Eating our with little kids can be difficult. That’s why Clown and balloon artist Ben Alexander created a business that brings clowns and balloon artists to restaurants to help distract them while parents eat. Will he earn a deal on
Shark Tank Balloon Distractions Update
- Entrepreneurs: Ben Alexander
- Business: Entertainment – balloon animals
- Ask: $250,000 in exchange for 30% equity
- Result: No deal
- Sharks: None
Ben brought his business, Balloon Distractions to the tank. He shared that these days he’s not so much a working clown as he is a boss clown, booking other clowns to make appearances at restaurants. Ben coordinates clown schedules with restaurant requests, and he charges the restaurants a fee, which he pockets.
When the sharks asked Ben how he paid his entertainers, he had one of his balloon artists explain. Ben didn’t pay them; they wore buttons that said they worked for tips, along with a $5 bill pinned to their shirt as a hint.
Ben thought this was a great sales model, as the restaurants loved it and it made him a lot of money. He wanted to turn his concept into a business model for others to copy in their own cities and regions. Ben said he had tried to get others to follow his plan elsewhere, but it “never really took off.” He’s still hoping to franchise his company.
The business charged restaurants $40-$60 per night for the entertainment service, and brought in over $500,000 in sales each year, for a total of $4 million since its inception. In recent years, the business made as much as $650,000, but in the year of filming, they were on track to make much less.
According to Ben, part of the reason sales dropped was when he angered the “online clown community”, who complained about his business model. Ben admitted he wanted to be the Sam Walton of the clown world.
Robert Herjavec told Ben that he didn’t need an investment from the sharks, he needed better infrastructure. Kevin O’Leary said that $250,000 was a big investment to ask when Ben didn’t even come to the sharks with a real plan. Barbara Corcoran said he was a good salesman, but a terrible sales manager. Lori Greiner agreed, and said it was hard for her to follow his business model because his pitch was so unorganized. Mark Cuban echoed the other sharks’ complaints.
Every shark was out and Ben left without a deal. What happened next for Ben’s company? Keep reading our Balloon Distractions update to find out!
We have bad news to share. Unfortunately Ben’s appearance on
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Jennifer is an avid Shark Tank fan that has been watching the show for years. She serves as Senior Editor at Shark Tank Recap and ensures that all our information is accurate and that our posts are up to date. Her favorite Shark Tank products are Le-Glue and Ring!