A look at the new Dragons? Den investors After?BBC Two’s business show returned to our screens this summer, Business Advice looked at the backgrounds of the two new Dragons? Den investors. __________________________________________________________________________________ In terms of the pitching itself, the ten-minute programme slot inevitably reduces the two-hour grilling received by entrepreneurs. The Money Pit experience had dampened their nerves somewhat, and as Miles pointed out, if you arrive sufficiently prepared, there is little chance the Dragons can catch you out on your own figures?? in reality, the clashes can just come down to differences in opinion. ?There?s no stopping for re-recording ? in that sense its very honest,? Miles noted. ?The Dragons don?t even know the name of the business ? for them it?s totally blind. Only after your stall is revealed and you walk through the doors are they aware of who you are. The only thing that is fake is the lift.? In the eyes of the co-founders, Jones and Suleyman seemed more pre-occupied with boasting about their own business success than discussing the proposition in front of them. Risks were identified, concepts were scrutinised, and eventually, remaining Dragon Deborah Meaden dropped out. When the broadcast aired, however, this was rearranged in the editing room. ?It could have been more favourable,? Miles said, ?but you know the free PR is part of the bargain, and the editors have license to do what they want. Overall we can?t complain too much!? One of the moments tellingly removed from the TV edit was a momentary lifting of Jones? poker face. On the broadcast, he quickly takes it upon himself to ask: ?What is the point??, consistently questioning the marketing value of the brand?s hidden designs. ?We had Peter Jones wind us up a little, insisting he didn?t understand the brand. Suddenly he admitted: ?Guys ? we?re all having a bit of a laugh, aren?t we? Of course I get it. I think it?ll do really well but it?s not for me.?? Jones has a passion for stripy socks, selling his own line, and wasn?t prepared to invest in a rival brand. The exchange was left out of the final broadcast, as editors opted to show a panel of investors all struggling to buy into the concept behind the brand. ?If we had got an offer, it?certainly would have been better PR for ourselves,? Miles conceded. Although the business benefitted from a spike in traffic and sales from Dragons? Den, the episode aired just days after Christmas, having been filmed in April. A slightly earlier broadcast could have been even better exposure for a brand strongly tied to the gifting market. With all the investors out, perhaps some entrepreneurial advice from the panel could have made the effort worthwhile. Compared to the one-on-one meetings they?d had with investors beforehand, spending two hours going over a business plan, it didn?t feel as constructive. ?If you have five smart people in a room all competing to speak, it?s sometimes hard to get a sound consensus on what the advice is. It was certainly useful to hear their thoughts, although I found the advice we received from other potential investors in calmer and more informal settings to be more useful,? Miles admitted. Miles and Weston left the Den more determined than ever and set about expanding their offering. The co-founders are currently plotting their pivot into a fully-fledged menswear brand. Find out how Quiet Rebellion turned Peter Jones’ marketing nightmare into a successful brand
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