Shark Tank 5 open call audition tips

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by RICHARD KENT

WFAA

Posted on April 17, 2013 at 9:36 AM

Updated Wednesday, Apr 17 at 11:47 AM

Susan Solovic, a small business expert, joined News 8 Daybreak Wednesday to share tips on how to successfully pitch your small business idea on the ABC show "Shark Tank."

Do you have a fantastic business idea and need a little money to grow? You may be the perfect candidate for the popular television show "Shark Tank." But, before you swim with the 'Sharks,' make sure you're on top of your game. Here are a few tips to help you get noticed.

1. Be creative. Pitch your story in a compelling and entertaining way. Remember, this is television so you need to create a cool factor regarding your business. Don't waste time telling your life story, be creative and deliver the punch line first. And, because this is television, make sure your pitch is visual. If the Sharks can see and experience your product that's a definite advantage.  

2. Be camera ready. This is television so your look and style matters as much as your business plan. You might be the next Mark Zuckerberg but it you don't come across on TV you won't get a shot at the Sharks. Make sure you're animated and enthusiastic when you pitch. Get some professional coaching if you're not a natural. If the camera loves you, the Sharks may as well. 

3 Be unique. All investors look for a product or service that is new or innovative. So, show the Sharks how your business stands out from the competition. What do you offer that no one else has? If you have already protected your intellectual property that's a positive, but not mandatory. Before the Sharks invest in your business, they'll want to know whether there is a barrier to entry -- meaning how tough would it be for someone to copy the idea and run with it before you can get your business going.   

4. Show conviction. Believe in your product but don't talk about your passion. If you're too passionate about your business, it's like being love sick. You can't handle rejection or see your business weaknesses and you may bail quickly when something goes wrong. But, if you have a strong conviction then you're committed to hang in there even during the tough times. It shows the Sharks that you're someone that is accountable and a good choice for an investment.  

5. Be Confident not Arrogant. It's important to know your business model and to be able to answer any questions the Sharks may ask you. However, don't be arrogant about your business. The Sharks are successful business people who know what it takes to build a company.  If they throw a tough question your way, don't argue and tell them they're wrong. Listen to their feedback. If you don't agree, be prepared with hard facts to demonstrate your position. And never take it personally. This is business not a social event.  
 

Follow Daybreak segment producer @wfaarichard

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