The Rarity of Small Businesses with High-End Clients: A Review of Dragons’ Den Episode

In this blog post, we will be taking a closer look at a recent episode of Dragons’ Den that showcased an intriguing phenomenon- small businesses with high-end clients. While it is not uncommon for larger companies to have wealthy and influential clientele, smaller businesses often struggle to attract such customers. Join us as we explore the factors that contribute to this rarity and what can be learned from these successful entrepreneurs in their pursuit of high-end clients.


Small businesses are the foundation of most economies, providing jobs and contributing to the growth of the society. However, the risk of starting and running a small business can be significant, and often limited resources prevent them from scaling up, especially when it comes to high-end clients. The popular TV show Dragons’ Den showcases these complexities of running a small business while trying to attract a serious investment to boost growth and profitability.

In one of the recent episodes, Sarah, Mike, and Laura seeking a 65,000-pound investment for a 20% share in their female footwear business, Wedge Welly. Their story demonstrates the challenges and risks of running a business while trying to stay innovative and appealing to high-end customers, as well as investors. In this article, we will review their pitch and discuss the importance of targeting high-end clientele for small businesses.

Why Targeting High-End Clients Matters?

Small businesses that operate with inexpensive products often fail because their margins are low, and they don’t have the resources to invest in marketing and branding. High-end clients, on the other hand, are willing to pay premium prices for products that reflect their lifestyle and values. Additionally, looking for high-end clients can result in higher margins, increased profitability, and enhanced brand reputation.

Wedge Welly’s Case Study

Wedge Welly is a quality and affordable wellington boot brand made by individuals with genuine knowledge of the industry. The company specializes in designer wellington boots and has been trading for almost two years and has generated a quarter of a million pounds in revenue, with an ambitious goal of 1.7 million pounds turnover.

Their Ideal Customer

The company has identified its ideal customer as festival-goers between the ages of 16-25, who prioritize both style and quality. Their success lies in being able to offer value to this group. Currently, Wedge Welly is stocked by retailers such as New Look, N Brown Group, and online company Airsos, among others.

Revenue and Profitability

In both years, Wedge Welly grossed profits of £24,000 and £65,000, respectively, with a net profit of £4,000 and £5,000. The company was looking to make further ambitious growth by targeting high-end customers, with the hope of expanding their resources and reputation.

The Dragons’ Den Episode

During their pitch to the Dragons, they identified their need to reinvest capital back into stock, to keep up with the demand, which resulted in limited profit. James Khan offers the requested £65,000 for a 20% share, while Deborah Meaden offers £65,000 for a 30% share. Theo Perfetis expressed his concern about the company’s ambitious goal of turning over £1.7 million.

The Rarity of Small Businesses with High-End Clients

The Dragons’ Den episode illustrates the difficulties of starting and running a small business, particularly in the fashion industry. Even with unique products, limited resources, and the competition of established brands, it is challenging to attract high-end customers without resources. The Wedge Welly team exemplified that forming partnerships with reputed brands, having unique products that reflect the lifestyle and culture of their ideal customers, and making quality and affordability their core values, positively impacts brand reputation.


Small businesses face daunting challenges in their quest for profitability, with the risk of failure always looming. Targeting high-end customers requires innovation, resourcefulness, and a strengthening of the brand, which is difficult without adequate resources. Wedge Welly showcased the importance of targeting high-end clientele for small businesses through unique products, affordability, and quality. By investing in the brand, Wedge Welly can overcome the challenges and realize their growth objectives.


  1. How important is branding for small businesses?
    Branding plays an essential role in the growth and success of small businesses. It positively impacts the perception of the customers about the company’s products and services, and it differentiates the business from its competitors. Investing in branding also makes the business attractive to high-end clients.

  2. Why do small businesses fail?
    Small businesses may fail due to several reasons, including cash flow issues, inadequate customer base, competition from established brands, limited resources, poor marketing strategies, high expenses, lack of innovation, and inability to adapt to changing market trends.

  3. How can small businesses attract high-end clients effectively?
    Small businesses can attract high-end clients by offering uniquely designed products that cater to their lifestyle and values, maintaining high-quality levels, identifying marketing channels specific to their clients, engaging in partnerships with reputed brands, and by branding themselves effectively to build a positive reputation.

  4. What kind of investments do small businesses need?
    Small businesses may need investments to purchase inventory, increase working capital, upgrade equipment, expand operations, hire staff, and revamp their marketing strategies. The investment goes a long way in the growth of small businesses and helps them scale up their operations.

  5. What are the benefits of targeting high-end customers for small businesses?
    Targeting high-end customers has several benefits, including higher margins, increased revenue, stronger brand reputation, and an opportunity to cater to customers looking for unique and high-quality products. It also increases the chance of forming partnerships with reputed brands and attracts more investors.

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