The Week Ender: Dragons Den or How Not To Invest In Micro Businesses!

Kate Walsh of The Sunday Times wrote a piece last weekend on how the Dragons – who ever came up with this name (?) – had made a promise of investment to those HungryHouse entrepreneurs and how they did not get the promised investment. Of cause it is clear to me that there will be a contract in place which allows the “Dragons” to humiliate and abuse the poor people who had the bad judgment to appear on their show, but any promise made by the Dragons during the show is virtually of no consequence.

Kate writes at the beginning of her piece:

How do those Dragons do it? They see business potential where the rest of us see people in bad suits hyperventilating their way through terrible pitches. …..

I guess the “bad suits” comment was needed to make her appear an equal to the Dragons, since I fail to see what a bad suit has to do with a good or bad business idea. I certainly agree with her that the Dragons Den is only good for the Dragons themselves and their egos.

Anybody making an judgment for or against investing into those entrepreneurial ideas, based on the performance on TV, needs help in my opinion. The fact that due diligence is being done helps me to believe in some sort of sanity, in this whole charade of entrepreneurial wizardry by the Dragons. But it all misses the mark by light-years!

Even some bad ideas will succeed, we can see that every day in our high streets. Investing in micro businesses is all about trust, vision, focus and the insight that mistakes will be made and then corrected. Most small businesses and micro businesses, have numbers that will make any advisor run for the hills. What a good investor in small business will bring to the party is coherence and experience, apart from the money of cause.

Why entrepreneurs who at least have a go – more that can be said for the majority of people – have to be humiliated like this, is beyond me and I find it quite revolting to watch some people, who call themselves “Dragons”, dish out their questionable wisdom on the unsuspecting population in the UK. Is there really no better way for us to help entrepreneurs to start a business in this country?

One thing is for sure, if I had listened to some of these advisors I would have never had the business success I have enjoyed. If I have learned one thing, it is that you can not judge any business idea on some superficial data or a good or bad performance on TV, it is a highly questionable practice.

There is only one person who can find out if your business idea is any good – you guessed it, it is you yourself. Don’t let people tell you how good and or bad your idea is, listen, evaluate and move on. — ST.

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