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Monday, October 09, 2006


You've probably seen "Dragon's Den" before. It's the TV programme where entrepreneurs pitch their ideas to secure investment finance from a panel of multi-millionaire business experts — the "Dragons".

It's great television and I'm an avid viewer of the BBC's UK version.

Now, when I say (jokingly) that I could be the next Dragon, it's not because I'm a multi-millionaire business expert (or have a few hundred grand to throw about). No, it's because on a regular basis I get asked by entrepreneurs who want to discuss working with my company on a "success basis", typically that means "commission-only".

In a sense, they are pitching me to risk my time (or the time of my team) to help them sell their product or service.

I read one of the TV Dragons say that only about 10% of the Entrepreneurs they see get funding (and of them, the Dragon's assume that about will 10% actually succeed).

And that's pretty much how I see it.

Only about 10% of the people that ask me to work on a "commission-only" basis have something which I feel either excited about or think has "got the legs" to work. The problem is, though, that if only 10% of those actually take off... where does that leave me?

Investing my time (and money) on high-risk, unproven ventures is not my business model.

I don't mind linking part of our fees to our results, such as a number of qualified appointments; if we don't deliver then we don't get that part of our fees - that's a healthy results-focused model.

But that's a long way from working "for free" on the basis that someone else will make a sale, deliver their (usually unproven) product or service, get paid and then still be solvent to pay us.

No, I think I'll stick to watching the Dragons on the TV.

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Posted by: David Regler @ 5:20 pm |   | Links to this post  

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