Bee Thinking After ‘Shark Tank’: Interview With the Owner

Bee Thinking, the world’s first beekeeping supplier, entered the Shark Tank in Season 6. Owners Matt and Jill Reed did not get a deal on the show, but are still enjoying a tremendous growth rate. Heavy interviewed Matt about how the company is doing as his episode re-airs on August 7. He told us about…

How the Company Has Grown Since the Show

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We’re on track to double this year over last year. While I can’t attribute most of this to Shark Tank, the revenue generated from airing and the media attention afterwards was tremendous. I don’t think we’ll ever get back down to the floor we were at before. The world is now aware of Bee Thinking because of Shark Tank, and we expect significant sales in 2016 when beekeepers new and old are searching for beekeeping equipment.

What He Learned From His ‘Tank’ Experience

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Shark Tank makes you take a hard look at the deepest, darkest recesses of your business. Details and numbers you are too busy to deal with otherwise, you’re forced to look at with a magnifying glass in order to prepare to walk into the Tank. I think this new understanding of how your business is operating is of significant value to any entrepreneur. You have to look at your business with the eyes of a Shark, and when you do, you may find that you are making some grave mistakes.

Hiring More Employees

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We were already on a significant growth curve prior to Shark Tank, but since filming we’ve grown from seven employees to 12. Years previous we had more seasonal employees. This is the first year we’ll carry all of our employees through the slow season of summer and fall. This is very important to us, as we’ll have a well-trained and experienced staff prepared for the busy season of winter and spring.

Advice for Future Contestants

Know your numbers, and make it clear to the Sharks that you’re willing to negotiate. If you don’t know your business inside and out, the Sharks will know it and reveal it to the world. Thankfully, I knew all of my numbers. I just became so focused on teaching the Sharks about bees that I failed to make it clear that I wanted to find a valuation that worked for them. Also, be very patient, the Shark Tank process is incredibly time consuming, but well worth it if you want millions of people to see your product.