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‘I like entrepreneurs with experience’
Kevin O’Leary, a businessman and reality television star, who rose to fame on Shark Tank, give tips on making a startup successful. Excerpts from the interview:
What are your top three pieces of advice for startups?
The key to being successful and my top three pieces of advice for startups is get your message out quickly and succinctly. Tell your story in ninety seconds or less. Investors don’t have a lot of time then tell me why number two, you’re the right person to execute the business plan and this is the killer, number three, know your numbers or I’ll personally eviscerate you.
What are some of the qualities that you look for in aspiring entrepreneurs?
You know the key quality I look for an inspiring entrepreneur, is have they ever done it before. I love entrepreneurs that have failed a couple of times first so they’ve felt the sting of failure, it’s a great motivator to get up and do it again. I like entrepreneurs with experience.
What according to you, is the one thing that is most commonly missing in pitches that are made?
You know what’s the most commonly missing element of pictures that are made, some sanity around valuation. People have such huge expectations of what they’re worth and they haven’t done a thing yet. I hate that.
Startups have been celebrated as the next big thing to redefine businesses. Is it really true or are startups just over-hyped?
You know startups are a really big issue in business and I’ll tell you why. So many of them are going to fail. This is a business where eight out of ten go to zero. You’re looking the two that are going to be rock stars but you need them because today’s small company becomes tomorrow’s monster.
What is one piece of advice that anyone trying to get a business running should remember?
Here’s the one piece of advice anybody trying to start a business should remember: cash is blood. You die if you don’t have any. Covet every single dollar and don’t waste it. You know people try and tell me that the old way of doing business is passé. Not true, you’ve got to make money before you can give it away. There’s nothing wrong in supporting a cause but you’ve got to make money first, that’s the DNA of business, make a profit.
Watch Shark Tank on Colors Infinity Monday to Friday at 9 PM
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