Shark Tank is a binge-worthy show meant to inspire people who tune in to chase their dreams. Entrepreneurs and innovators apply to pitch their breakthrough business concepts, products or services to the “sharks” in hopes of landing investment funds.
Approximately 45,000 people apply to get on Shark Tank every year, but less than 1 percent of applicants get to pitch their idea to the sharks. And the percentage of people who actually make it on television is even smaller. But just because your chances of making it on the show are slim doesn't mean you shouldn't try at all.
You need to do your research and ensure your business pitch is perfected. Learning from the success and missteps of other business owners and inventors who have either been on the show or attempted to be selected will definitely be beneficial.
How to Get on Shark Tank
There are plenty of articles with advice on how to get your business idea on Shark Tank. We rounded up the top tips for you below:
Stand out from the crowd: As mentioned, approximately 45,000 people fill out the Shark Tank application every year. That’s a lot of business ideas — but they're not all unique. You need to evaluate your business, understand the story behind your brand and be clear about what sets you apart from other businesses.
Express your enthusiasm professionally: It’s great to be excited about your business idea, but do so in a professional manner; being overly emotional about your company may not translate well to the sharks. But not being enthusiastic at all will make them question why they should be excited by your business if you aren’t even excited about your business.
Provide data, proof and performance: The sharks want to know that they will get a return on their investment (they are trying to make money just like you are). To reinforce your business idea, you should come prepared with all possible performance measures that prove your business is equitable.
Build a community: Building a community and large fan base will help sell your business idea to the sharks. If you already have dedicated consumers who are advocates for your product or business, this will help convince investors you're the right choice.
Be persistent: Don’t necessarily take “no” for an answer — negotiate and try to persuade. Ask for advice or what you could do better so you know for next time. If you apply to the show and don’t make it the first time, then consider applying again (and keep perfecting your application). Improve your business model so it’s desirable for investors, and don’t give up.
Lisa Crocco is a marketer for an international food manufacturer by day and a freelance writer/marketer for startups and small businesses by night. She's written for outlets like USA Today College, Career Contessa, CloudPeeps and Fairygodboss.