Let’s start with:
Robert Herjavec, one of the sharks on ABC’s Shark Tank, has great advice for small businesses. “You need to have distinct value,” he told Small Business Trends. Herjavec had some other advice for small business; “You really need to know your numbers and you have to have a very clear marketing presence.”
Herjavec has called Tipsy Elves, an ugly Christmas-sweater company, his best investment on the show yet.
Herjavec invested $100,000 for 10% equity in the business in 2013. Two years later, the company pulled in over $10 million in sales and expanded to other holiday apparel.
There’s an important lesson to be learned from the founders’ pitch: They brought energy. Herjavec says if entrepreneurs are able to entertain him, they caught his attention.
“Investors are tired, they’re cold, they’re hungry. They hear boring pitches all the time.” “You have to entertain me.”
When Tipsy Elves cofounders Evan Mendelsohn and Nick Morton appeared on the show in 2013, they gave a quick spiel about their company. Then launched into a surprise fashion show.
Models wearing goofy Christmas and Hanukkah sweaters strutted their stuff for the sharks, while Mendelsohn and Morton provided commentary on the looks.
It was silly, but certainly entertaining—which may have helped the former dentist and lawyer grab Herjavec’s interest.
Barbara Corcoran shared the best advice she gave Shark Tank entrepreneurs who made $2 million in three months.
PiperWai cofounders Jess Edelstein and Sarah Ribner were underdogs when they pitched their all-natural deodorant to the investors on Shark Tank’s premier episode, resulting in weeks of back orders. Corcoran encouraged the cofounders to fire their unreliable partner and find a new supplier.
“And fortunately for me, they’re women that listen,” Corcoran said. “I can’t say that about all my entrepreneurs.”
She said that many Shark Tank entrepreneurs become reckless with their money during the sales spike following their episode premier, as if the “Shark Tank buzz” is everlasting. It’s why she’s telling them to remain disciplined and focused, and to not let the flow of income distract them from building a foundation that can be scaled.
“They’ll have a huge business—you wait and watch,” Corcoran said.
The company was just under a year old—but it was far from enough to convince most of the Sharks that PiperWai could compete in such a crowded field.
Barbara Corcoran admired Edelstein and Ribner and decided to make a deal for $50,000 in exchange for 25% of the company. When the episode aired in December, the tiny company made a big splash. In the past three months, PiperWai has brought in more than $2 million in sales.
The sudden explosive success known as “the Shark Tank effect” can actually be a curse to a business whose owners aren’t prepared for it, and so Corcoran stepped in to guide them. Her advice to Edelstein and Ribner, she told Business Insider at a Zebit event on Tuesday: “Don’t spend the money. Lock it up. Pretend you’re poor.”
PiperWai wasn’t built on a major investment. “What got them from Point A to Point B is not money, but creativity, intelligence, and chutzpah,” Corcoran said. “And that’s exactly what’s going to build them a huge empire in the future.”
In a slight reversal, Mark Cuban offered Robert Herjavec some friendly advice. “Just recently, over lunch, Cuban looks at me and says, ‘You know? You’re a good guy. And so I’m going to give you a piece of advice. You have to dream bigger,” Herjavec recalls.
“You’re always trying to protect your downside, think about the upside.”
It was a very rare moment where the two agreed on something.
The fear of risk or downside can hold many talented entrepreneurs and professionals back, according to the multi-millionaire.
Focusing more on the upside, or your potential for success, pays off, Herjavec tells CNBC in a video-call from Google’s headquarters, where he was advising young entrepreneurs for a “contest with Frito Lay.”
He cites the time it took him to expand his cybersecurity company as an example. Before Herjavec’s start on Shark Tank, the Hervajec Group operated only within Canada.
“I never thought about expanding outside of Canada,” he tells CNBC. “I don’t know why, maybe I didn’t have the confidence.”
But three years ago, he finally made the leap. Today, the company operates in the U.S., Canada and the United Kingdom.
In their recent conversation, Cuban reminded Herjavec to keep thinking about new opportunities, instead of worrying about the risks.