It’s tough being a Dragon!

It’s hard to believe how few investment opportunities there are on BBC’s Dragons’ Den.

Sure there are plenty of hopeless cases, but this exactly mirrors real life. The difference is that in the Den you get a short, sharp shock if your pitch is not up to scratch.

There were only a couple of successful pitches this week (Series 9 believe-it-or-not, ep 2).

The stand out couple for me were Liz and Alan Colleran. They had already sold TEN THOUSAND caravan-memory-foam-stiched-into-a-duvet-with-one-side-sewn-up-to-keep your-back-warm.

A very good idea it was too, for anyone wanting to improve their night’s sleep on holiday.

But the main thing was that they actually had a pretty good business already. The only problem is they were hopeless with the numbers.

All the Dragons were OUT except for Hilary. It’s hard to understand how the Collerans could actually even get onto the show without an idea of what their P & L looked like. It was embarrassing.

Again, that’s real life in business. Who cares about the numbers anyway? Well someone had to, particularly if it’s going to be her money being invested.

New Dragon Hilary obviously felt her people would be able to get a grip on this, and get a grip on the huge costs to increase profits. She invested.

Sometimes your head can get in the way of your heart. Instinctively you know it’s a good product, but the others were saying in effect “How dare they come in here and not know their figures!”

Businesses, whether they are our clients or we invest in them, or both, are hardly ever totally tidy. If they were they wouldn’t need us or the Dragons anyway!

Some of the other pitches were hilarious. I admired the raw cheek of cheeky chappy Glen Harden, who candidly admitted he had no plan at all.

Glen, sounding like he had entered for a bet, got all the Dragons interested in his tan-in-a-fake-six-pack idea. Glen’s a skillful salesman and nearly pulled it off.

But not quite. Clever stuff though and compulsive viewing!

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About drstevelewis

Good leadership is essential for any project to succeed. I specialise in the most difficult leadership challenges; those involving the way we relate to other people or the way they relate to us. With a background of many years in business and an earlier training in medicine I combine the two in a unique consultancy.
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