Here we go again for season 4!
What a blast to once again sit with my fellow investor sharks and have the privilege of seeing these amazing (and some not so amazing) businesses walk onto our red mat.
I approached this season with a student mentality and looked at what I could learn from these entrepreneurs and how I could help them, even if they didn’t get a deal. After the filming, I have met with many of the businesses that appeared on the series, including those that didn’t get a deal and every day, I am inspired by the tenacity and drive of these people.
This year had some great businesses and the first episode had some of my favourites. So, let’s see behind the Shark Tank doors; what we really thought and some tips that may help you with your business.
Ok, I admit it. The second I saw the product, I thought ‘really…..another bowl?’. I have seen hundreds of these in Bali, so I sat in my chair and wondered what was on for lunch. But then Jake came out and started to talk about his business and it got my attention.
His sales were nearly doubling each year and with an impressive $600K in profit, no wonder he got our attention.. He has an amazing community of followers, he understands his customers and he has given them exactly what they want. His business is growing in leaps and bounds and he is the classic example of the product is 20% but the execution is 80%.
There is a lot to learn from what Jake is doing.
I am thrilled that we are working through the deal with Andrew and I am really enjoying our catch ups and getting to know more.
Tips: What I would be directing your attention to in this business was his experience in social media. Jake knew how to maximise this medium through his past business which was consulting on social media. Many people do not know how to really drive these platform and a great deal of money is wasted learning. My tip is to always, always keep it simple and do not just push information at the consumer but get them involved. Jake did this with recipe sharing when he created a cook book. Find a business that you think is doing social well and learn from them.
Your Mates Brewing Co.
These guys may not have gotten a deal but they certainly won the nice guy award, which is half the battle when you are pitching for an investment.
People buy from people they like and we all liked these guys.
Their quest for life was “to have a business that means they drink beer for a living”, which they have achieved. I do not know the difference between one beer and another, so I was not the investor for them.
Tip : Choose a job you are passionate about and you never work another day in your life.
Wow! What a passionate and incredibly impressive business person. I say business person, not kid as his age has nothing to do with just how impressive he was. In fact, he will be impressive at any age. His passion and love for his product shone through and it has resulted in great sales and a great business.
On the debate of how much was fair and reasonable for a percentage of the business, everyone has their own valuation. Morgan’s Dad was adamant that he was not going to budge on the percentage which was unfortunate as there is more to a partner than just the money. In fact, the right partner can increase the value of the business significantly, not only with their expertise but also their reputation, hence why you have to consider the value of this when making your calculations.
Often with businesses that are relatively young, the entrepreneur has not been in business long enough to know how hard it is to succeed and how to navigate through all the rigmarole that you have to go through to actually make a successful business. As I said to Morgan, you have to be happy with the deal or do not go forward with selling his equity.
Morgan was keen but his father was not and as a parent and a shareholder, he has the right to his opinion. But I still think it was the wrong decision. Not just because it was me but Morgan needed the expertise and the finances to really grow the business.
Some of the challenges that he will face is also on the accounting side. He needs to learn to know his numbers and be able to understand the cost of his product as well as wages and staff, which he still needs to get a handle on. He will not be able to grow his business until he gets this area right.
I have met with Morgan for a mentoring session since filming and he is a delight, not to mention the donut box he brought with him that made him VERY welcome in the office. We have another session booked to help him on his way. He is a great kid and with or without me he will be successful.
It just would have been easier with me 😊… If you know what I mean.
Tip: You need to surround yourself with the right people so they can help guide you through the challenges of starting a new business. You have to have good systems and a particularly good accounting system. One that is simple to use and enables you to automate wages, bank recs, etc and one that can integrate into your point of sale systems. This will enable you to spend more time on your business but also have the right information to make the right call. At Boost, we recommend MYOB as we have found the system to be super easy and it give you the right reports. But at the end of the day, make sure you take the time to learn the system as the system is only as good as the data you put into it…. Garbage in, garbage out.
Inappropriate Gift company
I admit it. I really, really, really wanted this business. I loved Laurie and enjoyed her sense of humour and nonce for business. I believe that the world has gone too far with political correctness and there needs to be a balance. I think the Inappropriate Gift Company is emerging with perfect timing to help balance the scales. She had great traction and I loved that she was creating her own products.
Naomi was a natural fit but sometimes what is obvious is not necessarily the right path… OK, I admit it again. I am a sore loser on this one because I really wanted it (I know I mentioned that earlier).
I wish her all the best with the business and I will certainly be a customer.
Tip: Go left when things are going right. Society is getting so far down the road of political correctness gone mad, that this business has great timing. There are many reasons for business success and timing is one of them. And this business has come along at the perfect time.
Family: Get ready for your next gifts 🙂