‘Dragons Den’ BBC TV Series – Success Stories

Dragons Den BBC2 TV Series is unlike any other reality TV show in that there is something more at stake than the contestants’ pride. In front of some the richest and most successful businessmen and women in Britain members of the public pitch their products, ideas and their business acumen in the hopes of securing an investment that could turn their businesses and their lives around in a way that most can only dream of. The aim of the game is not to win but simply to make a life changing business agreement. The stakes are real, as is the money.

Whilst many of the ‘budding entrepreneurs’ that have entered the Dragons Den over the past five years have only succeeded in winning the dragons’ distain, an equal number have also made a lasting impression on them, winning not only their investment but also their valued advice. A number of the winning ideas featured on the Dragons Den TV show are now making their mark on the business world and we are witnessing the rise of a new business empire, controlled by the Dragons and made stronger by the wide-scale publicity that the show offers.

Perhaps the most successful of all the products featured on Dragons Den UK, however, has been reggae singer Levi’s brand of Jamaican BBQ sauce. Levi has been successfully selling his Reggae Reggae Sauce at the Notting Hill festival for the past fifteen years but with the help of Dragons Peter Jones and Richard Farleigh demand has exploded. Reggae Reggae Sauce can now be found on the shelves of major UK supermarkets.

Despite a shaky start on the show Ray Smith’s Magic Pizza – a device for ensuring that microwave pizzas do not go soggy in the middle – was also snapped up by the Dragons Peter Jones and Theo Paphitis, much to the delight of the thousands of pizza fans across the UK. Ray Smith has since been added to the gallery of Dragons Den success stories with his innovative product selling to single men, students and busy mums up and down the country. Other Dragons Den success stories include the i-teddy, the Cuddledry range of baby and toddler towels, the Concentrate range of school and college accessories and many more.

One of the most famous products from the Dragons Den are Trunki suitcases – colourful ride-on suitcases for kids, which was unsuccessful in securing funding from the dragons but has since gone on to become a great success story.

Ice Blading boots were a successful product pitch in which Theo Phaphitis invested. He loved the idea of these sohphisticated inline skates which allowed you to move like an ice skater but without the ice. They are being launched in 2009 so we are looking forward to see how successful this Dragon’s Den Product is.

With such successful deals being made right on our TV screens it is clear that Dragon’s Den is more than just another BBC reality show. It is helping to shape the business landscape of the UK and giving us an opportunity to see how the big boys play. For those of us with an idea to pitch and the guts to go up against the Dragons, this BBC2 TV show is also an opportunity to make it big by winning the interests of both the Dragons and the nation.

Feng Shui Enhancements in The Year of the Water Dragon

On Monday 23rd January we celebrate the Chinese New Year. Many people think the Chinese New Year is when the animal signs change but in actual fact this change always happens on the first day of Spring which this year will be the 4th February. As we move from the year of the Metal Rabbit to the year of the Water Dragon I thought that it would be a good time for me to look forward and see what we can expect to see happening in the world in 2012. From a Feng Shui perspective the movement from one animal sign to another always provides some great opportunities to realign the energies in your home, so in this article I will also share with you some of the actions that you can take to ensure that the year ahead is as positive and as beneficial for you as it possibly can be.

The year of the dragon traditionally is a very auspicious year bringing as it does the four blessings of the east which are wealth, virtue, harmony and longevity. This year in the world in general we can expect a better year financially than the tumultuous times seem in 2011. The worst of the world’s financial crisis seems to be behind us now and many economies are once more likely to see the start of growth and new optimism, although don’t expect fortunes to change overnight. Eastern economies are likely to grow much stronger and quicker than those in the west. Improvement overall will start slowly from around the end of spring 2012 and as we move through the year confidence will grow and we can expect to see the start of a long but sustained period of financial growth.

Though financially we are unlikely to see dramatic changes, a dragon year often signifies momentous change and this year will be no exception. The water dragon is a calmer, quieter animal than some of it’s siblings so even though momentous events are likely to occur expect them to slip under the radar, or happen very quickly with the minimum of fuss. We are certainly unlikely to see the conflicts that we saw in 2011. In saying that, expect some traditional or long serving governments to fall this year, and expect those that replace them to be led by new governments or structures that put the family and traditional values at the heart of everything they do. New governments or rulers that begin this year are likely to be in power for a long time, the last year of the water dragon saw the start of the reign of Queen Elizabeth II which is still going strong 60 years later.

In this year of the water dragon there will be a general sense of optimism and an emphasis that anyone can achieve anything. People power will topple one long standing family ruler in a country but not in the way that was seen in 2011. It is likely to be a very quick process that ends almost before it begins. We are also likely to see the formation of a new major charity or charitable event this year, one which has a global reach and could well start to change the world.

As far as the natural world is concerned in 2012 there is a high likelihood, unfortunately, that we will see more natural disasters. I predict that major flooding will affect two major cities or countries this year and later in the year the world will see ferocious tropical storms that are stronger than many yet experienced. A major relief effort will need to start this year which is likely to be led by a group of people rather than by a government. With the stronger sense of optimism in the financial markets we can also expect to see some of the wealthiest individuals in the world make some major philanthropic gestures to support those most in need.

Turning our attention to an individual level, the year of the water dragon is a good time to start a new business, begin a new relationship, get married or learn a new skill. Businesses, alliances and learning are likely to succeed and have long lasting benefits, providing that careful thought and planning has gone in to them. Dragon years can be rocky years for the unwary so do not try a get rich quick scheme or get married on the spur of the moment. This is definitely a year for slow and steady accumulation not speculation.

To make the most of the opportunities that the year of the water dragon is going to bring, there are a number of Feng Shui enhancements you can make in your own home. When enhancing your home through Feng Shui always make sure that any cure or enhancement you put in place does not negatively affect the existing flow of energy around your home and is placed with intention. My web pages on Intention and Chi will help you understand these practices if you are uncertain.

Feng Shui Enhancements for the Year of the Water Dragon

Welcome in the year of the water dragon by hanging a wooden wind chime in the east or north east of your garden. Other enhancements you can make to this area of your garden are to place a picture or a statue of a dragon or to plant a fruit tree (cherry, plum or peach are best)

If you do not have a garden you can hang a picture of a dragon, or place a small dragon ornament in the east or north east area of your home. If you are placing a dragon ornament it is best if it made out of crystal, wood, stone or ceramic.

If you are starting a new business enhance the career and knowledge areas of your home this year. These areas are in the north and north east of your home. Good enhancements to make in the career area include placing a small indoor fountain, hanging a picture of a stream or waterfall or placing a small crystal dragon in a prominent place. In the knowledge area a stone or ceramic dragon, a small indoor garden or a square bowl filled with carnelian crystals can be beneficial.

If you are getting married this year create a small display in your relationship area filled with plants, candles and crystal dragons. The relationship area is the south west area of your home. A beautiful indoor garden can be created filled with miniature roses, two pink candles and two small crystal dragons. Scatter rose quartz or amethyst crystals across the surface of your indoor garden and after you are married place a small photograph of your wedding day in the centre. Not only will this help your relationship be everlasting but it will also serve as a lovely reminder of your special day for years to come.

If you are beginning a new course, learning a new skill or taking qualifications this year you can help this area of your life by placing a ceramic or stone dragon in the knowledge area of your home (the north east area), or in your study or the room where you learn. Other enhancements you can make to this area this year are buying a pot plant which is displayed in this area of your home or filling a bowl with crystals and placing this on your desk. Excellent plants to buy for this area of your home are indoor plants that flower in the spring and the best crystals to use in this area are Green Fluorite, Carnelian or Amethyst.

I hope that you have found this article useful and are looking forward to the year of the water dragon with positivity and optimism. All that is left for me to do is to wish you a happy new year and to hope that this year brings everything you hope for.

Into the Dragon’s Den

When anyone comes up with an invention, the next step is to find someone to give them the financial backing that they can’t supply themselves. To do this, they must have a tangible product for the person or company they are approaching to get a proper feel for. The idea needs to be well thought through in its practicality and monetary feasibility. The inventor needs to have done thorough, provable research to show that there is a niche in the market that this particular product would fill, that it would make a profit.

This type of negotiations have gone on since the beginning of time. Now, however, during our times of economical strain, it has become harder to get people with money to back something that may or may not work. That may or may not prove to be profitable. However, it is still possible and the occurrence of the Dragon’s Den TV programme has got many would-be budding inventors at their desks scribbling away with their plans.

The whole Dragon’s Den format comes from Japan, where it is owned by Sony. Celebrities or high profile company owners that are looking for new investment opportunities sit on a panel and have a designated amount of money in mind that they would like to sink into a new venture.

Trawled in front of them are average Joe’s who are allocated a timed slot to pitch their idea to the dragons and convince them that this is the one deal they cannot afford to miss out on. This is not for the faint hearted. The ones with the money in the Dragons Den are confident and adept at business. They know all the right questions to ask and if you’re not on top of your game and knowing it inside out they will eat you for breakfast.

Those who truly believe in their product, who have fully researched their market, who know their target customers and have the confidence to put this across simply whilst still giving the dragons something they can see or feel, will give them a much better prospect of gaining the backing that they require.

For those that enter the Dragon’s Den trembling with fear, stuttering with nerves and unsure of themselves will come across as unsure of their product. They will be chewed up and spat out in no time by the dragons themselves.

Contestants that have managed to secure finances from the Dragons Den are those that know their product well but do not appear too pushy or cocky. They pitch their idea and hopefully the product will sell itself. Once they have satisfied any doubts the dragons may have and fully sold their product to the best of their ability, then the dragons need to decide whether they want to invest or not.

Negotiations take place. If a dragon would like to invest but is unsure of the products feasibility, they can offer a reduced amount to what the contestant is asking for. While this may be difficult for the person that needs the money, reputation goes a long way and that is what the dragons bring with them, reputation and influence that might just make them successful in their venture.

So what does the dragon get from all this? Well, during negotiations, they can also bargain. The inventor will suggest a reward, usually a stake in the business venture or a cut of the profits, depending on the amount invested. The dragon will then attempt to bring this nearer what he sees as a good deal and eventually an agreement will be reached. One happy inventor, one happy dragon.