Here are my notes that I took on set during the filming of Episode Five. If there is a word to describe this episode, it would be #Courage. All entrepreneurs by nature must be courageous – but may show it in different ways. All the businesses we see tonight have grand plans for growth – but all believe that they would do much better with the experience of a shark to help them reach their aspirations sooner. It also takes courage to stand on national TV and share details about your idea and business. Incredible variety tonight – from food to fashion, freshness to Friday ales. There were plenty of disagreements between the sharks – on some things we just see the world differently.
I seem to come out with some magical words of wisdom (note irony) in most episodes – this one is “That’s business for you very inconvenient” #redshark.
Paleo Cafe – It is always a treat when the pitch has real substance. Big plans, 12 locations and growing into New Zealand. But I wonder if it is a trend, a fad or the future of food. Jai and Marlise have built the business and are eager to scale. They have developed a franchise model, supported by an online shop offering, cookbooks and other merchandise. They acknowledge that the business year on year store sales are in decline – which makes me wonder if people are moving away from paleo or if other non-specific cafes are now offering more paleo options. The barriers to entry are low. Jai admits that they had not been supporting franchises in the way that they need to be and that management has been a limitation. The numbers and growth are impressive – but each of us have a different view about where to go from here.
Pitzstop – The set really gives us no insights as to what this product is. Did it have something to do with motorsport? When the founders arrived on set their pitch was fun, well rehearsed and tastefully presented. This couple are clearly enjoying themselves and having fun… with a little kiss at the end of the presentation. It reminds us that business is a people game and having a business partner with a shared vision can be one of the greatest gifts to any business. Michelle and Troy are candid, passionate and very likeable; they have been doing it for four years and have made $8500 profit. Dr Glen questions if it is a business or an idea looking for some other enterprise to commercialize it.
Catch up: Hegs – In just 12 months that I have been working with Scott, Hegs has grown 800% (from 1 million capacity to 8 million being produced). Now sold in 25 countries and are packaged in 12 different languages. They have also won numerous awards including the SA Telstra Business of 2015. It is such a delight working with Hegs, it is a privilege to bring my years of ‘wisdom’ to the conversation.
Body Peace Clothing – Bamboo is better for the planet than to produce cotton. Cotton consumes more water and uses more chemicals than any other textile crop. Anna, after 15 years in the mainstream retail fashion industry, decided she wanted to design fashion that looked great and was also environmentally conscious. She embraces a conscious lifestyle and wanted to translate this way of living into her business – she was living, being and now working every day as her authentic self. She has been in business for six years, has 3000 customers on her database and 100 wholesalers. She has good topline growth, now turning over $1.7M, and is making a 10% profit. Now she needs advice from a Shark to work out where to from here.
Friday Beers – Four founders have found a niche delivering craft beers with tasting notes to offices in Brisbane. Having made 350 deliveries to date, they are beginning to get traction. Making $8 per delivery, they get significantly better profits when they make many multiple deliveries to the one building – so they are keeping their offering local. Yet, in the next breath they talk about Melbourne and Sydney, where I personally know that such services are already offered. The barrier to entry is low. Six new beers are delivered every week to your desk with no lock-in contracts sounds enticing, but Janine questions whether Shark investment or organic growth is better for Friday Beers.
Episode five was another fun episode, with plenty of difference of opinions between the sharks. We are liking our new spot on Wednesday nights.
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