Four Ways Shark Tank Entrepreneurs Grew Their Business Without Spending Money

By: Darcy Juarez on: March 5th, 2013 4 Comments

Last year I met Barbara Corcoran at GKIC’s women’s event.

Her credentials include straight D’s in high school and college and being unsuccessful at twenty jobs by the time she turned twenty-three.

But it was her next move that made her one of the most successful entrepreneurs in the U.S.

Turning a loan of $1000 from an ex-boyfriend into a five-billion dollar business.

An investor/shark on the hit reality show, Shark Tank, she has invested in multiple businesses and is also a bestselling author offering tips to small business entrepreneurs.

The thing is… it isn’t just Barbara’s investment that helped make the companies she invested in successful.

Find out four ways Barbara’s entrepreneurs found business success and grew their business using something other than cash, brain capital or investments.

Find out who your target market really is. Cyclists Erin Whalen and Tim Stansbury created a patented formula to clean cyclist’ dirty hands on the road called Grease Monkey Wipes.

The problem was that sales were only trickling in. What they discovered the night they presented their product to the sharks was that cyclists weren’t their only market.  In fact, it turned out that the automotive, gun and farming industries were hugely interested. Their newfound target audience turned their product into a booming business literally overnight.

Are there other markets you can test to see if your product or service will sell better to a different target audience?

Use celebrity. Brett Thompson got cash from Barbara to expand his BBQ Sauce business. But it wasn’t just the cash that helped. The notoriety he got from being associated to Barbara gave his business what it needed to go from selling sauce in 5 small stores to selling it in 500 large grocery stores within only months.

Copy Brett by creating your own celebrity marketing with Barbara Corcoran.  You can not only get your picture taken with her at SuperConference 2013 to use in your own marketing, but you’ll also have a chance to get up to $50,000 from her when you pitch your business to Barbara and the other GKIC sharks for the chance to gain cash, financing, partnership or contribution of “brain capital to your business.

How else can you use celebrity in your business to boost sales?

Tell your story.  Jack Barringer couldn’t lose his beer belly which caused him to have high blood pressure. His doctor told him he needed to do push-ups but he wasn’t physically strong enough. So he invented a simple push-up device to drop the pounds. The sharks said they would invest if he lost 30 pounds using his device. Jack lost over 36 pounds using his fitness product and is now featured in his infomercial, giving it a story and more credibility.

You can strengthen your business position and inspire people with your own business story. Knowing how to tell effective stories is one of the most powerful ways to influence consumers and motivate them to buy. Plus they are great for attracting media attention.

How can you use or create a story in your business?

Use personality. Using personality in your advertising, marketing and communications can add instant results without having to spend an extra penny. Kim Daisy is the founder of Daisy Cakes. Part of Kim’s unique character that shows through is her southern charm, passion for her cakes, using only all natural and preservative free ingredients, and that she is hard working.

She sold $100,000 worth of cakes within three weeks of her appearance on Shark Tank and is now a regular top selling brand and personality on QVC. (Learn the 7 elements of a personality-driven business and how to develop your character in How to Create Personality in Copy.)

How can you bring your character to life in your marketing?

It’s common to think you need money to start a business or expand a business. But often all it takes is one good idea or one new strategy to create a breakthrough.

What one GKIC strategy has created a breakthrough for you? Share in the comments below.

NOTE: Want more insider information on how to leverage marketing and sales to improve your business?  Click here to claim your special free bonus of $633.91 worth of marketing materials. 



Darcy Juarez has created marketing systems in the direct response and information marketing world that have gained national attention. As the Director of Marketing for GKIC , Darcy has taught thousands of business owners her step-by-step strategies for creating their own success and obtaining more time and more profits. For more money-making marketing tips, tactics and strategies, go to

4 Responses

  1. Another great info post guys n gals. Thanks a lot, Jaffaman Eddie

  2. Mark Ashworth says:

    I have a point of curiosity: Dave is going to give his live video training on March 8th, and that is also one of the days of a Fast Implementation Bootcamp, for which he is supposed to be present. Is he giving this presentation in person at the event, or excusing himself to do this separately (I’m betting it’s the former, based on previous observations, but I thought I would ask anyway)?

    • Mike Stodola Admin says:

      Mark – You’re hired for the position of keeping track of Dave! The pay is lousy, but the company is good! You’re right, Dave will actually be doing this presentation live from the fast implementation bootcamp. He’ll be presenting there at the time and we’ll be simulcasting it via google hangout. See you there!

  3. Mike says:

    You nailed it with using personality to connect with customers. A great way is thru newsletters. And by e-mailing a monthly newsletter, it won’t cost you! But the ROI on postage from a newsletter is even better. Let your personality show thru and people will respond with their loyalty and their pocket books


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