Pretty Padded Room on Shark Tank
|Bea Arthur Owner of|
Pretty Padded Room Online Therapy
Arthur's first venture into the virtual space was a social club for Mom's called "MeToo" that shut down in 2009 less then a year after she desperately tried to make it a success. After unsuccessfully trying to find a therapist to help sort out this loss and get Her pointed back in the right direction, Bea started dreaming of a new business where she could talk to a therapist of her choice, on her terms and in the privacy of her own home via Online Video Chat.
A little over a year later the Pretty Padded Room was open for Business in February 2011. Bea started hiring young psychologists to keep up with the demand and used the tag line "A Nice Place to Go Crazy" in a Pretty Padded Room. Get it? O.K. of course you do.
Pretty Padded Room before the Shark Tank
Ah, but right there may be what the Sharks might call into question. How can a Licensed Therapist registered in one state be giving advise to someone that lives in (and is governed by) another state? I am no Lawyer but it's not hard to imagine this may pose a legal risk that the Sharks might have a hard time swallowing. Obviously the Pretty Padded Room has covered themselves in the rather lengthy service agreement, but is it enough to get a Shark to invest in Online Therapy?
If you follow statistics from past Shark Tank Contestant's, MOST will be very eager to let the world know that they are appearing on the Greatest Business Show in U.S. History. Whether you get a deal or not, Who Care's? You and your invention are about to get a Major Marketing Boost that would cost millions in advertising if you could even buy that type of publicity. So why would you Not share this information before the Shark Tank aired? Statistically speaking, this usually means they did not get a deal with the Sharks and have chosen not to take advantage of this unique opportunity.
On the other hand, how could you ever plan for all the traffic that will be visiting the Pretty Padded Room after Bea Arthur is on the Shark Tank Show? How many new therapist's will she need to hire just to keep up with the initial demand for her services? This is not like most products seen on the Show where you simply ramp up more production to meet demand but a more complicated one that could easily get behind on supply of Quality Therapists willing to work for reduced rate's.
I like the idea and can easily see there is a demand for all types of online therapy session's, but I still keep coming back to the potential problems that may be associated with crossing state lines that would hinder the companies potential growth. In the Pretty Padded Rooms defense, Arthur is targeting the lighter side subjects the psychologists normally talk about and request folks that may have deeper subjects to find a local Therapist.
Would you feel comfortable talking to a therapist about personal issues via Online Video Chat?
Sessions start at only $20.
Visit the Pretty Padded Room Website
Bea Arthur on FaceBook
Follow the Pretty Padded Room on Twitter WOW - Over 10,000 followers pre-Shark Tank
Pretty Padded Room Update after the Shark Tank
Bea Arthur came into the Shark Tank asking for $100,000.00 for 30% of her online therapy business. Current sales are projected at $21k for the year and growing with a 40% conversion rate for those that have tried a free session. On average most members pay for 3 to 6 months worth of therapy. Mark Cuban asks Bea what is the average life time revenue per client? Arthur eventually answers between $300 and $600 per person but the numbers are not adding up. She admits that she needs to get clear on the numbers as this is what ALWAYS matters to the Sharks the most. As with most contestant's, if you are not crystal clear on the basic numbers of your business and how much it cost to convert a customer, you are already pretty much dead in the water.
Kevin O'Leary tells a rather interesting story about Seal's wanting to eat minnows but they are afraid of the Great White Sharks that will eat them instead. He goes on to say that "eventually the hungriest seal will eventually jump in and will be followed by many more". Some will get eaten by the Sharks and will be sacrificed so that others will survive. He then tells Bea that she is that first seal that just jumped into the Shark Tank unprepared and goes after her rather harshly before being the last Shark to finally go out.
Arthur was notably upset at how they perceived her business and that might explain how hard she was to find before the show. I'm happy to say that she did start coming out and being more vocal on the social sites (She is even following us on Twitter :) before the show aired and by judging how much traffic she is getting, I think she will be busy for a very long time. Sometimes even the Shark's just don't quite get it.
Pretty Padded Room Update: 3/13/2013
Bea just did an interview with the Washington Times that has a lot of good information regarding her time on the Shark Tank Show and how far she has came since then. As hard of a time the Sharks gave her during the edited version for the show, in reality Aurthur claims they actually gave her a much harder time then actually aired. I'm not sure I agree with ANY investor totally trying to discredit someones business. If they don't like the business concept it's still not a reason to try and destroy someones dream. Then again, it's sometimes hard to remember this is "reality T.V. and it's edited for the greatest impact. Good or Bad.
Bea did end up forming a partnership shortly after the Shark Tank and still controls 84% of the Pretty Padded Room Business. She has added several hundred more clients to her business and has numerous therapist interested in working with her company. It looks like she found her niche and is well on her way to becoming very successful as the online therapy business starts to mature.