5 Lessons Learned From The Most Successful “Shark Tank” Companies

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Inventors and entrepreneurs advance business, technology and culture. But in an era of unprecedented creative proliferation, it can be difficult for innovators to get their ideas noticed or brought to life.

Luckily for many, the long-running Shark Tank TV show provided the critical link between inventors and industry to help launch dreams. He also offered insight into some invaluable strategies for finding lasting success in various fields. We can learn vital business lessons from companies like Scrub Daddy, Bombas and Squatty Potty, which are three of the most successful companies to appear on Shark Tank.

Lesson 1: Have confidence in your project, invention or goal

Aaron Krause’s smiley face sponges are among the most popular shark-backed brands. Since winning a $200,000 investment in a 2012 appearance, Scrub Daddy has sold over 25 million units and has been valued at over $200 million in 2019.

Krause and his sponges also became a feel-good story for the other contestants. Was the decision maker here the quality of the sponges? Maybe. Or maybe that was how Lori Greiner felt when she decided to support Krause: “I know a hero from scratch. He’s a hero.

For his part, Krause said he practices his pitch and knows his numbers. He said, “When you walk into Shark Tank or pitch a product in front of investors, you want to be confident but not arrogant.”

Lesson 2: Reach out and forge a personal connection

Krause and Scrub Daddy demonstrate another strategy that is becoming increasingly relevant: dissemination on social networks. There’s not much a business or entrepreneur can do to cultivate a following and score viral advertising on platforms like TikTok, Twitter, and other digital gathering places. Neglecting social media may not mean a loss for a business, but taking advantage of such a huge network can significantly boost its image and influence.

Lesson #3: Experience may not be necessary; To be friendly is

In 2017, Brian and Michael Speciale launched The Comfy®, a full body blanket with hood. Of course, the shark panel was concerned about the product’s lack of unique identity as it is similar to other products on the market. Yet The Comfy® quickly went from zero to $150 million in sales.

This quote from Barbara Corcoran succinctly explains why its creators received support: “a sweatshirt-slash-blanket with a hoodie, and I didn’t get the product, but I liked it guys.” Unlike other aspects, sympathy is generally non-negotiable.

Lesson 4: Find a way to improve people’s health, target fads, or both

Some of the items that worked best on Shark Tank had a general health appeal. Take for example the Squatty Potty, a bathroom stool that sold for $1 million within 24 hours of appearing in Shark Tank and $222 in retail sales eight years later.

Similarly, the Simply Fit Board, an abdominal fitness device, was attractive to the health industry. This found prosperity by taking advantage of the fitness trend market, in particular via distribution on the QVC home shopping network. Hosted by mother-daughter team Gloria Hoffman and Linda Clark, the Simply Fit Advice has grossed $1.25 million as soon as the episode aired and has amassed more than $160 million in lifetime sales.

Lesson 5: Find a way to be good

Good can be ambiguous. Or it may be obvious. Bombas is a charity sock company that is committed to donating a pair of socks to those in need for every pair sold. Despite Sharks’ financial concerns, Bombas was given a lifeline in 2014.

And it thrived. According to CNBC, the company was making $100 million a year in 2019. More importantly, in terms of humanistic impact, Bombas donated over 50 million itemsshowing that an organization does not have to sacrifice success for philanthropy, or vice versa.

Innovation and hope go hand in hand

As the above achievements have demonstrated, there are many paths to success. Often it is impossible to predict which product will have skyrocketing sales, but using the strategies outlined above will help make a positive and lasting impact.

Image Credit: Shutterstock.com/Jaguar PS

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