Adrian Esquivel
January 29, 2015

Important Business Lessons You Can Learn from Shark Tank

An eager, motivated person walks into the Shark Tank and pitches an idea that they've poured their heart and soul into for the last few years to the intimidating “sharks”, in the hope of more capital to grow their dream. Sometimes they start out strong, and then somehow blow it. Sometimes they start out really nervous and somehow hook the sharks and come out ahead. As viewers, we’re on the edge of our seat listening to the five minutes that will make or break their investment opportunities. While not every business can appear on Shark Tank, there are important lessons we can learn from the show that apply to all industries.

Keep in mind network size

When you’re looking for ways to grow your business, it’s important to get a sense of your network size or connect with business partners who have a large network to tap into. In addition to network size, a deep industry understanding will go a long way. If you’re looking to expand your network, consider the advantages that working with an agency will bring. Agencies tend to have number experts on staff with deep industry knowledge and large network connections that they'll utilize to grow your business.

Have a sales mentality

Being able to sell your ideas will get ahead. Mark Cuban stresses that selling is one of the most important skills for entrepreneurs. Being able to understand how to create value in the minds of others will always reflect well on your business and bottom line. It’s important to also understand how, when and where to reach your customers. With the growing number of customers using digital spaces to get their news, or pick up on trends, it’s imperative to have a digital presence as part of your sales strategy. Having more sales also increases the valuation of your business, which we learn in Shark Tank is critical to making deals.

Be customer-centric

Yes, you've put in all the late nights, but don’t lose focus on your customer’s needs. After all, they’ll be the ones who will ultimately be purchasing your product. Take time weekly to answer these two important questions: What customer problem are you solving and why are you the best person to solve it? These questions will continue to evolve as your business evolves and will give you more clarity and focus. Working with an agency can help create or solidify your brand’s image to appeal more to your base customers. Sometimes entrepreneurs get so caught up in what they've put into building the business that they forget about their customers. An agency will bring a fresh prospective to your product and get you back in the customer’s mindset.

Viability is key

Test, test, test your idea. As an entrepreneur, it’s your responsibility to prove that your ideas are viable. When you have a new idea or product, not everyone will buy into it right away. Call potential users of your product for feedback and make any improvements necessary. If market research intimidates you, connect with agency that specializes in gathering market research, to help your business through this process. Remember, just because something seems like a good idea, doesn't mean that everyone will see the same benefits you do.

Live your brand

Share you passion and tell people your story. This gives potential clients a way to connect with you and something they will likely share with others. Be careful in going overboard with the little details, the last thing you want is to bore your customers. Keep in mind that humanizing your product or business is also a great way to attract publicity and good publicity will ultimately get you more customers.While there is no magic formula for business success, one thing that’s for sure is successful entrepreneurs truly love what they are doing. Take these tips into consideration as you explore your next big idea.