GUEST BLOG: 10 tips for how to win in the Dragons' Den
- Your pitch needs to be clear and concise and explain what the deal is. You need to get the Dragons' attention quickly.
- Be prepared for very tough questioning. We were in the Den for three hours; this is physically and mentally exhausting so prepare yourself. I would recommend that you don't go on your own. Having Laura to help respond to the intense questioning really helped, it can be difficult to take in all the questions.
- Give honest and straightforward answers, do not hide anything or avoid answering the questions. This will annoy any possible investors.
- The Dragons want a return on their investment so they need to feel confident that the market is big enough. Will enough customers buy your products? Ideally your product needs to scalable across the country and other markets.
- Be confident. Peter Jones famously jumped out of this chair and wrote I'm out on Magic Whiteboard. We were not expecting this and were surprised because we knew Magic Whiteboard was selling online. At that point we had sales of £45,000. This year our sales were £1.1 million.
- Know your numbers for the last three years. Turnover, gross profit, net profits, margins and cost prices.
- We would strongly advise that you have evidence that your product will sell. Magic Whiteboard had been successfully selling online for 18 months before we went in the Den. Do you have evidence from buyers they will buy your product?
- Keep calm and do not get aggressive, respond to questions stating facts and figures.
- You need to show that your product is unique and not easily copied. They don't want to invest then have lots of copycat products appearing. They want to feel confident their money is safe and won't be wasted.
- The Dragons need to like you and be able to work with you, show your personality and be yourself.
Going on Dragons' Den has worked wonders for us. I took a huge risk by leaving my safe NHS job and pension but the rewards of growing Magic Whiteboard have been worth it and every day is incredibly exciting.
I would recommend you go on Dragons' Den if you can. Theo and Deborah have been fantastic coaches and mentors. With their help we have accelerated the growth of Magic Whiteboard far beyond the ambitions we had when we were still running the business from home. Within two weeks Theo put Magic Whiteboard into all 240 of his Ryman stationery stores and we were a national brand.
Over the last three years we have worked extremely hard. We have developed new products, such as the Magic Blackout Blind after listening to customers who said they want a quick and easy way to temporarily blackout windows. The Magic Blackout Blind now accounts for half our sales.
We are also launching our new book Diary of a Sleep Deprived Mum on 7th October. As parents ourselves we know every parent suffers from sleep deprivation with a new born baby. It is a very difficult time. This book is written by a parent, for parents. It is funny, easy to read and contains sleep tips from real mums. Find out more on our Facebook page.
We are going to feature on Dragons' Den - How to win in the Den on 5th October, 9PM, BBC2. The show will feature our brand new product: erasable Magic Sticky Notes - the world's first erasable and reusable self stick note.