Strawberry farm wins Shark Tank Experience


27th July, 2018

Questions that keep business owners up at night: unsustainable growth and strawberries

By sharing her business worries, Samantha Frost is among the first of 13 MYOB customers to win a lunch with Janine Allis, she’s also in the running for a $10k bonus, on the house.

Every business owner wrestles with specific concerns regarding their operations.

Often it’s not easy to find an answer to questions that relate to a specific business scenario or proposition.

That’s why, in planning a recent sponsorship for this year’s season of Channel Ten’s Shark Tank, MYOB saw an opportunity to deliver value above its usual product offering.

READ: In the tank: supporting Aussie and Kiwi startups

Recently, the online software company launched a competition offering new subscribers the chance to win one of 13 seats at a lunch with Boost Juice founder and Shark Tank judge Janine Allis, giving them the opportunity they need seek answers to the questions that keep them awake at night.

As part of the process, we asked each hopeful entrant to provide us with one of their burning questions.

Frances Strawberries: A question of growth

Winning subscriber, Samantha Frost manages a strawberry farm with her husband in Frances, South Australia.

Her question was direct and pertinent for many businesses wondering how to weigh up potential success:

“When establishing and growing, we base our growth on projected figures, how do we know if we have gone too big too quickly?”

As a primary producer, the owner of Frances Strawberries told The Pulse she hopes to supply as much of her product to the market as possible.

“In our first year we planted 1,000 plants as a trial and felt sick at all the technology that was required to really have a decent crack at it.

“We had great success and great failures the first year and decided to go again the following year, managing to increase yield to 6,000 plants.”

Throughout the journey, Frost has had to learn about pest control and fungal threats, as well as trying to decipher which treatment options are the most sustainable or low-impact.

READ: I am a small business getting big – how do I manage my growth?

Beyond supplying fresh produce to retailers, Frost operates a kitchen that turns out all kinds of jams, sauces and even chilli relishes to make use of any fruit that can’t be sold by the punnet.

Through all of this, Frost and her partner have bootstrapped their business from the ground up, making use of their own savings when necessary.

They’ve also been lucky enough to secure a local business grant from the Naracoorte Lucindale Council.

But it’s not funding that keeps Frost up at night; instead she worries about unsustainable growth.

“One of the things that scares me most about growing is that you hear of so many businesses that grew too quickly or invested large amounts too soon and couldn’t recoup costs.

“I’m very interested to learn how to best forecast and plan for sustainable growth.”

Setting up for success, one step at a time

While many business owners are limited to their immediate networks and online resources when trying to answer knotty questions, Frost will now be among the winning MYOB subscribers to ask a renowned business expert her questions directly.

The good news for other business owners reading this is that there are still places left at the MYOB ‘Shark Tank Experience’ roundtable event.

And for Frost, winning a seat at the table isn’t the only win she’s had in signing up with MYOB online.

“I did struggle a bit with the idea of paying for the software monthly having previously used it for a one-off payment,” said Frost. “But the benefits are amazing – the bank feeds, updated payroll tables, the ability to report directly to the ATO and direct payments of superannuation are all timesaving tools worth every cent.”

Subscribe to MYOB before 13 August to go in the running to win a Shark Tank Experience with Janine Allis as well as the chance to win $10,000.

Enter the competition today.