Monday, August 24, 2009

What the "Sharks" Can Teach You About Business

My husband Jon and I have been enjoying watching the new television show, "Shark Tank." (It's on Sunday nights on ABC). The show offers some lessons for entrepreneurs who are looking for investors for their businesses. Now I realize that there are only a handful of resume writers who would need a large capital infusion to start-up (or expand) their business, as this industry is fairly light on cash requirements, but the show makes some interesting points nonetheless from the case studies of folks pitching their business ideas to the five investors, Barbara Corcoran, Daymond John, Kevin Harrington, Robert Herjavec, and Kevin O'Leary. (Many of these principles are also applicable to our job seeking clients.)
  • Stand for something. Even the investors who don't have a fleshed-out working prototype can win over "The Sharks" with enthusiasm, a personality, and a "brand" concept. In fact, several of "The Sharks" have invested in unproven concepts because they liked the person pitching the products, and they believed in THEM. Resume writers need to have a "niche" or a "hook" so people can remember them. (Deb Dib, the CEO Coach; Cindy Kraft, the CFO Coach). We've also all known job seekers that talked their way into a job, even though they didn't have the qualifications the employer said they were seeking. Attitude goes a long way!
  • Don't overvalue what you have to offer. Having unrealistic expectations for what their business is worth is a dream-killer for many of the folks pitching their products. Many pitchmen come in front of "The Sharks" with small revenue and profit realizations -- yet they want to value their companies in the tens of millions of dollars because of the "potential." Your worth is based on what you have to offer today -- not five years from now. I've worked with a number of young college graduates. Some of them are worth every dollar they are asking for in a first salary; most are not. You have to prove yourself before you'll get the big investment.
  • Be willing to say, "I'm out." The catchphrase for the show is when each of "The Sharks" decides to invest ... or not. If they decide not to invest in the pitch, they say, "I'm out." Know when to walk away from things. For example, I've recently been talking with resume writers who are trying to work out strategic alliances with recruiting firms (the subject of a new Special Report I'm working on). Some of them are so thrilled to be approached -- and star-struck by the offerings of dozens of new clients per week that the recruiters think they'll be sending their way -- that they don't realize that the deal doesn't favor them. Remember, "It's not personal, it's business." Be willing to walk away.
It's a good show. You should watch it!


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  2. The article imparts key business insights from "Shark Tank," emphasizing the significance of branding, realistic valuations, and knowing when to walk away. It's a concise and informative read for those in business and job seeking. Now it's time to get charitable trustfor more information.