Most people in the world of business will agree that hard work and dedication are prerequisites of success. One of the best ways to achieve success is to ensure your bank has your best interests at heart at all times. If you are looking for success stories in the world of business a great place to start is the BBC's television show 'Dragon's Den'. The board members on this show represent the ultimate of British entrepreneurial talent who have built up personal fortunes pursuing profits in a variety of industry sectors.
For those who have not seen the show, the premise is that those who have ideas or inventions present them to a board of business experts. The hope of the interviewees is to gain a financial investment from members of the board. Many of these hopefuls have already tried to gain funding from their bank but have been rejected for a number of reasons. For most interviewees the hope is that one of the Dragons will see potential in their business and decide to invest.
There is a price to pay however for gaining the Dragons' financial backing and business acumen; interviewees will always have to give up some of their equity or future profits in order to secure a deal. In comparison, if funding is loaned from the bank, although there will be interest no equity will be relinquished. For most who are peddling their wares on the show however, the surrendering of equity is a small price to pay to gain the expertise, contacts and know-how of one or more of the Dragons.
One of the success stories from the Den was that of Levi Roots. Levi had been a MOBO music award winner in 1998 and came to the Den hoping to sell his idea of a unique sauce. His pitch included a catchy tune advertising his 'Reggae Reggae Sauce' and the Dragons bough into the idea. Levi managed to secure the support of two of the Dragons as well as a fifty thousand pounds investment to further develop and distribute his product. Thanks to the Dragon's contacts he managed to place his sauce onto the shelves of a major supermarket chain and remains a popular condiment in many homes. Recently, Levi has also struck up a deal with a fast food chain to include his sauce in outlets across the country.
Another success story from the Den was a board game named 'About Time'. While the Dragons normally reject items such as board games the inventor Iain McGill had won over the board with an inventive pitch. The bank had invested already but after a period had withdrawn their support as they thought the idea was a non-starter. Unfortunately for Iain the board game was in a critical part of its development and this loss of support had hit his idea hard. He visited the Dragons as his last chance to achieve a major investment.
The board game was based upon historical events and had a strong educational element. Seemingly this appealed to the Dragons who appreciated the educational aspect of the idea. The game is now stocked in specialist shops around the country and has experienced a great response from the public, obviously helped by the appearance on the BBC show.
So far the Dragons have helped many entrepreneurs who have lost the support of their bank. After many series the sum invested has entered the millions; while not all of the deals brokered on the show have experienced success, those that were pursued vehemently have managed to bring popular services and products to the marketplace. Most of the interviewees will agree that it is not the financial investment that they want when entering the Den, to secure the knowledge and contacts of these behemoths of business is the ultimate objective.
Business expert Thomas Pretty looks into why a business bank loan can be compared to investment from a well established entrepreneur.