THE Dragons don’t always know best – that’s the advice from two brothers that faced the BBC2 investors.
Oly and Toby Richmond – the brains behind Servicing Stop, an online car and van servicing firm – have issued advice to other entrepreneurs after their deal with Deborah Meaden went sour.
The pair had three Dragons fighting over their investment in the Den, but eventually opted to take Meaden’s £100k.
But after meeting up with her after the show and finding out she had little motor trade experience they decided to turn down her offer and find the cash elsewhere.
Oly said: ‘Dragons Den gets a lot of publicity and, of course, is carefully edited to maximise the appeal to viewers.
‘However, in our experience, what the Dragons decide about a business idea may not always be the best advice.
‘We secured a promise of investment by a Dragon but decided not to follow it up as it would have proved bad for both parties.
‘Our message to potential entrepreneurs is that there are numerous ways of securing investment and backing so think twice before accepting the advice.’
Servicing Stop offers car and van servicing (including fleet vehicles) with free collection and delivery from the customer’s home or work address. MOTs and repairs are also covered and the savings can be as much as 60 per cent compared
to main dealer prices. Since appearing in The Den, the business is now approaching a turnover of £10 million a year and they are expanding into the tyre business.
The brothers appear on a special BBC2 Dragons Den ‘Where Are They Now’ programme on October 17.
by JAMES BAGGOTT