This week a business that all us working parents need; help during school holidays, a solution to soggy tables at pubs, a business that will reduce tons of waste and a solution to the frustration of getting the right tradies. Oh and Andrew gets grumpy this time.. but then feels bad about it.

Let’s looking behind the tank in episode 8……

KIDSCO.

Out of all the business that we saw on Sharktank this season, this one was probably the most needed and wanted for busy working parents. The need for this business is also very timely with the announcement of the increase in child care, which is making it harder and harder for parents to work and stay ahead.

As I said on the show I always had a toy box in my office and a TV, and I am guilty of using the IPad from time to time to ‘babysit’ my children while I worked. Some of us are lucky enough to work for a company that is flexible and allows the kids to come into the office when you are stuck, or work from home when needed but I would argue that this is not commonplace.

These guys had a great idea on able to help with the working parent by having a corporate day care program. For companies that have a large number of parents working in the office/s, this could be a great solution, not only for the kids to be entertained, but for the morale of the office. Getting to know your workmates a bit better because your kids hang out together. It’s an excellent concept.

Many businesses came into the tank looking at blue sky projections, without ACTUAL proof that they can achieve them.  These guys are great, but there are only two of them, and for what they are projecting they need to have a more robust plan and more people to execute.  Often this is the major problem for businesses – they are not generating enough income to be able to afford the people required to build the business. Unfortunately, today the guys did not convince me that they can deliver on their plans, however I am thrilled that Glen has put a deal to them, they did a great job. And they are forgiven for the name mix up 🙂

ICE BUCKET SKIN

This is a real problem. My nephew works in a pub and the condensation from the ice buckets does go everywhere. Someone has ordered a bottle of something and as well as topping up the glasses, the waiter is continuously mopping up the water and ensuring no one slips.

I must admit however, it was a hard product for me to get excited about. There were two main issues with the pitch.

The first is the advice she got from her so called ‘expert’ on the valuation, which really did make the investment uninvest-able.  The second is Heidi’s attitude toward business.

I look for real go getters in business as this is what it takes to make a business great, and Heidi using words like ‘I cannot’, and ‘not possible’ are a sign to me that she has not got what it takes to be in business. (See my blog post from last week to learn what the abbreviation VERB stands for. Heidi is a VERB.)

“When you are an entrepreneur and when you are starting a business, nothing is too much”.

The reality of business is that you have to wear down your shoes, going from pub to pub until you sell all your stock and customers are screaming at you for more. Pub teams should be seeing them elsewhere and spreading the word about how awesome the product is to everyone they know in the industry because you have convinced them they cannot possibly operate without it.

But if you start the thought processes with; ‘It is just too hard’ then you will not succeed in business. Business is a hard slog, and if you are not prepared to grow your business one client at a time, then do not go into business.

BARE AND BOHO

Jordan was truly a lovely young lady, who saw a hole in the market and was doing a great job in making a difference to the planet as well as parents pockets. Reducing the amount of nappies in the environment and going back to (a more aesthetically pleasing version of) the old fashioned cloth nappy is fantastic for those who are able to use them.

Being a mother of four and running my business at the same time, I was barely coping with life, business and sleep back then – I did not have time to think about going the cloth nappy.  But Jordan’s product is great. And with a lot of people looking into more natural options for their babies, it is a fantastic time to be in the market.

And the products are not limited to nappies. There are a range of items that both reduce the impact on the environment and save the customer money.

Andrew got a bit of an education on what a sanitary towel is for women.. This was a very funny moment and I am sure he was not the only man who thought this, as many men cannot cope to even thing about a menstrual cycle let alone be confronted with a reusable towel.

Jordan has a great partner in Glen, they will do great together.

BRICKS AND AGENT

I love building and renovating and I have to say that there is barely a year that has gone by that I have not used a tradie and learnt new things about building.

It is hard to find someone that is trustworthy and reliable who you know is going to do a good job and not rip you off if given the chance. This is like Airtasker for trades but for the property sector.

This is a classic double sided market place business which as we know from Uber and Airbnb, can scale very quickly if all the planets are aligned.. However as the other sharks said, it is entering a market where it already exists. They will need to have an edge to ensure they prove themselves and stand out from the others.

This was a business that I was very interested in. But as Steve said, there is many of these products around, the major problem is that the business has just started – literally – this week.

I would not invest in a business that is not yet proven, and this business was just a bit too early. I hope to see the guys doing really well and back in the tank next year. They are really likeable and I imagine they will go far.

 

Next week:  we meet someone who thinks they have a cure to the common cold, a creative cake design and a solution for keeping fruit and veggies fresh. Oh and the one that gets worked up next episode might just be me…