Recently, Kelly Costello had an interview with Industrial Sage
where she dwelt on understanding the differences between a seemingly good product and a good business. It all bothers on how she made a good business out of her birthday cake for dogs
idea. Kelly created an understanding of the two using her brand story. In November 2007, Puppy Cake was founded on the pedestal of how the business would grow to make it first million in few months. Unfortunately, the opposite was the scenario as Kelly struggled to get the necessary funding to run the business to profitability. Today, just like Kelly struggled with growing Puppy Cake in 2007, there are millions of businesses that are bound to close shop.
How 45 Minutes on Shark Tank Changed Puppy Cake Narrative
Kelly took the Puppy Cake story to Shark Tank in 2012 and this gave the business the necessary push it needed. Not that the business was able to raise funds from Shark Tank, but she got something more valuable to the business. Kelly got the right counsel and advice that helped her reposition and restructure Puppy Cake. It was on this pedestal that Puppy rode on from what it was in 2007 to what it has grown to become today. The failure of Puppy Cake from getting a line of funding on Shark Tank was the pitiful nature of her numbers, while she’s got a good product at that instance, she’s yet to get a good business around her dog birthday cake mixes idea
While on Shark Tank, Kelly was in-depth about her struggles with the business. Majorly, the inability to make sales. Today, 30% of businesses in the United States close shop essentially due to this same reason. But Kelly did not stop trying, she was true to herself on her inadequacies especially on face to face sales and cold calling. This was why she was referred to as Wanttoprenuer by Mark Cuban. This depicts an individual who indeed is pursuing to be an entrepreneur but does a bad job at it. There are a few things Kelly Took away from her Shark Tank session aside that they loved her birthday cakes for dogs idea and that underlines the difference between a good product and a good business;
- The Right Advice and Mentorship
- The Publicity Puppy Cake Needed
- A Renewed Desire and Vigor to Succeed
Puppy Cake become a million-dollar company that it is today due to the bluntness of the guys at Shark Tank. They criticized Kelly’s approach to wanting to start a business and challenged her knowledge of running a successful business.
She was not only challenged, but was also given the right counsel that will push her business to the point of success. They made her realize that it’s not enough to have a good product if you cannot turn it into a profitable business.
It was on Shark Tank she got the advice to expand her line of products to increase from just dog birthday cakes mixes. An advice that made her go from having a good product to establishing her business.
While Kelly auditioned for Shark Tank in November 2011, the session did not air until February 2013. From that moment until now, Puppy Cake has enjoyed the right amount of media attention it needed and deserved.
There are not many business with the Puppy Cake’s birthday cakes for dogs idea in 2011 and this made the business even a unique one that caught the attention of her target audience.
Before now, Kelly was just an average entrepreneur but Shark Tank brought her to a new realization. That there’s a lot of potentials in her and her birthday cakes for dogs product that could turn the fortunes of Puppy Cake around for good.
She realized that Puppy Cake was not the business she’s proud of at that moment and she wanted to fight for the business. In her thoughts, the business was a point where she won’t want to touch it if she has a pile of cash somewhere.
Driven By Hunger To Be Creative With Birthday Cake For Dogs
Puppy Cake did not get the success it truly deserved immediately after Kelly’s Shark Tank era. Of course, the show gave her business a new found fame but it’s not enough to drive Kelly to success. It was something else that did the driving to success. Kelly went full-time into production and this means that she’ll be unable to feed or fill her car tank without the business staying profitable.
The further fueled her passion to think of the box and be successful at her business. She started setting targets. One of her targets was 500,000 sales which she made and realized it was not enough based on the manufacturing economies of scale. She later realized that even a million dollar was just a break-even point for her cake mixes for dog business.
How We Are Selling Our PuppyCake Products
For someone who was horrible at face to face sales and cold calling, she’s taken full advantage of the internet and digital marketing. Currently, there are three major ways through which PuppyCake products are sold; Amazon, our website, and through our retailers. These three sales channels have their own uniqueness for the PuppyCake brand. The brand is also Search engine optimized, a search for dog birthday cakes mixes will lead to any of our online sales channel and products.
This is why Kelly is able to tell other business owners to let their products to be an answer to a Google search and they will make money. There’s not better way to sell your products than utilizing digital marketing to the fullest.
Puppy Cake got to where it is today all thanks to Kelly’s hunger for success, the Shark Tank platform where she got it all together and her mechanically brilliant boyfriend turned husband who is really to contribute his technical knowledge to the business.
As a young brand, Puppy Cake’s founder believe they are yet to get to the peak as the business is still lacking market penetration for birthday cakes for dogs. PuppyCake has their eye on launching new products at the Global Pet Expo where the brand will unveil it birthday station floor for instant display. The other product is an ice cream mix with zero sugar called Hoggin Dogs.