What Small Business Owners Can Learn from Shark Tank


Shark Tank is a show on ABC where real life entrepreneurs and small business owners get to pitch their ideas to a panel of wealthy “sharks” and try to get them to invest. Just the exposure of the show alone is enough to make every small business owner want to get a shot with the sharks. Not all small business owners are that lucky, though, so they’ll have to settle for just taking away some of the show’s most important lessons.

Be Realistic About Your Company’s Potential

One of the quickest ways for an entrepreneur to fail to get a deal on Shark Tank is overvaluing their company. Lots of entrepreneurs place their company’s value at what they hope it will be in the future rather than what it is now.

If you want to succeed in business and attract investors, you have to be realistic and honest about where you are presently. Venture capitalists prefer to look at what is now rather than what is ideal or what you think is possible.

Look Outside of the Box for Opportunities

If you are too short-sighted in your business goals, you can miss out on a lot of opportunities to make money. When you have an idea, you have to look outside of the box for things you can do with it.

Lots of people come into the Shark Tank with a business of their own, yet the sharks think the real money to be made is in licensing their idea to other businesses. You need to think bigger and be open to suggestions.

Know Your Numbers Inside and Out

The sharks ask a lot of questions about profits and sales, and the entrepreneurs need to be able to answer them quickly and accurately. You need to know everything about the numbers of your business, especially if you want to attract investors.

If you flounder to come up with an answer, you’re seen as either a bad businessperson or unprepared. Neither will help you convince people that you or your business is worth their time.

The Right Attitude Goes a Long Way

Occasionally entrepreneurs will get deals based on their personalities rather than their ideas. Their ideas need to have some substance, of course, but it’s the entrepreneur themselves that ultimately entices the sharks into making an offer.

On the other hand, small business owners with a poor attitude won’t get a deal no matter how good their business is. People won’t want to work with you if you’re cocky, rude, combative, or not open to suggestions.

Be Ready to Jump at a Chance

Sometimes on Shark Tank, the sharks will make an offer and force the small business owner to answer immediately. If they hesitate, the offer will be rescinded. While this doesn’t always seem fair, it’s an important lesson that you need to be ready to jump on any opportunities that come your way.

If you take too long to decide, you might lose out. Sometimes it’s worth taking the risk, and you don’t always have the luxury of time to make up your mind.

How will these strategies from the hit ABC TV show Shark Tank help you grow your business?

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About the Author: Jared Grant is a small business owner and avid writer who loves to give advice in his spare time. To ensure all his work is grammatically accurate and free of mistakes he proofs it with a grammar checker. He doesn’t want to spend the time to memorize grammar rules so he uses software to do it instead.


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