I have often wondered why people appear to enter the Den, with dodgy products, weird valuations and no ideas about the business plan.
Of course it is television, but like most business, TV it does a disservice to those who need investment and those who make them.
So, if you think you need some external investment here are some things to do before appearing on the next series:
- Ask a local accountant to value your company and most importantly, understand how similar companies in both your sector and similar sectors are valued
- Swot up on your top ten numbers. Know the difference between sales, turnover, gross and net profit, cash flow and balance sheets
- Get some strong sales under your belt
- If the product is just an idea and the money is needed to make it come to life, then seek out your potential purchaser and document what they would need to happen, in order for them to buy it
- Finally, forget about making friends with a celebrity investor. There are many local groups of people who know how to run companies and often a few hints is all you need
Recently, people have realised that, regardless of getting investment in the Den or not, just getting on the show can be enough to kickstart the business. If you are luck enough to get into this position, make sure that you can cover the phones and your website can cope with a dramatic increase in traffic, for a few days, at least!