As part of our LEADERS Podcast series, I had the opportunity to sit down with the co-founders of Bouquet Bar based here in Orange County. David Yusuf, Alex Amidi and Sal Aziz not only appeared on NBC’s Shark Tank, but successfully scored a deal with the one and only Mark Cuban.
We learned a lot of behind-the-scenes knowledge about how Shark Tank works. From the nerve-racking 60 seconds of silence while you stand on the carpet and let the lighting team get things just right, to the fact that 60-70% of deals made on Shark Tank fall through in due-diligence. Through some editing magic, an hour-long experience pitching the Sharks is pared down to just a ten-minute segment in the popular reality TV series.
If your goal is to start a business, introduce a new product or service to an existing brand or out hustle / innovate the rest of the market, this article is for you.
Bouquet Bar produces a curated collection of gifts and floral designs that professionals and friends can exchange - enhancing working relationships and reinforcing existing friendships. Their corporate office is in Irvine, California but their “Giftenders” help clients express appreciation from coast to coast.
They can provide the perfect gift for small businesses that want to ensure new clients and business partners remember them favorably after an interaction - a great strategy executed by successful entrepreneurs every day.
Keep reading to discover five insights from our LEADERS podcast interview featuring the successful business owners of Bouquet Bar.
The producers do a great job of capturing an entire pitch, plus the back-and-forth with the Sharks. By carefully editing the interaction, they make the show more entertaining. Plus, the audience really gets to feel the nerves and excitement of the moment.
The producers also spend a significant amount of time helping the entrepreneurs hone their pitch before going live. Bouquet Bar actually made a few last-minute changes – making the experience even more intense as they listened for new audible cues and hoped everything would come together.
In some ways, the editing of Shark Tank is a metaphor for the entrepreneurial journey. By the time someone is celebrated as a successful Founder, they’ve spent thousands of hours struggling to learn, evolve and manage their business.
As Mark Cuban says, “Wantrepreneurs” watch the highlight reel and want to jump in. But only those with real grit, dedication and focus will make it across the finish line.
The three co-founders have overlapping backgrounds. They are all immigrants to the United States. And, most importantly, they are humble, hard workers.
They knew there would be disagreements as co-founders. Ego tends to get in the way in team sports. And building a business is definitely a team sport.
They’ve learned to respect each other’s areas of expertise. They each have strengths that complement the team. And they’ve learned to leave the drama on the court – allowing for deep friendships to thrive, even when they disagree.
By the time the three co-founders reached Shark Tank, they had invested $600,000 in building their business. There were many mistakes made along the way, but they had a deep belief in their product and their business. They were willing to keep going.
One thing they wish they realized earlier was the importance of testing. They went to market with products that could have been better if they had only taken the time to test.
Before you spend a bunch of capital launching a product, test to see if your assumptions are valid. A simple tweak or two could 10x your sales and save thousands in burnt capital.
When angel investors look at your company, they want to see a platform where their money can act like jet fuel for supercharging your growth. If your customer acquisition costs are too high, it can become a real challenge to overcome in a pitch.
They were only four months into running their new business when they appeared on Shark Tank. There was still a lot to figure out. Since then, they’ve optimized the way that they reach new customers.
Since they’re an event-based business (Mother’s Day, birthdays, anniversaries, corporate gifting, etc.), they’ve found Google’s PPC platform to be a powerful tool for reaching an intent-based audience.
Email is also a great tool. They’re killing it with a 50% open rate and a click-through rate as high as 20%.
If you can figure out how to reduce your customer acquisition costs, investors will be a lot more excited about supercharging your growth.
All three co-founders agreed that continuously reading, researching and learning is critical. Before their appearance on Shark Tank, they had found everything they could from Mark Cuban – books, tapes, you name it.
And, oddly enough, maybe through the Law of Attraction, they ended up getting a deal with him.
This really was a fun interview. What these three friends and founders have pulled off is nothing short of the American dream.
You can listen to the entire podcast interview here. I think you’ll find some really cool insights from the founders of Bouquet Bar that you can apply to your journey.
Photo Credit: Bouquet Bar