The business world can be a brutal, take-no-prisoners type environment. In fact, 8 out of 10 new business are expected to fold within their first few years. And perhaps that’s why millions of viewers tune in to ABC’s hit television program Shark Tank.
Comprised of rotating judges Mark Cuban, Lori Greiner, Daymond John, Barbara Cochran, and of course, Mr. Wonderful, Kevin O’Leary, Shark Tank is one of the most exciting and downright fascinating shows on television.
Competitors duke it out with the judges to get funding for their dream business.
But beneath the reality show exterior, there’s a lot that Shark Tank can teach us about business. Namely, failure isn’t always a bad thing.
Here are some key lessons to take away from Shark Tank’s startup failures.
Business Isn’t Always Easy
Shark Tank shares a lot with its reality show sister, American Idol. It’s theorized that people don’t so much tune in to watch the successes as they want to watch others fail.
This sounds harsh, but it brings about an important lesson: business isn’t always easy.
Entrepreneurs shouldn’t expect their first idea to be a smash hit. Sometimes ideas need refinement that can take weeks, months or even years.
This isn’t a bad thing, however. Don’t take rejection personally and learn to develop a thick skin. Rejection is going to come often, but it isn’t a personal matter.
There are plenty of reasons a business may not make it. Perhaps there isn’t enough capital, or an investor already has too many clients. So before contacting SBA Attorneys, be prepared for rejection.
Marketing Begins Upon Entering The Boardroom
Ultimately, a pitch doesn’t begin when the presentation does. On the contrary, a presentation is about more than PowerPoints and tables.
It’s about the entrepreneur themselves.
Everything from wardrobe to body language can make a huge impression in the boardroom. An awkward, aloof presentation may seem fun on TV, but in real life, it’s anything but.
And since startup failures are so common, one bad presentation can leave a business reeling. Accordingly, practice makes perfect.
Before presenting — even to just one person — have every detail planned out. That includes things like wardrobe and technology.
Like on Shark Tank, it’s the investor’s job to size up the entrepreneur. In fact, they may even pass on an opportunity because of the entrepreneur.
Remain calm, cool, and collected.
Failure Is Just As Important As Success
Finally, learn from every mistake. Don’t look at these as failures, but as growing opportunities as a businessperson.
Sometimes it’s important to sit down and look at the facts. What went wrong? What could have been avoided? What should’ve been done differently?
Debriefing a failed venture is a great way to learn some lessons. Understanding why something went wrong is far more helpful than shrugging it off. These failures should be cherished.
By understanding what happened in the past, it’s possible to improve future ventures.
Final Thoughts On Startup Failures
Shark Tank makes one thing abundantly clear: business is tough. But preparing, planning, and understanding can make a venture far more likely to succeed.
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