Dragons fight back tears after powerful pitch | Dragons’ Den


Like anything in life anything worth
having never came easy, so I’m expecting to be grilled. Hopefully at the end of it we’ll be
walking away with a dragon and some investment. Hello dragons, my name is Craig Hale and
I’m the owner of landscapes for learning limited. I’m here today to ask for your
investment of 50,000 pounds in return for a 15% share of my company. Landscapes for learning design, manufacture and source outdoor educational resources and
consult with primary schools with regards to develop an outdoor learning
spaces. We’re increasingly living in a society where children spend a large proportion
of their time staring at a screen. My goal as a former teacher and father of
three is to get children outside exploring the world around them and
experience life firsthand whilst facilitating learning through play. We’ve
been working hard to develop a product range often in collaboration with
teachers, that have educational benefits. Starting with our very first mud kitchen
just 17 months ago, we now offer over 90 different learning resources and were
continuously developing new and exciting pieces of equipment to add to our
product range. I believe that together we can grow landscapes for learning to
become a sound investment in our children’s future development. Thank you
for listening to me you’re welcome to come up and have a play on the sea saw or build a sandcastle and I look forward to any questions you might have. It’s a slick pitch from Craig Hill who’s
offering 15% of his business that produces outdoor educational playsets in
exchange for 50,000 pounds. This is the first – never seen dragons so interested. To chalk up success in
the den Craig will have to face the toughest test of all, interrogation by the dragons. Now playtime’s over I’ll get on with some
questions. First up Deborah Medan. Right, hi Craig. Hello. So just so I’m
clear is it you you or is it you and people in a workshop. We spent the first
12 months working out of a garage at the end of my garden. That’s me on my own.
It’s me and one other now and we build from scratch say 95% of the products
we sell. I offer to a certain degree a bespoke service to schools. Can you tell
me what your average order value is per school? Yeah absolutely we tend to get
orders between 2,000 and 5,000 pounds. So what’s the process you contact the
schools. No I haven’t contacted any schools.
You haven’t contacted any schools? All the schools have contacted me through
recommendations or referrals. That’s pretty impressive –
and what’s the success rate per visit? By the time I’m in the school they’ve spent the
money with me. The notion that Craig’s products sell
themselves has got all of the Dragons attention but Deborah Medan wants to
know if that means business really is booming. Craig when did your year end? Tomorrow. Oh great time to ask you what your turnover is
for the year then. Since 2017 we’ve turned over 185,000 which is operating
around a 49% gross profit margin. Okay I’m presuming you haven’t taken a salary
out of this. Yes I do it’s a thousand pound a month. Are you
taking dividends out. Yes I left teaching after a period of depression, I couldn’t
continue in there so as mines the only source of income
we acquired quite a lot of debt. So I spent the last 12 months basically
paying off my debt by taking dividends and I’m making sure that I get rid of my personal debt, that was a priority for me yes. Just talk to me about you,
what happened? Yeah okay so um I mean I grew up on what was the largest council
estate in Europe at the time. I qualified as an art teacher and then I worked in
special educational needs and my daughter had an accident
where – sorry she fell into a fire. She sort of ran at me on flames I had to put
her out and both my hands caught fire. So It just ruined me I couldn’t cope with it.
So it was – it was about either carrying on and being useless at the job or
making the decision to be with my family and I made the second decision. I can’t
imagine what that felt like. It’s pretty tough. Sorry guys. You don’t need to apologize. She’s in good shape now you know she bounced back. She takes pride in her scars you know.
There’s a real touch of the educational piece here and I can see
with your background why you’ve – why you’re doing what you’re doing. Where
could you go in terms of scaling this? What’s your dream? Where I’d like to be
is the go-to company – that right we need outdoor educational resources who do we
go to? Landscapes for learning. It should roll off the tongue. Kraig’s turned a catastrophic event into
the driving force behind his business and it looks like his ambitious plans
for the future have gone down well with Touka Suleiman. I want to congratulate
you for reinventing yourself. You are a great
salesman and in a way you be in the carpenter and building it is a waste.
What concerns me is how could a dragon help you. You can do it on your
own. I wish I wish – like for you that’s your bread and butter, for me to
take it from a company is quite Kraig centric to become in a company where
there’s there’s reps and there’s national distribution network. If you had
two extra carpenters and you could go out on the sell, what would you turn ever
be? I think I could probably get a four hundred thousand next year with a net of
maybe 180. Craig you said you’re looking for a
dragon to understand the potential of the business but the numbers itself
shows you the potential of the business. The schools are coming to you so really
it’s about your time being put more effectively and just getting the
manufacturing sorted out. I’d love help with that. Why don’t you build
up to a million pound business and then try and look for investment. I’ve never built up a million pound business. Well I mean you’re on the way to doing it right, I mean I think
in about three years you could be there. I don’t know if I’ve
made this sound easier then it is. You’ve proved the model. A lot of times businesses come
into the den to have to prove a business model that actually works. What I would
say is that I think what I’m looking for is somebody to recognize this potential
and just point me in the right direction. Craig I’ll tell you where I’m at I
actually don’t think you need a dragon but you know I feel like I want to help
you. You’re doing a really good thing here. so I’m just gonna give you an offer out
there. I’m willing to share the fifty thousand in any proportion with other
dragons but for 25 percent okay. A bid from tazed Levani who’s looking
for a joint investment at 25% equity rather than the 15 originally on offer.
To seal a deal Craig will need at least one other dragon to come on board, is
anybody willing to play ball? Okay I’ll do the other half I can’t let this pass
for your future. Legend. Between touka Suleyman and Tazz Levani
Craig now has a full offer of 50,000 pounds. All beard for 10% more equity
than he was willing to give away. Will Deborah Medan want to join the party or
make a rival bid. I’m gonna tell you where I am. You present really well and
you are inspirational to pick yourself up and to do this is blinken inspiring
and I tell you what that also tells me that my goodness you’re resilient. You
would do whatever it takes to get a business going – but when I sit in this chair I’m a
dragon and I think it’s a good business but I don’t think it’s going to be a
huge business I won’t be investing so I wish you all the best but I’m out.
Thank You. Craig. My worry would be if we all went in then
you’d probably go yes I’ll have all of you and then that would be a disaster
because you probably wouldn’t get the right focus and it wouldn’t be the right
thing at all. So with respect and with all my best
wishes I’m out. Deborah Medan and Jenny Campbell bow out of the deal leaving
just one more dragon to declare his hand. Is Peter Jones in or out? Craig the
products that you’ve created I think are great. I mean a mud kitchen I think is
brilliant, a chalkboard to create an outdoor table it’s clever. I’m sitting
here trying to debate. You have an offer and how much do I really believe in the
business that actually the money that I invest not only am I going to get that
back because I’m an investor at the end of the day, but also how much of me and
my time and that actually will help you drive and make a different business. I’ve made my decision now and I’m going
to say to you that I’m gonna make you an offer. And I’m gonna offer you all of the money but I want 30% of the business. Okay thank you. Do you want to go think
about it. Ah yes okay. Cheers. Peter Jones muddies the waters by asking
for 5% more than Tej Lalvani and touka Suleiman’s joint offer of 25%. The
expertise of two dragons or the wisdom of just one. It’s a tough choice for
Craig. I really appreciate everybody’s offers. It’s a big decision to make it is a
life-changing thing. I think it might be worth the 30% Peter so if it’s okay I’d like to accept your
offer. Wow, look, thank you. Thanks very much. Yes thank you. Craig
ops to give away more equity to successfully secure a deal with his dragon of choice. I’m so pleased he walked out of here
with the deal. Do you know what? Sometimes you have to hit rock bottom to know – he’s
more than an entrepreneur in waiting. He’s gonna make it. I’m dead chuffed. I
was overwhelmed with their belief in what we could achieve. Capitalism with a
heart isn’t a bad thing.

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