I must admit, I was not convinced Cousins Maine Lobster would be successful after their appearance on Shark Tank. The co-founders, Jim and Sabin, didn’t display a very deep knowledge of business. I had said in my original analysis that Shark Barbara would have to provide lots of her Marketing expertise for these guys to survive.
She did, and they not only survived, they thrived!
I think what Jim and Sabin have accomplished is amazing….over $10 million in sales, 10 new franchises, and a new restaurant on Ventura Blvd. in L.A.
They have been very open to Barbara’s suggestions and have taken advantage of her business acumen. This was THE KEY to their success! They knew what they knew (Lobsters, Cooking, Maine, etc.), and they knew what they didn’t know. Barbara saw to it that they optimized the operation of their first truck before expanding to franchises, and (forcefully) suggested a re-design of the new restaurant before it opened. She kept them from making the “fatal mistake” that can spell doom for any start-up.
Next, Shark Daymond visited Mo’s Bows. Daymond didn’t invest in Mo’s Bows, but agreed to mentor him. He lived up to that promise.
For those that missed it, Mo was 11 years old when he first appeared on Shark Tank with his Mom. He’s now 13 and he’s more then tripled his sales! Mo wants to expand into men’s and women’s clothing, but Mom and Daymond convinced him that it’s too soon….he should continue focusing on bow ties until he is firmly established in that space. Since it’s up 20 times easier to sell an add-on product to a current customer vs. selling to a new prospect, Daymond recommended Mo’s next product line be men’s ties.
The segment included Daymond giving Mo a tour of his old neighborhood (Hollis, Queens,NYC) and telling him stories about how he and his Mom got FUBU off the ground. Good stuff.
I loved Bottle Breacher so much I ordered one for my Father-in-Law for his birthday (he loved it!). Mr. Wonderful and Mark Cuban invested in Bottle Breacher (a 50 caliber bullet that is turned into a bottle opener). Mr. Wonderful actually teared-up when he talked about how Jen started this business while Eli was deployed in Iraq. Mr. W. also admitted that this was one of the few times that emotion entered into his investment decision.
Following your heart isn’t always bad in the investment world. Sales at Bottle Breacher have increased from $500K to $3.5 million since their appearance on Shark Tank.
In this episode, Mr. W. and his team helped Bottle Breacher increase their manufacturing capacity from 600 units to 2000 units a day so they could clean up 20,000 backorders. They are now in a position to expand their product line.