When you start a small business one question you get asked a lot, is ‘Would you do the Den?’. I’ve always answered that question with ‘Yes, of course!’. Safe in the knowledge that I had no intention of applying.
Little did I know that sometimes their researchers reach out to likely businesses asking that very question, which is what happened to us in July 2020.
They made it perfectly clear that although they had approached us, we would still need to go through the rigorous application process along with the 10,000 other companies that apply on an annual basis, but I couldn’t help feeling like this was an opportunity not to be missed.
I can often be found on the production line banging on to our youthful packing team about maximising opportunities in life as they don’t come around that often. So even though pitching to the Dragons was so far out of my comfort zone I’d need Google Maps to get back, like the creaking joints of Brighton’s premier tourist attraction I was feeling the pressure to do it.
My husband and co-owner of MicroBarBox, Graham, is a gung-ho salesman type who readily agreed to ‘go for it’ with me. Dammit Janet! I was all out of excuses.
So I threw myself into the application process, at least we’d give it a go! And if we didn’t get through then ‘hip hip hooray, I wouldn’t have to pitch to the Dragons’! It really did feel like the most bizarre win-win situation.
One application form, a pitch video, a Zoom audition and a ring binder full of Due Diligence later... we were somehow selected!
Here’s what happened…(fast forward to 15 minutes in for our bit)
If you're thinking of applying to be on the Den for your company and want more detail about what to expect and the application process, here it is:
I can recommend the experience, go for it!
We wish you the best of luck!