash.

Halo is the first of a new breed of washing detergents designed to work at low temperatures and scientifically proven to destroy hospital superbugs including MRSA and C.Difficile. It is also effective against Listeria, Salmonella, E.Coli, H1N1, Norovirus and fungus. Halo is the only retail laundry liquid in the world to contain Hygienilac which has a kill rate of 99.99% of the bacteria which most commonly cause food poisoning. This means it can thoroughly clean your clothes and all the bacteria trapped in the weave of the fabric - allowing clothing to breathe.

Our products have already received glowing reports from a number of leading fitness instructors including ITV Celebrity Fit Club winner Tina Baker and Olympic athlete Jamie Baulch. Before the decision to launch into the consumer retail market, our products had generated a cult following in the NHS, where there has been an increase in superbugs in the past few years.

I am proud that Paragon appeared on Dragons' Den and that it was subsequently selected to be featured on the Revisited programme. I would recommend the show to other entrepreneurs with good products or stories to tell and even if you decide to walk away from an offer, like we did, the programme still provides you with a rare opportunity to showcase your business to millions of BBC viewers.

But having invested - together with a business partner - more than £250,000 of our own money and having re-mortgaged our family home twice in the matter of a few years, there was absolutely no way I could justify waving goodbye to such a large amount of the business.

Having left school at 16, served in the Army and spent six years at night school studying chemistry and IT, I know that there is no quick fix to success. I'm also only 42 and enjoy what I do, so it doesn't really matter if it takes another few years to build the business to its full potential.

With massive untapped potential not just at home in the UK, but also into Europe, we are a long way off reaching that potential.

Halo is available in Wilkinson stores across the UK and costs £5.98. It is also available online at www.germwarfare.co.uk.

 

 

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