047: What It’s Like To Be On Shark Tank With Eric Bandholz

Eric Banzholz Shark Tank

I’m really happy to have Eric Bandholz back on the show. In the last episode when we talked about BeardBrand.com, Eric’s Shark Tank episode had not yet aired so we couldn’t talk about it.

But now that everything is out there, Eric can now finally share his experiences to the public. Since Eric went on Shark Tank, his business has grown dramatically. Here are some of his stats

  • His store went from about $4500/day to about $12k/day in revenues
  • His store got 20k visitors on Friday and Saturday of the show (40k total)
  • The most concurrent visitors he had was during the East coast airing with about 6300 visitors

Below is a photo of his stats during the show.

SharkTank Stats

What You’ll Learn

  • How to get on Shark Tank
  • What it’s like to be on the show
  • How to prepare yourself to be on Shark Tank
  • What numbers and data you should already have in your head before the pitch
  • How to prepare your website for the onslaught of traffic
  • What Eric would have done differently if he went on again

Other Resources And Books

Transcript

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You are listening to the My Wife Quit Her Job podcast, where I bring in successful bootstrapped business owners to teach us what strategies are working and what strategies are not. Now this isn’t one of those podcasts where we bring on famous entrepreneurs simply to celebrate their success. Instead I have them take us back to the beginning and delve deeply into the exact strategies they used early on to gain traction for their businesses.

If you enjoy this podcast please leave me a review on iTunes, and enter my podcast contest where I’m giving away free one on one business consultations every single month. For more information go to www.mywifequitherjob.com/contest. And if you are interested in starting your own online business, be sure to sign up for my free six day mini course where I’ll show you how my wife and I managed to make over 100k in profit in our first year of business. Go to www.mywifequitherjob.com for more information. Now onto the show.

Welcome to the My Wife Quit Her Job podcast. We will teach you how to create a business that suits your lifestyle so you can spend more time with your family and focus on doing the things that you love. Here is your host Steve Chou.

Welcome to the My Wife Quit Her Job podcast. Today I`m really excited to have Eric Bandholz on the show again. Now Eric runs the incredibly profitable online store beardbrand.com and he is actually my very first return guest believe it or not. Now, why did I bring him back on the show again so soon? In between our last conversation, Eric went on my favorite TV show on television Shark Tank. And since I have not yet had anyone on the show who has been on Shark Tank yet, I knew I had to have him back. Now I`ve got a lot of question for Eric today and I must say that I`m a little bit jealous that he got to meet Daymond John and Mark Cuban, Barbra and Mr Wonderful, and with that welcome back to the Show Eric how are you doing today man?

Eric: Hey Steve I`m doing absolutely fantastic. How are you doing?

Steve: Pretty good man. I would imagine you would be doing pretty fantastic after going on the show.

Eric: Yeah.

Steve: It was an amazing show, I don’t want to spoil the show incase people haven’t seen it yet. So we can talk about the outcome a little bit too at the end.

Eric: Yeah we had to keep my lip shut because it happened, so long ago but it also aired a while ago as well. So– but it was you know I was following up on it and the ratings came out, and I was– the show was on Halloween and I was thinking because it was on the Halloween it would get lower ratings than normal. I looked back on old Halloween shows and they seem to be down, but it was actually the highest rated show of the season, so…

Steve: Really?

Eric: Yeah.

Steve: Awesome.

Eric: So I was pretty excited about that as well.

Steve: Do you get ratings for your own specific segment. Do they break that down for you?

Eric: I just looked on a public website, so I don’t know how they broke down…

Steve: Okay.

Eric: Per segment or anything like that.

Steve: Awesome and just curious before we get into the guts of the interview, did you have like your analytics open and then as soon as the show came on, did you see it like shoot up?

Eric: Yeah we had a TV set up for a viewing party. We had a bunch of people over here at the Beard Brand office, and then we had another monitor set up right next to it with the analytics from our website urbanbeardsmen.com, and from beardbrand.com with real time pages open on both of those so…

Steve: And I’m just curious like what’s your normal and what did it shoot up too as soon your segment aired?

Eric: Our normal kind of coming into this show was about 20 or 30 people.

Steve: Okay, on at a time.

Eric: On at a time and then during the show it just like– it would take time to refresh like it was– like real time wasn’t like real-real time, but it would be like you know 50, 100, 500…

Steve: Wow.

Eric: 1200 and then it went all the way up to 6300 simultaneous visitors.

Steve: Oh my goodness, okay. So what– I did want to get into this later, but since we are talking about it, what did you do to prepare for that onslaught of traffic?

Eric: So our shopping cart is on Shopify and they can handle up to half a million visits per minute.

Steve: Okay.

Eric: So, I was pretty sure we weren’t going to get that many visitors. So Shopify was totally fine and then with urbanbeardmen.com, I had that hosted on like a shared host, but it had been acting walky kind of leading up to the show. So we switched to Amazon web services and bought a bunch of server time, and we paid a lot of money– I mean it wasn’t a lot it was like 100 bucks and had a friend set it up, but you know it handled the traffic and we cashed out everything before the show, so that everything was loading quickly, and just kind of optimized to handle the onslaught, and a lot of people really didn’t go on to urban beards men from beard brand. But I mean– maybe a few hundred, but it wasn’t anything that we were just blown away with the traffic.

Steve: So in terms of shopify, I`m sure they can’t handle that much traffic for every store. So did you have to give them a heads up a head of time or…

Eric: I mean they seemed pretty confident.

Steve: Okay.

Eric: Of those abilities, so I gave– I did contact them and reached out to them and let them know, but I think they have seen that a few times. I think there is other companies who have been on Shark Tank who have just kind of opted out ahead of time.

Steve: Okay.

Eric: Shopify is for the most part you know, keeping the website up hasn’t been a big trouble for them.

Steve: Awesome, well that’s good to know. So let’s start from the very beginning. No first of give us 60 second refresher to what you sell in your store again just so the listeners remember, and then tell us what your motivations were for even applying to Shark Tank.

Eric: So Beard Brand we foster style for the urban beards men and that means we are trying to change the way society views beards men by helping them understand that beards men aren’t simply you know lumberjacks or bikers or hippies or outdoors men, but there is also you know what we call the urban beadsmen, which is maybe more professional, family oriented, community driven type of guys, you know your typical office guy.

Steve: Mm-huh.

Eric: And to help them out we provide beard care products. So we sell beard oil, mustache wax, combs, brushes, kits and the likes for that niche out there. And we wanted to be on Shark Tank because just the opportunity to expose our brand to millions of people, and then in addition to that to be able to partner with some high priority people. We are really heavy and focused on branding.

Steve: Mm-huh.

Eric: And I think part of branding is aligning with people who fit your image and can help you– who have the resources to help you grow quicker than you can grow, and specifically I`m talking about like celebrity endorsements.

Steve: Okay.

Eric: And I wasn’t thinking necessarily like one of the sharks would be a celebrity endorsement, but I was thinking that they probably have more connections to other beards men, who have more clout than I do, and they might be able to make that introduction or help us with writing the contracts or formulating those deals that we don’t have a lot of experience doing. And then from like the advisor stand point you know to build a multimillion dollar company is our goal. I have never done that before. So everyday I`m learning something new, and it would always be nice to have like an advisory community or platform, someone to help us out and help us grow.

Steve: So just curious, did you go into the show full on wanting an investment from the sharks?

Eric: We– for us it was a win-win situation.

Steve: Right.

Eric: Our business is healthy and growing in a sense that we don’t need any outside money. So we are not desperate for a deal, but if we could have worked out a deal we would have worked out a deal, so yeah.

Steve: And I`m just curious I mean just– I’ve seen the show I don’t know if all the listeners have watched the Halloween episode yet, but what were you– going in did you know how much you were willing to give up for the company and how much were you actually willing to the sharks and kind of how did you kind of evaluate how much you were willing to give up verses what they would have to offer you in your business?

Eric: We did a lot of research before going on to the show trying to figure out what the valuation of our business was, and you know at the time our business was only– had only existed for 18 months. So there is not a lot of backing data you know any of that, but from talking with a law firm that does a lot of MNAs to talking with other VCs and other successful business owners who have sold, we– they advised that our business was valued anywhere between four and ten million dollars.

Steve: Okay, is that about– what multiple is that? A three to four X or?

Eric: You know I don’t really know when you consider multiples if its– is it on revenue or is it on profit or anything like that, but at that point we had a run rate 1.2 million dollars.

Steve: Okay, and that’s revenue right.

Eric: That’s revenue. And we were focusing more on the run rate than we were on total sales because of the rapid growth, but and you know personally I don’t really get into valuation too much. it`s not like we are really looking forward to selling. It`s just some kind of– I just wanted amo [phonetic] and…

Steve: Absolutely.

Eric: Opinions from other people other than me, and what the valuation of the business was so that I could feel confident, you know pitching to them and standing ground for what we thought the business was worth. But if you watch the show you will see that we came in there asking for $400,000 for 15% which puts us at 2.6 million dollar valuation. So we gave– we factored in the unique opportunity that a Shark could have by being associated with the TV show, and discounted our business in results to that, and then I think we would have gone down as low as two million dollars to do the deal.

Steve: Okay.

Eric: So like, all that was kind of going in beforehand.

Steve: In terms of giving up equity though, were you willing to give up like 50%?

Eric: Well so, for those who aren’t familiar with how the show works, they– you set a number that you need and if you can’t get to that number the deal won’t get done. So, if you want to have a deal done, it’s going to be better to do like a lower amount like $100,000 or something like that. And we came in at $400,000. So it’s a little bit higher amount and a little bit bigger investment for them. So it’s a little bit harder to get a deal done with that higher price tag. I forgot what you asked.

Steve: I asked like let say Cuban came up to you and said hey I have a million bucks for…

Eric: [crosstalk 11:43] so we were willing to do…

Steve: Because you own 100%, is that right?

Eric: Yeah, I mean I would much rather just sell the whole thing than sell half of it.

Steve: Okay.

Eric: So I think, we would have stuck ground at that 400,000 and let’s see here what is that…

Steve: I`m busy asking you what percentage of the company were you willing to give up at let’s say about a $ 2,000,000 valuation?

Eric: Well, we would have done 400,000 because we would have had to, so that takes you to what percentage is that?

Steve: One fifth, twenty percent right?

Eric: Okay right. So we would have given up the 20%.

Steve: Interesting. Okay, so you went in with the dollar amount instead of– like I was just curious if one of the Sharks– sometimes they go up, right. They give you more money than you ask for and they ask for a higher percentage.

Eric: Yeah I mean, I probably wouldn’t have, I probably wouldn’t have gone higher than 20%.

Steve: Okay, all right.

Eric: So let’s talk about the application process, what is that like? Walk me through what you had to do to get on the show.

Eric: So there is a lot of different ways to get on the show. The best opportunity is when the producers just randomly stumble across you business and they reach out to you and they ask you to be on the show. So you are pretty much green lighted through several steps of processes. There are two other ways, the other ways, the other way– one other way is by filling out the application and submitting it and just sending it through their yahoo email address that you get online, and then the final way is to go to like a casting call out around the nation. That will happen, and I think we did the one where you emailed through their email system.

Steve: Okay.

Eric: And that worked for us. We were considering doing one of the casting call events in Austin Texas, but we didn`t want to stand in line for two hours for something that we really didn’t have control over. We were kind of at that time we had already submitted our application.

Steve: Right.

Eric: And so for us too is you know if they dig it they dig it if not we’ve got to move on with our business and focus on growing it.

Steve: So describe the application and how do you make yourself stand out? Like what are some tips and tricks on getting on that you did?

Eric: I think Lindsay just filled that out over the course just 15 minutes and just put in our information and kind of went with it. So…

Steve: Are you serious?

Eric: Yeah it wasn’t like– at that time I don’t even think she was familiar with the show Shark Tank, she is like oh this sounds cool, I`m going to fill it out and put it in. And so she filled it out in like 15 minutes and, I mean I think what we are doing is kind of cool by default. I think you know not a lot of people are doing what we are doing and I don’t think they`ve had anyone on the show who is doing what we`ve done. So I think the big thing is being unique. You know if you are not a beard oil company out there listening, then they are probably not going to air that, or if they do air it, it’s not going to be for a number of years. So they want to have like unique consumer based products.

Steve: You know what’s funny though Eric, I’ve watched every single episode of Shark Tank and a lot of times they have people that are just like baking cookies or cup cakes and what nots. That stuff isn’t that unique, so I would imagine that you have to make your application stand out a little bit. There must be something that Lindsay did in that 15 minutes. Perhaps she is amazing.

Eric: Yeah, I mean we were proud of our story and we tell our story and you know our story involves like Urban Beards and then and change in the way society views beards men, which are pretty big tasks, which I think stands out you know, it’s not like we just make cookies and we sell them. But you know our numbers we have pretty good numbers for growth as well and I think that tells the story as well. I don’t know if I’ll ever ask them like why did they pick us over the 35,000 other companies.

Steve: Okay. So you send in your email, how long did it take for you to response?

Eric: It took about like six months.

Steve: Six months? Okay, no you didn’t hear from them yet for six months?

Eric: Yeah, so we estimate like October-November something like that and we had from them I think in May.

Steve: I’m sorry this is a text based submission process, right. You didn’t include a video or anything, right?

Eric: I’m pretty sure at this point we didn’t do a video.

Steve: Okay.

Eric: But they followed up and we did a video.

Steve: Okay.

Eric: With my…

Steve: So they followed up and were you on the show at that point when they’d followed up, or did they want more information out of you?

Eric: Yeah, so I think they kind of said they were interested in you know having you continue through the Shark Tank process and you know shoot a video, let’s see what you are like and submit it. You know like sell the producers on why you should be on the show.

Steve: Okay. And then what– do you have that video?

Eric: I’m not allowed to show that video.

Steve: Oh you are not allowed to show that video, okay.

Eric: But I do have it.

Steve: So may be privately you can give me a link to it.

Eric: No, you don’t get it privately.

Steve: I don’t get it privately either.

Eric: No, no.

Steve: Yeah, all right. Well even with that personality video, you still going on the show huh Eric. Okay cool, so you send in that video and then what happens?

Eric: It’s just like a…

Steve: What’s it like to talk about that video? Is that just a personality thing– the video was just a personality thing? Or did you just pitch your company at that point?

Eric: Yeah I mean it’s both, right you know it’s essentially showing how you would appear on TV. Yeah, and then it’s just a lot more forms and a lot more back and forth, a lot more tweaking and you know communicating, and then just getting ready for the show essentially like just there is all these baby steps that needed to happen.

Steve: Okay.

Eric: To make sure that you are ready for the show, you know make sure that all their Ts are crossed and their eyes are dotted legally, and make sure that they want to cover their ass.

Steve: Okay.

Eric: So they don’t get sued for promoting something that’s panted or you know.

Steve: Sure.

Eric: So they don’t want to you know they are doing it not only like vetting you for talent, but also vetting you for your business, to make sure that the Sharks would you know that you are actually a rigid business, that it’s something that they would invest in as well. So there is a lot of like you would go for any kind of investment, you got to give up your numbers or reason and all that other stuff.

Steve: Do they come to you at your office?

Eric: No, it’s all on line, emails and stuff, yeah.

Steve: Oh it’s all on line, okay.

Eric: Yeah.

Steve: Interesting you know because you know I’m always under the impression that when people go on the show they haven’t been completely vetted yet. But it sounds like they vet you completely before you even get on the show.

Eric: So the Sharks are not that– the sharks have no idea what’s walking through that door. But the whole producing team, then Shark Tank show they’ll vet of course.

Steve: Okay. And then after that what happens? So you did your video, you submitted it, and then how much time has elapsed?

Eric: It’s a pretty quick process to get in on the show or getting to film the show, but it’s just a you know I’ll be a little vague here it’s pretty much you know sign a bunch of papers, walk through a lot of back and forth with the producing team you know just kind of they really like set your expectations. They just tell you what’s going to happen, and how it’s going to happen. They are very upfront, they are very clear, and they really just walking you through the process. I think it’s more in line our strategy was listening to these guys because they know what they are doing, like they’ve done how many episodes in the past and how many entrepreneurs.

Steve: Okay.

Eric: They really take advice from them on what they recommend that we should do as entrepreneurs. So we had a really open book on what we wanted to do, and how we wanted to do it, and just kind of fall in line with them. So you just walk through them and you talk with them and you work out all the details, and then you don’t talk about it which is…

Steve: Yeah we’ll see what you are willing to talk about here. So we can talk about the preparations right. So how did you prepare to be on the show?

Eric: Well of course we did the valuation for our business that we talked about. So you get a fill for what we thought our business was worth then. And kind of we watched a lot of episodes in the past to see who is going to react, and how we thought they were going to react and how we would handle various scenarios. I’m one of those guys who if I prepare too much, I underperform, I get nervous, I over think things, and so I actually prefer winning it a little bit.

Steve: Okay.

Eric: And just be myself.

Steve: I’m the same way actually yeah.

Eric: Which you know sometimes it’s good and sometimes it’s not so good, but it’s how I feel so comfortable. So I did one dry run with the– my co-founders.

Steve: Okay.

Eric: And I set the pitch like in my head and throughout the day like probably a thousand times. Like I was just constantly saying the pitch and saying it over and over and over again. Because that’s one thing that’s really scripted that you got to know is that first two minute intro.

Steve: Okay. Now how long is the pitch by the way?

Eric: It’s they want you to keep it under two minutes.

Steve: Under two minutes, okay.

Eric: And then I kept in there and they still– they cut out a few pieces of it which was a little annoying, like I had some good jokes in there, and they cut them, but I guess they weren’t that good if they cut them out.

Steve: Okay, so what are some of the facts that you just had to down part; you mentioned valuation, anything else?

Eric: You know it’s just knowing how you’ve grown and knowing your numbers.

Steve: Okay.

Eric: And I was very– at that point I was very hands on with the business. So I knew like all the day to day numbers, I knew everything.

Steve: Okay.

Eric: We had a lot of growth and you’ve got to know your numbers, but that’s with any business you’ve got to know your numbers. You’ve got to know your market and stuff like that, but…

Steve: Was there a particular Shark that you were hoping to get?

Eric: I think Daymond with his experience in branding and building [inaudible] [00:22:08] up.

Steve: Okay.

Eric: Would have been a good connection for us as well as Mark Cuban with his philosophical alignments to us. I think those two probably would have been our preferred Sharks to work with.

Steve: And given that none of the Sharks were kind of they didn’t have beards– if they did that would have been a huge advantage for you I’d imagine. But what was your overall strategy to convincing them to invest in something that traditionally at least what I feel they don’t traditionally invest in. What was your overall strategy besides letting them pay your beard and that sort of thing?

Eric: Well I guess we’ll start getting in a little bit of spoilers uh?

Steve: Yeah. Let’s do it.

Eric: So we– I don’t know we have a pretty good story, and the market is out there, the numbers are out there.

Steve: Yeah.

Eric: To back our stuff and our business shows in those numbers as well. So I was hoping that they could really look at our business from the financial stand point, and really just you know emphasize like what we’ve been able to do on a big struck budget, how we’ve been able to grow. But I think– apparently it was a harder task than I thought because it’s kind of odd when you know I do podcast like this, you guys have seen what we’ve done.

Steve: Yeah.

Eric: You’ve seen the website, you’ve seen the brand, you’ve seen the videos, you’ve seen all that, and you like totally get it, right? When you go up pitching you don’t have all that background information. So they’ve never seen my website, they’ve never seen the reviews from our customers, they’ve never you know seen the You Tube videos on our 2,000,000 views on You Tube, like they haven’t seen like any of the brand that we’ve build. And they are just taking…

Steve: Face value.

Eric: Yeah, face value that oh yeah we’ve built a brand and they are like no you haven’t, you haven’t a brand. Once you get into that kind of argument, it’s like I can’t prove it’s wrong because you know I don’t have the computer there and the likes. But I think it’s you know I didn’t have full control of them. They are like kids in a candy store you know they are all running around on these ideas on their heads and questions they want to ask and they are all ask them at the same time. So as the pitcher you’ve got to be in control of that room. And I think I had a fair amount of control of directing them with what I wanted to talk about, but…

Steve: I know a lot of stuff gets cut out by the time it gets to television. So I mean in terms of the actual appearance, how long were you up there in front of them?

Eric: I think I was up there for about 45 minutes.

Steve: Oh okay wow! Okay. So they cut all that down to about 5 minutes I think on TV, right?

Eric: Yeah it was like 6 minutes, I think I timed it.

Steve: Yeah, so can we talk about what happened in the other 39 minutes a little bit?

Eric: I don’t know if I’m able to discuss that information or not. But how they portrayed me on TV was for the most part pretty accurate…

Steve: It was pretty positive I think.

Eric: Yeah and then I think it was pretty accurate of the whole 45 minutes. Like I think you know they cut out probably some positive things that I would have liked to see, but they also cut out some negative things that were said. So I think it was pretty fair representation. I felt like the room was light and friendly and fun. And I think they showed it as that way, and I think that you know I think they showed them as being impressed with our numbers.

Steve: Yeah that came across in the episode actually.

Eric: They weren’t hammering me at all on my numbers, or you know I think Kevin had one mention evaluation, but the other guys they weren’t really joining him on this valuation. And I think that’s just kind of Kevin’s thing, right?

Steve: Yeah, Kevin always does that.

Eric: So I was like okay you know Kevin will say that, but other people they didn’t connect with the niche or the market in the show. And I think that’s how it’s portrayed on TV as well. So I think it was a pretty accurate portrayal of the events that happen.

Steve: Okay. I know you signed a whole bunch papers, but so in that 39 minutes your pitch was only you said a couple of minutes long, right?

Eric: Yeah.

Steve: And then after that is it just basically general Q&A, or they ask you questions? Or did you have you know an additional pitch after that?

Eric: No. So you going on with that pitch and you want to leave a little bit of tease on there. So they start asking questions.

Steve: Okay. And so for the remainder of the time they are just asking questions. Did any of them– I’m trying to remember if any of them have facial hair? Did any of them try your product on their face at all or?

Eric: They smelled the products, they opened them up.

Steve: Okay.

Eric: But I don’t know if I saw them putting on their face or not. Daymond– he kept some bottles after.

Steve: Okay.

Eric: He’s got a little bit of a goatee.

Steve: Right.

Eric: I think I probably like if it wasn’t late in the day, I probably could have twisted Daymond’s arm into partnering up with us. I do think he is kind of on the verge.

Steve: Okay.

Eric: But you know the circumstances didn’t work that way.

Steve: Okay. Are you allowed to talk about anything related to their personalities, or like the bencher [phonetic] that went on during your pitch?

Eric: I mean like when you are in this moment I don’t know if I could really take in their personalities. So it was just what you see is pretty much what I saw as well. But they were all very like, oh so Barbara was on the show as Lori.

Steve: Lori, right.

Eric: And Lori, Robert, Kevin, Daymond and Mark, all five of them were phenomenal people. They are very nice. They ask questions in a way that I would expect them to ask questions. They weren’t confrontational to me, they may have disagreed with things, but I didn’t feel that they presented in a way that was rude or…

Steve: I guess what I’m trying to ask is what questions did they ask that weren’t aired? You know stuff that they cut out, but that was stuff that they’d ask about your business.

Eric: Yeah, I mean it was just kind of…

Steve: I’m I putting you in hard place here?

Eric: It was more about learning about the product and learning about the business. And just kind of more details.

Steve: Okay, in kind of like a casual setting?

Eric: Yeah, I mean well it wasn’t super casual like taking a beer, it was pretty intense, but you know like they would just ask questions and they all ask like just imagine like five people who are interested in your business, and they all ask a different question on the exact same time.

Steve: With a bright red light, with a bright light, a hot light shining on you the whole time.

Eric: Yeah so, but it was– they just want to learn about the business and get a better understanding about where you are at, what you are doing, what’s your market’s like. Just a standard business set of questions.

Steve: Okay. Let’s talk about some of the fun stuff now. What impact has being on the show had on your sales and on your website?

Eric: So it’s been a huge impact. There’s first two days, so Friday night and Saturday were our two biggest sales for us ever. We did about $20,000 on each of those days.

Steve: Wow!

Eric: So that was before the show we were doing about anywhere between probably 5 and on a good day like a really good day it would have been like 7,500, but probably around 4 or 5 was our average daily volume.

Steve: And you mentioned they went from 30 visits to 6,000 visits at one point. That’s crazy, so the people that you are getting on the show– what I’m I trying to ask here? So were they people that had already purchased from you? Or these are like all new customers that were just watching the show and coming on. Like I guess a lot of people– I don’t know what I’m trying to ask, let’s just move on.

Eric: Well I get it, so we did a lot of promotion with our customers before the event, kind of letting them know that we are going to be on the show, to watch the show, to support us, to share the word the we are going to be on the show.

Steve: Okay.

Eric: If they wanted to purchase any of our products we encouraged them to purchase before the show because we knew that we were going to get backed up a little bit. So we were able to see a slight boost in sales before the show, because of I’d say like our business we had a lot of wholesale orders. We told our wholesalers that you know we are going to be on the show to stock up, and so there was a boost just from the pre-sales as for the show.

Steve: Okay.

Eric: And then once the show aired I think there was a lot of new people who had never had of the brand before and was able to connect with us, which I think was really great, a lot of gifts. I haven’t broken down the analytics yet to see like what the male to female ratio was, like before the show it was about jeez I think it was like 80 or 90% were guys ordering. So I’m sure after the show that ratio was probably changed a bit as they’ve got more gifts.

And it’s been nice because I think what happens is people watch the show and then they’ll come back into work and they’ll say, hey man you got a beard did you hear about that beard company that was on Shark Tank. You know so people just talk about it, and they tell their friends and it gets out there and it dropped down 20,000 in sales. And kind of dropped down to around like $10,000 a day.

Steve: Okay.

Eric: So that’s what we are doing now. Hopefully it stays at 10,000; hopefully that’s our new floor. And then we can start building from that.

Steve: And we are going into the Holiday seasons now, and traditionally I would imagine your sales spike during that period as well.

Eric: Yeah I mean we call this growing season.

Steve: Okay.

Eric: From September through February is really like when we make our most money. It’s really good for us not just Christmas time, but the whole season. So we are excited about what the Holidays will bring for us. We expected it to be higher, I don’t know. It’s an exciting time where we are building this company to level, well every day we are building the company to levels I’ve never done before because I’ve never built a successful business before.

So it’s just fun to see where I’ll go and where we need to invest our money to make sure that we have the resources to grow the company. That’s the most nerve wrecking thing, like when do I bring on talent, and who do I bring, and what is that process like, because we want to be a $100,000,000 company.

Steve: Wow!

Eric: We want to grow to be like a dominant player in the market place. And we do want to change the way society views beards men. So you are not going to be able to do that as a little [inaudible] [00:33:12] you know half a million dollar a year company.

Steve: Right, okay.

Eric: So we are not in this for the lifestyle or we are kind of in it to…

Steve: To make a big company right, got it. Okay in terms of your preparation you mentioned that you alerted your wholesalers that you are coming on the show. Did you send that email to your list, your consumer list as well that you are going to be on the show?

Eric: Yeah.

Steve: Okay.

Eric: So anyone and everyone we surmounted out to everyone. You can go to our Facebook page and see the posts that we are making.

Steve: Okay. And did you make any changes to your website itself before as well as after?

Eric: We did. We did a little bit of AB testing to kind of make sure we had an optimal homepage. We added a Shark Tank banner up, which linked to our story.

Steve: Okay.

Eric: We added this little join our subscription club you know notification newsletter. And then we kind of tweaked the main images to show a little bit about our– yeah I mean that was– we had the opportunity; we talked to other people who were on the show and then listened to the kind of things that they did. And they put up like pop ups on their stores and live chat on their store, and you know threw up discounts and sales, and they are really trying to maximize like the exposure that they got.

And we had the– you know that’s really not our strategy and we don’t want you know a thousands of new people to their first interaction with us is a giant pop up banner on a cell. Like we don’t want them to think that’s how we run our business.

So we decided against that and maybe and man we left some dollars on the table, but you know our business model has always been about confidence and knowing we’ve got the best product. And they’ll be able to purchase when they are ready to purchase, and not to pressure our customers into buying.

Steve: Okay. That was actually part of my question was gathering email addresses part of your strategy as opposed– did you have any of your email sign up forms that you had added because of the influx of traffic. Because I would imagine a lot of them coming in and just want to take a look at the site might not be ready to buy it right away.

Eric: Yeah, I mean I’d also imagine a lot of people are going to decide never plan on buying either.

Steve: Sure.

Eric: I don’t want to get their email address to spend money on them, marketing to them when it’s not something they are interested in. So we are not big on you know the old school, or I wouldn’t even call the old school, just like modern day marketing techniques, like that’s not us.

Steve: Okay, got it.

Eric: We try to market by providing valuable content and just growing organically like just finding people who are passionate about what we are doing.

Steve: Okay.

Eric: Rather than tricking them into joining our list and then you know blasting out all these emails telling them to buy shit.

Steve: Okay. And so that’s why you had a link to your story, right? So you draw them into your content and your overall mission statement so to speak.

Eric: Yeah. I wanted them to continue to get to know us. And the link wasn’t really obvious so people kind of had a quick around for it, but some people clicked there in. And we wrote the story kind of based on you know my interactions with the Sharks and what we talked about.

Steve: Okay.

Eric: So it was a little bit different than what they heard because I kind of write that you know on the fly.

Steve: Sure.

Eric: it’s a good like a 1500 word article.

Steve: And going forward are you still in communication with the Sharks at all? Do you plan on communicating with them in the future?

Eric: No, no. We are not looking for money.

Steve: Okay.

Eric: We’ll always entertain it if one of them decided to call us up; I’d probably pick up the phone.

Steve: Okay.

Eric: [Inaudible] [00:36:57] what they have to say, but you know we are always willing to sell the business for the right price, but it’s not something that we are actively looking to do at all. So we are not investing our resources into that.

Steve: Okay. Sounds good men, hey I’m really happy that you came on the show and I’m really happy for the results that you got on the show even though you didn’t end up with an investment. It sounds like the whole experience was extremely positive for your business.

Eric: Yeah, I mean again for us it was a win-win situation and the only fear– our biggest risk and our biggest fear is of going on the show were that we would be perceived as like a stupid goofy type of business that everyone laughs at, like one of those that they mock.

Steve: Well you’ve got the numbers; you can’t laugh at the numbers.

Eric: Right. So I think you know may be if we only had like $1000 in sales when we got on there, we probably would be laughed out the door. But since we had the numbers I think it was pretty clear that we had our act together, and I think it was portrayed that way. So I think we were portrayed pretty accurately with the– and I think that the other risk is you know not a lot of the companies on the show like really have an established brand. They are kind of a product. And we didn’t want to get lumped in together with these companies out there that just have one product and no business sense. So we wanted to be portrayed in a way where we know what we are doing.

Steve: Yeah no that totally came across in the show to me, but I’m a little biased too because I know you. And I know your business, I’ve watched your videos and everything, so I was a little biased, but I thought it came across as that. I mean you were definitely not some newbie guy up there, you knew what you were doing, and so I was pulling for you to make a deal but…

Eric: Yeah I think viewers like it when deals get done; they feel more connected to the brand. They feel like the sharks are connected with the brand so you are connected with it. And I think there’s a lot of positive energy that you get from getting a deal or getting an offer, but I still think there’s a lot of value and energy you get by appearing on the show, and not getting a deal. So again it’s a win-win and maybe the win is not as big when you don’t get a deal, but it’s still a win.

Steve: Awesome Eric. Hey man thanks a lot for coming on to the show and talking about your experience, and I’ll be sure to link up all the stuff that you sent me before we started talking. You wrote a couple of articles about your experience as well, and I’ll be sure to link that up as well.

Eric: Great. Always a pleasure to hang with you Steve and pleasure to be on the show and hopefully the viewers out there, the listeners out there I got some good feedback and they can build their business.

Steve: Yeah and hopefully some of them have got beards as well. Send you some customers. All right man Eric, take care man.

Eric: All right cheers.

Steve: Hope you enjoyed that interview. I’ve always wondered what being on Shark Tank was like and believe me; I’ve tried to extract as much info out of Eric as I could without him violating the NDA that he signed. And what I really admire about Eric is that he took a chance and it looks like his business increased by about 30% as a result of being on Shark Tank. For more information about this episode go to mywifequitherjob.com/episode47 and make sure you check out the show notes because I posted actual revenue numbers for Eric’s store beardbrand.com before and after the Shark Tank appearance.

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One thought on “047: What It’s Like To Be On Shark Tank With Eric Bandholz”

  1. deborah rogers says:

    1. What percentage of his business is wholesale
    2. Sounds like the majority of his business is wholesale. What traditional methods of selling does he use, such as trade shows, to reach wholesale customers.
    3. From what he is saying, he didn’t want a deal, based on his high asking price. He wanted the publicity and boost in sales.

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