If you caught Dragons' Den over Christmas, you will have seen men's grooming business Mo Bro's securing an investment of £150,000. Keval, Kunal and Savan Dattani, co-founders of the company, tell the story and share some brilliant tips.

The brothers are keynote speakers at StartUp 2018, the biggest start-up show of the New Year, on 13 January in London. They are among more than 100 inspiring entrepreneurs and experts sharing advice. Book a ticket here.

On Boxing Day, we appeared on the UK's biggest business TV programme, Dragons' Den.

We learned a lot during the lead up to, filming and aftermath of the show, so here are our top tips to other entrepreneurs when preparing to face the Dragons.

Although we had such little time to prepare, we sunk our teeth into it and secured a joint deal of £150,000 with Tej Lalvani and Peter Jones for 20% of the business, split equally.

We learned a lot during the lead up to, filming and aftermath of Dragons' Den, so here are our top tips to other entrepreneurs when preparing to face the Dragons (and investors not on TV).

1. Only take the opportunity if you and your business are ready

We turned down appearing on Dragons' Den in January 2016 as we felt we weren't ready for that level of exposure.

By the time we were approached again, our business was a year older and we had much more confidence in ourselves and our profits.

It's worth giving great opportunities real consideration. If we'd pitched a year earlier, we may not have secured the investment we did.

2. Know what you want from entering the Den

It's crucial to know what investment you want, how flexible you're willing to be and which Dragon you'd ideally like to go into business with based on their experience. Do your background research.

When we entered our pitch, the three of us were well-versed with what we wanted; someone with a track record in taking companies global, how much investment we were after and what percentage of equity we were happy to offer.

This is why we chose Tej and Peter. 

3. Practice your pitch

We cannot stress enough how important it is to practice your pitch.

We only had three days to work everything out including who was saying what, how much investment we wanted, and most importantly, what we were going to wear!

After practicing, practicing and more practicing our pitch for three days solid, we went in confident in what we were saying and who was saying it.

With the immense pressure, Kunal forgot the figures, but because we'd gone through it together so many times, Keval was able to fill in the gaps. 

4. Plan your journey and outfits in advance

Something you wouldn't think would be that critical but proved to be for us was planning our journey.

We decided to wear the same outfits to show unity and so went to Next in Leicester. Two of us sorted out our outfits then and there, but Keval had to order his from Sheffield. a quick detour on route to Manchester. 

Upon arrival in Sheffield, there had been a mix up with the order and we had to wait two hours, which could have been better spent practicing the pitch.

5. Plan your 'brocode'

If you are pitching in a team, a good tip is to develop a secret code of communication with each other just in case someone needs a cue to stop rambling or to take over from someone else.

We did and it was as simple as a look or foot tap. It's an effective tool to use in a pitch and made us look more professional and organised.

6. Get enough sleep and don't fall asleep half an hour before you go on!

Although difficult to get a full night's rest before something as crucial and nerve-wracking as a pitch, from experience we know how important it is to get the rest you need.

Savan spent most of the night before Dragons' Den practicing his pitch and only managed to get three hours sleep, followed by a 30-minute nap before the pitch, only to be woken when it was time to enter the Den!

On the show, you could be pitching anytime between 9am to 7pm, so it's a long day.

7. Try to get a few jokes in with the Dragons

It's tense when pitching to the Dragons and to ease this we started off with a little joke by referring to ourselves as Unruly, Patchy, and Scratchy which represents the problems we had with our beards and the reason we created Mo Bro’s.

This changed the atmosphere and made us a bit more likeable!

8. Research the sort of questions the Dragons will ask

Do your research before going onto Dragons' Den.

We extensively studied the programme format, looked up the Dragons' backgrounds and their businesses and looked into what investments they've given in the past.

With this knowledge, we were able to estimate the kind of questions the Dragons might ask, like scrutinising our figures, so prepared answers for each yet just one of us did the talking on our finances

9. Take your time to decide on what offer to take

Four Dragons offered to invest in our business, and while this is extremely flattering, we had to decide on which deal to take and which Dragon would be the most beneficial to grow our business.

We also decided to negotiate the offer two Dragons made and came out with a joint deal of £150,000 with Tej Lalvani and Peter Jones for 20% of the business, split equally.

It's important in any business deal to negotiate and in this high-pressure situation, it's worth thinking about possible scenarios that might happen if you get an investment offer before the pitch.

10. Whatever you do, don't forget to say thanks but no thanks to the Dragons you’re turning down!

In the excitement of getting offers and negotiating, we forgot to gently let Deborah and Jenny down, which led to them asking us.

It was embarrassing but we made sure to thank them afterwards and they were very understanding.

The brothers behind Mo Bro's are keynote speakers at StartUp 2018, the biggest start-up show of the New Year, on 13 January in London. They are among more than 100 inspiring entrepreneurs and experts sharing advice. Book a ticket here.

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peter lawrence
peter lawrence

Deborah and Jenny were put out because they were not considered first by #MoBros - sometimes its difficult not to upset people in business!

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