As the hit ABC reality show Shark Tank enters its seventh season with the premiere episode tonight, its new spinoff Beyond The Tank delves deeper into the stories in its second episode. Over eight million viewers watch Shark Tank each week, and ABC is looking to extend the brand with Beyond The Tank. The new show goes more into depth on what happens to business owners, or people with a dream, once they leave the set of Shark Tank with one of the show’s investors in the fold. This is not a given, since almost half of the agreements do not get finalized after the show, if the two parties do not agree to terms, according to Shark Tank veteran investor Mark Cuban.
In tonight’s episode of Beyond The Tank, Cuban expands upon his agreement with Diana and Josh Harbour, founders of The Red Dress Boutique fashion store and website. Last October on Shark Tank, Cuban and the Harbours did agree to a 15 percent ownership share of the company for Cuban. The company is very successful, generating over $14 million in revenue annually. Cuban is actively involved in the decision-making process. The company’s website actually crashed from all of the traffic gained from the appearance last year, so Cuban made sure the site was upgraded. He wanted an entirely new site built, but the Harbours held firm on their original. Diana Harbour says they speak or message each other on a daily basis about the company’s direction, and tonight’s show provides the details on how this co-ownership is working out for both sides.
Dating back to Season 5, in December of 2013, Shark Tank’s Daymond John agreed to invest in De-Boned Baby Back Ribs, and tonight’s Beyond The Tank goes deeper into this venture. It was created by former Cleveland Brown NFL Player Al “Bubba” Baker. The concept is as simple the name suggests. Ribs that can be eaten with a knife and fork, as the bones have been removed. Problems abound as Baker’s distributor left him after he could not meet the demand for the product the show generated, so the hunt for a new partner ensues, with John heading to Ohio for an update.
In last week’s season premiere, Robert Herjavec provided a closer look at the year-round sweater makers Tipsy Elves. In Herjavec’s office in Toronto, co-founder Nick Morton, discusses the issue of leaving a successful dental practice for his new business full-time. When is leaving job security behind for a new business venture the right thing to do? The answer is not always as easy as it was for Herjavec, who was fired from his job at Logiquest, creating an instant silver lining for him to pursue his passion, his own business, BRAK Systems.
“Don’t quit your job if it’s going to hurt your family,” he says, “but at the same time, a business is a living, breathing thing. If you don’t quit your job, it’s never going to grow. But only you can make that decision.”
Herjavec bought 10 percent of the company with a $100k investment in 2013, and immediately made a bunch of suggestions that have changed the scope of the company. Tipsy Elves made over $3 million in 2013, but sales more than doubled in 2014, approaching $8 million. The key was going from a seasonal Christmas sweater company to a year-round apparel manufacturer. Also, making not just unisex clothing, but men’s, women’s and kid’s clothing helped. Advice from a successful mentor like Herjavec has broadened the company’s horizons and revenue. Now, they can focus on holidays throughout the year and build on their success.
Friday nights are where Shark Tank and Beyond The Tank go deeper into the reality of business. Shark Tank’s season premiere is tonight at 8PM ET, followed by Beyond The Tank at 9PM ET.
By Evander Smart
Photo by 4hourworkweek – Creativecommons Flickr License