For those people who are reading this and may have never seen the Shark Tank TV show. Shark Tank is on channel TEN at 8.45 every Tuesday. Five self-made Aussie business people sit on the panel ready to be convinced that the businesses are worth the investment and fight for their part of the action.

I do this weekly blog to give people a look behind the doors of the tank.

Here are my thoughts on each of the businesses that were on tonight’s episode.

iKiFit

iKiFit is a classroom activity which mixes music and martial arts to get kids involved in the magic of music and movement.

Kim is a passionate teacher, martial arts expert and musician and he is doing what most people try to do when they start a business which is; combine their passions and business so that it does not feel like work. Kim has done just that. For me, this is where his business ended.

You may have thought our comments were harsh, but you need to remember that we see an hour pitch and you see 7 minutes of it. So when I made the comment that I would pull my kids out of the school if his program was in it, this was based on Kim’s program and approach. It seemed to me far too ridged in its approach, and even though I am a fan of discipline, I actually believe in more of an individual approach to teaching, not just a group approach. There may be many people who think Kim’s approach is perfect, just not me.

Kim valued the business at 2.5 million dollars, but I was not sure by the end of the pitch, what the business actually was. Was it the Ikky Stick, the program or a combination of both? Business for me is often a solution to a problem, and I could not see which problems Kim was trying to solve, and there was nothing unique about what he was doing.

On Shark Tank, we talk a lot about lean start-ups. This is where you do not spend too much money until you understand that there is a market for your product. I think Kim has got caught up in the creative side and did not spend enough time planning the business side. You need to have a balance of both, and for Kim to have spent $800K, this tells me that he needs to start thinking about the business. $35K a year is not going to ever make a successful business.

At the end of the day, if I didn’t understand and was not passionate about the product then I was never going to invest..

I love Dubbo and I wish Kim all the success for his vision and a profitable business. Whether I understand or like the business is secondary to respecting Kim for having a real go at something that he loves.

I wish Kim all the best.

KAFTANNED

Kaftanned is a range of lose fitting, stylish alternatives to spray tan outfits (which I am told are usually baggy sweats and an over sized t-shirt).

As a fellow barefoot lover, I could relate to Jade the second she stepped onto the tank.

As a person who has Spanish blood, I have never had to worry about a tan, so I have never experienced the feeling of being sprayed. So like the boys, I was learning all about the challenges that spray tan customers have.  Apparently there are guidelines as to what you can wear to get sprayed, and if you turn up to your appointment in jeans, you will be in all kinds of uneven, streaky bronze trouble.

What I love about Jade (other than she is very cool), is that she has found a problem that needs to be solved and she has made it into a business. Jade was seriously impressive. She goes to China three times a year and she knows her business.  Jade has the X factor that you need to grow a business.

The advice she got on the valuation was very (very) blue sky.  I actually hate negative cash flow valuations as they are always created by accountants who put theoretical numbers on a spreadsheet, do a theoretical growth forecast and say what the business is valued at.  The accountant based it on doubling each year, which was not based on the market or market share.

If I made an offer it would be for 100% of the business and that would not be fair to Jade.

The offer that Steve put forward was about right. I am so excited for Jade and Steve and have a new appreciation for nice, even spray tans..

CELLAR WRAPS

Cellar Wraps offer an alternative to hiding a gifted wine bottle in a bag and allow the gift giver to send a message in a simple, sleek way.  This would be very handy for people running into the bottle shop on the way to a party.

It is a nice idea. And who doesn’t have that one person that has everything and the only gift for them is a bottle of something!?

I really like simple business as the consumer understands the product quickly, but in this case I think it was just a bit too simple for me.  In fact it is so simple that anyone could make it at home on their computers and put it on the bottle.

I was not convinced that the idea is unique enough to make a business. There isn’t enough about it that people cannot recreate themselves.

I do hope Brett becomes the First millionaire in the Page family, if it is not this idea there will certainly be another one.

Good luck Brett.

SLEEPING DUCK

Sleeping Duck is a foam mattress overlay that can be suited to each person’s preferences.

When Winston and Selvam came into the tank and wanted 500K for 5% of the business which valued the business at 10 million dollars, we thought; “here we go again, another person who is dreaming”.  But these guys were the real deal.  They had developed a fast growing business that I have never seen before which seems like an awesome idea. I’m sure the topic of mattress preference has been discussed in many of the viewer’s homes this evening.

What I loved about the Sleeping Duck model:

  • The mattress was portable.
  • They stand by their product with a 100% money back guarantee
  • They research their customers and actually listen
  • They had a great website.
  • They are making profit.

What I liked is that they started at $300K and then grew very quickly to $2.4m then $4.7m but they seem to have slowed at $5.5m, which is not the end of the world, but does effect the valuation. The valuation is often reflective on how much growth there is in the business.

After doing my numbers, considering growth I had the business valued at $2million dollars which was 25% for $500K. Unfortunately the boys did not agree.

I must admit, I was 100% sure that they were going to take Steve’s offer so am pretty surprised they said no.

Bloody good luck guys, you have a great business.