As an entrepreneur, there are only two reasons that could explain why you haven’t yet heard of Shark Tank. You’re either living under a very large rock, or you’re hanging out under a very small one.
Shark Tank has done wonders for a few small businesses and more importantly, contains some great advice for entrepreneurs. Some elements of the show are purely for entertainment purposes, but there are more than a few pearls of wisdom in the mix — especially from Mark Cuban, who happens to be my favorite shark.
Here are five lessons that every entrepreneur can learn from watching Shark Tank:
Learn Your Elevator Pitch
The sharks don’t have all day to listen to a sales presentation, and this is a great example of what happens in the real world. Investors work with people who know what they have to offer, and can quickly explain the benefits and rewards. Here are some key areas your pitch should cover.
- Who your business serves: You must know your customer intimately, and understand why they need your product. If you haven’t done so, create a customer persona to help you develop a clear and concise picture of your target audience.
- Why your product or service is important: Even the silliest products and services have a certain level of importance, which you’ll need to quickly convey. Think about your customer and their needs. Does your entertainment product help bring families together? Does your accounting software help small business owners save money on high-cost accountants? Knowing this information offhand is key to quickly landing an investor, partnership or other business opportunities.
Justin Beegel is the founder of Infographic World, a visual communications agency specializing in infographics, animations and interactive media.
BusinessCollective, launched in partnership with Citi, is a virtual mentorship program powered by North America’s most ambitious young thought leaders, entrepreneurs, executives and small business owners.