6 things I learned from watching Shark Tank

Recently I had to stay at home and take it easy so I ended up on youtube watching many episodes of Shark Tank.
These are main ideas that stayed with me.

Idea itself is nothing
You need much more than idea. You need to have your idea proven by market – either by sales, customer subscription or by some other measure. Even solid market research to prove the concept is very helpful. Just the fact that you and your friends and family love the idea is nothing.

Some thing are better to license than work on it
With some ideas, if you take into account how much money you would need to get this to market and how much complexity and cost is manufacturing, it is much better and easier to licence your idea/product to existing market players.

Scalability and market size matters
Many ideas although being very nice and presented by great people are rejected simply because they are too small or very difficult to scale up. Still, many of them can be solid small business.

Have a healthy margin
Apart from sales, margin is the second question you will get.
it is simply comparisons of size and margin that will give investor and you as entrepreneur sense for how big is the prize you’re after. Higher the margin, easier it is to grow as you have plenty of room for marketing and are safer on a cash flow side.

If you didn’t make it in 3 years you will not make it in five
I’ve seen couple episodes when investors asked, what are your sales and the answer was something like $75k … in last three years. This is total showstopper and clear sign that this product is not something market really wants.

It is great to have some kind of IP
If you have something that is patented or with some kind of IP attached to it and you are in a big enough market, you’re very valuable for investors and it is also great for minimising risks for your business. Make sure you have it all very well worked out as this can be win all lose all thing.

Overall, I strongly recommend watching Shark Tank as your free, inspirational lessons on entrepreneurship. It will also give you many tips and tricks to help you succeed with your business.
Just imagine yourself being there – right in front of sharks – presenting your business idea. This alone will help you structure your thinking and improve your business ideas.