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THE DRAGONS' DEN EXPERIENCE
Gary Taylor says, "The mixture of fear and excitement I felt at the bottom of the stairs prior to ascending into the Dragons’ Den was a feeling which I can only describe as getting married x 10.
I felt as if the whole world was watching as I positioned myself in front of a very quiet, surreal audience listening intently.
As I started to pitch my idea I found myself start to calm down and it wasn't long before I started to gain confidence in the presentation myself to be able to project both myself as the company owner and the business idea.
After roughly 20 minutes of quite intense questioning from all of the dragons Peter decided he had heard enough and declared himself out saying,” there was not a chance of this venture making a single penny". This was a terrible blow to my confidence but shortly after this Duncan came in with a very calming statement saying” he liked the idea and more importantly liked me and thought it could be a very lucrative investment". He offered me £100,000 for 20% of the company. This really calmed me down.
Following this Richard came in repeating the fact that he thought I presented well and if anything I undersold myself and offered me the same deal.
This really relaxed me as I now had the £200,000 I came for, but as expected the dragons being hard negotiators had moved the percentage of the business from 20% to 40%.
This was a massive increase in the original offer but I felt it was something we could talk about further being ever conscious that both Theo and Deborah had not made clear their positions.
Enter Theo. He again was very complementary about me personally and asked Richard and Duncan if they would like him join their investment as 33.3% equals. They agreed.
Deborah who had sat and listened entered the negotiations with a bid of £200,000 herself for 40% saying” if you think that having those three on the board would be good for UK Truck Clean, forget it you will have a nightmare" she added” I have a lot more time to offer and would be a lot cleaner and easier to work with to get things done". This shocked the three male dragons.
Theo quickly rejoined saying that on reflection Deborah was right and asked if Deborah would consider if she wouldn't’t mind him jumping camps and joining her. She agreed.
This left me facing two teams of two. At this stage I felt relaxed and started to enjoy the whole experience as the teams began to pitch back to me, trying to sell themselves to secure the contract.
After a considerable length of time I managed to get Richard and Duncan to drop their offer to 35% but I have watched Theo on last years show and he had impressed me so much that I finally decided to go with Theo and Deborah.
After the show the first WASH STATION at STAFFORD SOUTH SERVICES was opened.
We have never looked back as we have added customer after customer to our database.
There are several sites under construction and thanks to the Free Wash Demonstrations carried out at Stafford, we have customers waiting in the wings ready to use the Wash Stations as they open.
As a result of this massive interest in the business I met with the bank and have agreed to take up their offer of a business load which enables me to retain full ownership of the company.
This decision was not intended to reflect badly on the Theo and Deborah. I have the utmost respect for them both, but because we have a Wash Station already open which is out stripping my expectations, I feel that I would like to make a go of opening the rest of the sites myself.
I have been in business for 10 years and on reflection away from the bright lights of the studio, I feel that to relinquish 40% of an immerging strong business format would be difficult to swallow.
I wish the dragons all the best in their future investments and thank them for offering to back me with their own hard cash; this has given me a massive confidence boost.”
UK Truck Clean Ltd.
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