Swimming with the Sharks: The Formula to Startup Success

Whether you watch because you’re a huge reality TV fan, love watching dreams come true or enjoy it from a business angle, “The Shark Tank” continues in its fifth season of success on ABC with almost 8 million viewers.

The Tank showcases entrepreneurs pitching ideas to a group of potential investors. This infographic shows their formula for success, offering sound advice for business startups. It gives valuable tips and advice for upcoming entrepreneurs to either “sink or swim”.

Using examples from some of the best and worst concepts presented, both those that were accepted and rejected, it gives valuable insight for business startups.

It shows a greater failure than success rate, with just one-third of the deals from the series actually closed. This statistic is still far better than the national average of 80% of new businesses failing within the first eighteen months and only one in seventeen of these ventures saw a profit. Although these numbers may appear dismal at best, further examination of these key points will help to ensure your success:

Know The Need for Your Product: Vanity may play an important role in your product’s success or failure. You may believe your item is necessary for a marketplace that may, or may not, actually exist. Instead of being stuck on your product being a solution, it is recommended to look for the problem first, rather than a solution.

Always Be Prepared: Shared with the Boy Scout motto since the turn of the century, awareness and knowledge seem to go hand-in-hand with any successful venture. Often if you expect the worst, you are willing to embrace and accept something better when you are prepared for anything.

Great Ideas Are Made Successful By Great People: Apparently if you can sell ice cubes to Eskimos, then your passion for success is just as important as the product itself. The Sharks point out that in some circumstances, many of them were won over by the salesperson and their pitch, rather than the product itself.

Build Your Successful Network: If you do not listen to other points of view then you are condemned to evaluate only your thoughts and opinions. That may or may not be relevant in these uncharted waters. Investors bring more than pure cash, they offer their own experience, insight and important business connections to the table.

Know Your Negotiating Limits: Having unrealistic expectations can have you drowning in failure before you have even had a chance to swim. A successful negotiation must serve both parties or there will be no valuable outcome without benefit for both the investor and the entrepreneur.

Learn And Listen: Even if a potential client or investor shoots you down, often they can give you valuable advice or even connections to another possible success. Sir Winston Churchill said, “Success consists of going from failure to failure without loss of enthusiasm.”

Sink or Swim: Here knowledge is deemed one of the most essential parts of a successful venture but many more attributes are necessary such as flexibility, passion, understanding and communication.

So how can you succeed in these shark-infested waters? Perhaps we can take some more advice from Churchill, “Success is not final, failure is not fatal; it is the courage to continue that counts.”

Never give up the ship.


Let’s start accelerating your success.

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