By now you guys probably know that I really dig Shark Tank, the Channel Ten reality television show about entrepreneurs, who are given the chance to pitch their business ideas to a group of investors (“Sharks”). They are unfortunately all out though – the last episode for the season was aired on 7 June 2015.
It’s a really cool show and I’ve blogged about it twice now. It has a whole heap of really good ideas and it provides great insight about the nature of entrepreneurship, business planning, business valuation, and ingenuity in finding gaps in the market.
So here’s some things that I learned from Shark Tank:
Have a Business Plan!
A lot of the entrepreneurs featured on the show had a solid idea but no real clear route to achieving success. Arguably that’s why they came on the show to begin with – to get mentoring and help from the Sharks, but you can’t expect every small business to have the opportunity to go on television like that. A good starting point for planning your route is to have a business plan. Business.gov can help out with how to write your business plan.
Know the numbers!
It was a little unnerving that a lot of the entrepreneurs on the show didn’t know the basics of business valuation and also weren’t 100% familiar about their accounts. I thought that this should be stuff that they should know like the back of their own hand. If you are in this position, you could consider getting professional help from an accountant or a book-keeper.
Protect your Intellectual Property!
Yes, I am an Trade Mark Lawyer, so this is my forte. I always believe that any entrepreneur worth their salt should take steps to protect their valuable intellectual property – whether that is an invention, or whether it is a brand of some sort – and the Sharks agree. I believe that the Sharks were always enthusiastic whenever an entrepreneur who had a good idea came before them, and told them that they had already registered their trade mark, design, or patents.
To me however, to a small business, trade mark registration is the most important step. It is after all, your your branding, your mark, your very identity as a business. It can stop others from copying you. If you want to sell your business or have people invest in your business, assure your investor that you have taken steps to protect what goodwill that you have built in the brand by registering a trade mark.
If you’re ready to take the next step in your business and you need your trade marks protected – give us a call. We’ll be sure to help you out.