Episode 4: The Dog Dunit
Q: Explain your Dragon's Den experience?
A: My experience in the Den was very positive overall. My goal entering the Den, oddly, was not the investment. On entering the Den I had already set numerous balls in motion for the continued development of my business. As a new business, and when writing my initial application for the Den, it was really just another route to take. On receiving the chance to appear in front of 5 Dragons, the experience of that alone is what motivated me to attend the Den. As for all businesses that look for investment, the business needs to suit the investor, and each of the Dragons have their own specific areas of expertise. Having said that, their qualities as individuals is how they became successful business people in the first place, so clearly they have a wealth of knowledge that is common to business in general. This was my focus entering the Den. Could I as a person, representative of a company (www.thedogdunit.com), and my range of products (including Dog Dunit flushable dog poop bags, manhole Dunit, downpipe Dunit, cleanout Dunit) stand up to questioning? Would they find fault with my products which would hurt my company? If the reasons they used to 'exit' were not directly related to my products then I would be happy with my performance and my growing company would not be hurt. As such, I left the Den feeling very positive about my experience...
Q: Who was the toughest Dragon?
A: I think all of the Dragons asked relevant sensible questions that I was able to answer directly and clearly. Now if you had asked who was the grumpiest?!!!
Q: Were you nervous?
A: Yes, very. I had a huge concern that I would forget my initial pitch. I wrote my pitch to encourage specific areas of questioning from the Dragons. So it was important for me that I remembered every chosen word. However, as soon as I got to placing my hands on my products and during the questioning phase I settled down surprisingly easily. As each question came forward, I realised that no-one was raising any direct problems that couldn't be answered. So I found myself quite relaxed as my time in the Den continued.
Q: Were you surprised by some of the questions?
A: No. I had been working on my business for a while and was confident in my products. I had addressed the faults long before I knew that the Den was a possibility for my company. And as most people had advised, do your homework, be prepared...
Q: Who was most interested in your idea?
A: I think each of the Dragons showed interest. They all asked relevant and sensible questions. There was only one or two questions that I felt were slightly odd but as they say, the worst question is always the one that isn't asked.
Q: Would you have done anything differently?
A: For some reason I walked out of the Den in the wrong direction! Woops!
Q: Would you recommend applying for Dragon's Den to any other budding entrepreneurs?
A: Certainly, if only for the experience. It is always good to try new things and push your comfort zone in business.
Q: In five year's time where do you see your product/company?
A: I see my products retailing in shops across this country and others, including our Dog Dunit flushable dog poop bags, manhole Dunits, downpipe Dunits, and cleanout Dunits, to name just a few. Although, that will happen long before 2018.
Q: What is your lasting memory of the Den?
A: I was there very early on the morning of my pitch, so I saw the Dragons arrive. They are just people like you and me but at the moment they are more successful. And they aren't very tall!