In each issue we take the opportunity to highlight one of our amazing clients. Meet Jayla Siciliano, founder of Bon Affair. Among Jayla’s many accomplishments, she inked a deal on Shark Tank with Mark Cuban earlier this year. If you don’t know Bon Affair yet, it is where vice meets virtue. A new wine spritzer with electrolytes and zero added sugar. We interviewed Jayla about her Shark Tank experience including tips for other business owners, just for this newsletter. Read the interview below.
Q. What made you decide to audition for Shark Tank?
Jayla. If you saw the Shark Tank episode you know that I came from an entirely different industry (shoes and bags) and I began to realize just how tough the alcoholic beverage industry was. I had recently lost a significant amount of product ($100k) due to production issues. So, I was at a point that I needed to go for every opportunity. I thought Why Not? I was primarily looking at Shark Tank for the exposure (free) it would give to Bon Affair as I already had some investors. Based on my research I knew that the Sharks were not just investors but great mentors as well. I also knew that in order to get a deal I needed to be realistic about the valuation of my business.
Q. What suggestions would you give to others interested in auditioning? Any tips for the initial audition and the pitch?
Jayla I think the tips are the same for both the initial audition and the actual pitch. You want to show your personality. You have to remember, this is a TV show and it must be entertaining. So make your story entertaining. And practice your pitch. You need to know your numbers and know your pitch.
I did have the opportunity to practice my pitch to the producers over the phone and they do coach you a little bit. But I also practiced a lot on my own. It is very important.
Q. What was the most important thing you learned from the experience?
Jayla How important it is to be transparent and upfront about the history and details of your business. If I tried to hide some of the issues I’d had I don’t think I would have gotten a deal. The Shark Tank is a quick decision atmosphere so you need to gear your pitch to that environment. Also, you have to take risks.
Q. What has been the biggest impact to your business by getting a deal?
Jayla SALES! They have gone through the roof since the Shark Tank episode aired.
Also, the expertise of Mark and his team. I got the deal in February, did due diligence with his attorney and then was reintroduced to Mark and his team. Mark made some important introductions resulting in us signing with the largest distributor in Texas. I don’t know how I would have gotten that without Mark’s introduction.
Q. If you had it to do over, is there anything you would do differently?
Jayla I don’t think so. Even though I’ve definitely hit bumps in the road, it seems that things have worked out. If I hadn’t experienced those bumps, I wouldn’t have applied to Shark Tank and my business wouldn’t be where it is today.
Q. Would you recommend Shark Tank to other business owners? Under what circumstances?
Jayla I would definitely recommend to any small business that is trying to grow. The exposure you receive by appearing on Shark Tank is something most small businesses just couldn’t afford if they had to buy it. Just be prepared for the massive influx of activity, inquiries and sales if you do get the opportunity to pitch.
Q. How awesome is it to work with Mark Cuban?
Jayla Mark has been really hands-on providing not only the funding and introductions but also product ideas. He has also been very supportive of us being a sustainable company. That is something I didn’t know about him going into the partnership but it was an added bonus as sustainability is consistent with the values of Bon Affair. He brings not only his experience in running his own businesses but all of the experience in helping his other Shark Tank businesses as well. And I still get a kick every time I look at my inbox and an email from Mark is waiting for me.What made her decide to audition for Shark Tank?
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This post was written by Profit Wise Accounting