If anyone can walk calmly into the "Shark Tank," it would be Lori Lite, creator of stress management solutions for kids. Asking for $250,000 in return for a 20 percent stake in her company, she got three sharks to bite and walked away with a deal with Barbara Corcoran.
What has the impact of being on "Shark Tank" been for your business?
Being on "Shark Tank" gave me national exposure and sparked international interest in my products. I have been able to expand my Indigo Dreams product line to include relaxation music for children and I recently licensed the rights to my stories to publishers in Turkey, South Korea, and Japan. My best selling "Indigo Ocean Dreams" CD and "Angry Octopus," "The Affirmation Weaver," "Bubble Riding," "Sea Otter Cove," "The Goodnight Caterpillar," and "A Boy and a Turtle" are now available in Spanish. I just released my new book, "Stress Free Kids: A Parent's Guide to Helping Build Self-Esteem, Manage Stress, and Reduce Anxiety in Children" parenting book. "Shark Tank" opened doors with distributors, resellers, bookstores, and periodicals.
Did the sharks give you any advice that changed your business plan?
As much as I hate to admit it, I followed Kevin O' Leary's advice (as seen on air) and approached publishers with my numbers. I struck a deal with Adams Media and I just released my first parenting book aptly titled "Stress Free Kids: A Parent's Guide to Helping Children Build Self-Esteem, Manage Stress, and Reduce Anxiety in Children."
What was the financial impact of being on "Shark Tank?"
Being on "Shark Tank" had an immediate financial impact and increased sales that year by 20 percent. We gained traction in the parenting markets and with educators. Our school business increased 35 percent as we penetrated the public school systems and the sales of ourt doubled. It also opened up doors with distributors, resellers, book stores, and periodicals.
What would you advise other entrepreneurs about being on "Shark Tank?"
• Be over-prepared
• Know your numbers
• Have a copyright or patent in place
• Use relaxation techniques to calm your nerves
• Practice pitching to friends, relatives, mirror
• Memorize your pitch
• Make pitch interesting
• Have sales to support your plan
• Have distribution in place
• Dress for success
• Speak from your heart
What was it about your pitch that connected to the sharks?
I believe that the sharks connected with my passion, enthusiasm, love for what I do, and the amount of sales I generated from my kitchen. The sharks listened to my pitch because I spoke from my heart. I knew that a shark could try to expose my lack of knowledge in finance, rip holes in my business plan, and insult my intelligence. But my heart was the one thing they could not touch. And that is what I went with! I called it my "Heart Plan"….. and it worked!
Tuesdays have more bite with back-to-back episodes of "Shark Tank" on CNBC every Tuesday night.