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Series 16 of Dragons’ Den has recently begun on the BBC and will see yet more budding entrepreneurs pitch their fledging business ideas to the formidable team of dragons. Over the years, the types of business ideas have been remarkably varied – from beard grooming to a remote control resembling a magic wand - and it has taken something special and a great deal of confidence to attract investment.


Digital Spy recently ranked the top 16 biggest success stories to come out of the programme and, top of the list was Reggae Reggae Sauce (Levi Roots) from 2007, which original attracted an offer of £50,00 from Richard Farleigh and Peter Jones. 


The article says: “Levi Roots is widely considered the biggest ever success on Dragons' Den after his Reggae Reggae Sauce became a store cupboard staple. Sainsbury's was bowled over by the level of demand for the tasty condiment when it first went on sale, as it sold in a single week what it was expected to shift in a year. Ever since, Levi's released cookbooks, expanded his range, and even got Reggae Reggae Sauce into recipes at companies like Dominos, Subway and Wetherspoons. The company has expanded, too and there's even a Levi Roots restaurant at Westfield Stratford.”


Peter Jones, who is the sole remaining original dragon from when the series began in 2005, has some hints and tips on his website about how to approach that all important pitch – which could be applied when talking to any potential investor: 


Dress appropriately: You wouldn’t ask your bank manager for a loan dressed in jeans and a t-shirt, and you shouldn’t expect someone to invest in you if you don’t know what is appropriate to wear in a given situation. 

Be confident: You should have faith in yourself and your idea. Often I look to invest in an individual as much as in their concept – so show what you can do! You get few opportunities to pitch directly to investors, so make the most of them. 

Be honest about your forecasts: There is nothing more embarrassing than seeing a pitcher crumble when their figures are questioned and picked apart by savvy investors. Do not over-estimate your capability, it will not inspire investors with confidence in you. 

Be concise. Make sure your business plan can be easily understood by those who you are pitching to and do not waffle. Remember, I want hard facts and figures, as well as how you are going to make your concept into reality. 

Research your idea thoroughly: It is amazing how many people try to pitch to me, without having looked into the market sector they are trying to break into. Sometimes a simple internet search reveals their idea has been done before, or that their estimation of demand is completely skewed. Look around at your competitors and see how you can offer a better and more competitive service than them.


We’d actually include another tip – get good professional advisers on your side as early as possible, including a Corporate lawyer. 


At CooperBurnett, our team will be able to help you with everything from writing contracts and buying property to growing your business by acquiring other firms. Call our Corporate team on tel: 01892 515022.

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August 30, 2018
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