Pretty Padded Room

Pretty Padded Room on Shark Tank 

Online Video Chat Therapy - Season 4, Episode 418, 2/15/2013
Online Therapy on the Shark Tank- Episode 418
Bea Arthur Owner of
Pretty Padded Room Online Therapy
 Is the virtual world ready for Online Therapy? According to Bea Arthur the owner of Pretty Padded Room, it's not only ready but it is a growing and thriving business. It's just like going to any Therapist but using the Pretty Padded Room concept, your session is done over the Internet using video chat to communicate with a Licensed Therapist of your choice. All the counselors are state licensed and affiliated with the American Counseling Association with strict confidentiality agreements in place. Their primary goal is an affordable way for women that just need someone to talk about a variety of issues from marriage counseling to managing stress.

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

Pretty Padded Room on the Shark Tank Show
 It will be almost 2 years to the day since Pretty Padded Room opened and will now be featured in front of over 7+ million people on the Shark Tank Show this Friday Night on ABC. At first glance this seems like a very good idea that has a lot of upside profit potential and you wonder why this form of therapy is not already offered on a larger scale. Offer patients a convenient and low cost alternative to talk to a Licensed Therapy and a new profit center for psychotherapist's to help make ends meet from reaching new patients via Video Chat.
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.

32 comments:

  1. You are onto something new and different here. I think it is a terrific business and wish you luck!!

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  2. You are onto something new and different here. I think it is a terrific business and wish you luck!!

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  3. Anonymous9:11 PM

    seems like a wonderful alternative for those w/o insurance...certainly worth a close look and trial...believing you "have" someone, a supporter
    and advisor and talking with them, is half the battle...thank you, Bea

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  4. Anonymous9:46 PM

    She failed to get a deal with the Sharks because they saw right through her smoke and mirror routine. You might say they were harsh but the fact is they were being lied to right to their face. Who wants to be in business with a person that would on national television inflate and exaggerate valuations of her company. Her company will fail just like she did.

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    1. Anonymous7:15 PM

      Geeez, a bit pessimistic aren't we? Do we need a nap, and a blanky or just a session at the Pretty Padded room :)

      Geeez, what an over inflated ego predicting someone's out come.

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  5. Bea is a very smart, beautiful, articulate woman. I see success in her future.

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    1. Anonymous7:26 AM

      I agree with everything you said, James. But seldom do you see someone go on Shark Tank that unprepared. I cringed watching her trying (and failing) to adequately answer the sharks' questions. I hope she will learn from it and get her act together. She is obviously intelligent, but she just didn't do her homework (at all). I was embarrassed for her. I actually thought the sharks let her off easy. If this had not been televised, she really would have been eaten alive. That's how real corporate America works.

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  6. I just saw a program on PPS about venture capitalists and the great ideas they did not invest in but later turn out to become big businesses like Apple. The sharks just did that!!!!! If she needed someone to help her with more business experience they could have added that.

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  7. Anonymous12:55 PM

    On a related issue I find the photograph that this blog chose to use to be offensive. Although Bea is a beautiful woman the cleavage/glamour shot seem designed to reduce her to a sex object. I wander what this blogger is really about.

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    1. The pic you are referring too is the same one Bea uses on Twitter. I do not see what you see in what I consider a very nice looking picture of her. Maybe you should keep wandering along.

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    2. Anonymous7:17 PM

      No, I agree. The cleavage is a bit much for some one in her field. Not very professional. But I think she is smart and does not to sexualize herself to get successful.

      Delete
  8. Anonymous9:26 PM

    She went into the Tank Unprepeared. O'leary doesn't suffer fools. her own fault.

    BTW, This isn't her first venture into online business. She had a company called ,"Me Too" a support site for women. that failed in 2009. Seems like someone is just tossing ideas against the wall and praying she can end on easy street. her comments during the show, Her use of the word "crazy" and the name of the site, "Padded Room" Both indicate to me that she herself doesn't have that much knowledge or understanding of the mentally ill. As a person who DOES suffer from a mental illness I found her somewhat offensive.

    I'm aware that her site is more for what many of you call the "depressed housewife" and that it is suggested that more serious issues be taken up in person with a therapist but she does not appear qualified to be hiring therapists.

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    1. Anonymous7:19 PM

      I think it is brave of her to try out her ideas in business. Better than a couch potato sitting behind the keyboard criticizing people creating jobs and helping others.

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    2. No, it's not better. He watched the show, knew of her past dealings and business ventures and drew his/her opinions from it. Attempting to reduce someone to a couch potato because they used the very instrumentation that you did to reply with is hypocritical.

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    3. 95% of new businesses fail within their first year. So wouldn't you conclude that most thriving businesses are in fact the founder's second, third (and so on) attempts?

      Understand business acumen much? She uses "crazy" and "padded room" to present a lighthearted image. It's being facetious to appeal to the layman general public.

      Delete
  9. Anonymous11:49 PM

    The Sharks are looking for people with business sense. Bea did not pass that test as she could not provide any business metrics other than what sounded like a shot in the dark conversion rate of 40% of those who had a free session spent money. She did not make clear if the $21,000 was revenue or profits and was shaken by money questions. Let's look at the money side:

    40% of 600 test drives is 240 members, yielding somewhere between $72,000 and $144,000 with the therapist share at %80 (based on $16/$20 for a trial session noted by Bea) yielding $14,400 - $28,800 to cover operational costs, payroll, and profit. $600 x $20 is $12,000 + 240 x 4.5 months x $125/mo = $135,000.

    As you can see, the Sharks said the numbers didn't add up and they don't. That is why the beautiful Bea left empty-handed and spanked: a warning to others to come prepared to talk business.

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  10. Anonymous11:58 AM

    Bea is a beautiful and talented woman. She has a great idea but needs to find out why she has a high bounce rate and how she can fix it. She also needs to know her numbers confidently to win investment opportunities. Read more of my thoughts here on my blog http://www.inspiretheentrepreneur.com/2013/02/17/pretty-padded-room-appears-on-shark-tank-abc-show/

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  11. Anonymous5:25 PM

    I think the "spanking" those self-centered, non-compassionate members who call themselves "sharks" was un-called for. Most investors show some level of respect when they decline to assist financially in a new idea. The story about the seals Mr. O'Leary presented was so un-necessary! I've watched this show for a couple of years, and I can truly say that Ms. Arthur is not the first person I've seen disrespected. I think her idea is moving in the rigt direction. I would certainly rather spend my money on a "reduced rate" therapist, which would provide me with the comfort of not leaving my home, and let's not forget driving costs and office visit costs. I think those sharks should sign up for a session with one of her counselors just to learn how to get the stick out of their asses.

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  12. Anonymous7:14 PM

    Amazing. The ONE time they have an articulate African-American woman on the show, they try and make her look like an idiot because she is "off" on her numbers. Forget everything else. Surprising that they subliminally show why qualified blacks can't find funding. Lord knows, Shark Tank HAS to make sure the white boys, Asians and cute blonde girl "business partners" don't miss out on funding!!!! WHATEVER!!!!

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    1. Anonymous4:53 AM

      With a comment like that you really should watch the show more before you insert foot. They do not give a crap what color you are if you do not know the numbers of your OWN business. They ALWAYS come down hard for not being prepared.

      Cut blond girls always get a deal on the show? That is totaal BS. What about that educated and very cute Blonde from the Party Poche? The sharks and the audience came down a lot harder on her then poor little Miss. Bea Arthur.

      Please take off your color glasses. Business is business and the only color that matters in the shark tank is GREEN.

      Bea got some incredible press coverage from this show and no doubt she will become very successful with or without the sharks help.

      Delete
    2. Anonymous7:24 PM

      I think they were too harsh on her remember the ditsy woman with the kitchen tool in an earlier season, that got a deal. She had noooo idea about anything about her company, and they were not rude.

      I do think she they were trying to bring her down a notch. Except Barbara and Damien who didn't belittle her. He should be called grandpa Kevin not uncle Kevin.

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  13. Anonymous11:05 AM

    There will always be those that see things from a different angle. Bea should have had a better handle on her numbers. Unfortunately there are still some that make it onto the show without having done enough homework for the Sharks. The “Smart Wheel” is a nice idea however we all know without total buy-in to warnings/alerts by the driver anything in this area is simply nice. Ask any spouse riding alongside a sleepy or eating or texting husband/wife. The Sharks were nice/encouraging to the kids by making an offer; a view that may be different from others. My view on Kevin “Mr. Wonderful” O’Leary is that although he can be tough/harsh/abrasive. He represents a view/different angle not always shared by the others. He has even called people “cockroach” (Mr. Throx). I would not take this as a personal attack because he does not know me personally. He is simply looking at the relative size of an idea compared to a competitor’s ability to wipe one out if the idea encroached too much into the market share or represented an easy/lucrative transition or alteration into a new line of business. There are some people who will/won’t be motivated by kindness/brutal truth. Bea will do well. Surely she is one who has goals and the passion to succeed. Shark Tank is a great show/class/education for us all but not the final determination of who will/will not succeed.

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  14. Let's not forget that this is a TV show and everyone is pre-screened. They know prior who has their numbers straight or not. People who have it wrong are simply thrown to the sharks for dramatic effect. I bow my head to Bea for having the gumption to take the crap while exposing her website to a massive TV audience. Who's the fool? - not her that's for sure.

    I would never have discovered her site if not for this exposure.

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    1. Anonymous10:06 PM

      So True!!! Business owners, inventors, etc., who appear on the show will get hits regardless if Sharks in it or not.

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  15. Anonymous6:33 AM

    Good publicity comes in the form of negative or positive outcomes. While I agree one sound know their numbers. The exposure is worth its weight in gold as evident by other entrapenuers who didn't get deals but increased their bottom line and upward vision. Bea ..... I would not have known of you or your vision if it had not been for shark tank. Go get'em Bea. I got your back.
    Dejan

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  16. Wow, thanks so much everyone for your kind words and support - business is booming! To my detractors, hope you got your frustrations out and that you'll think of Pretty Padded Room next time you need to vent ;)

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  17. I'm so glad that business is booming. I wish you well Bea. I like the concept!!!

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  18. Anonymous6:52 PM

    I'm proud of you Bea, you took on that challenge and it seems that Shark Tank just made you stronger. They gave you advice in a harsh way but reality is that this is a harsh world and everyone is not going to be nice. So great job on your determination. You took the criticism and moved forward.....Good luck in your adventure!

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  19. I give Bea Arthur credit for going on the Shark Tank to pitch her idea and gain her fifteen minutes. Too bad she didn't have her numbers together or provide a competent pitch. Her idea aint half bad and there might be some merit to her service. Mental health issues are usually swept under the rug, and she is taking the initiative to say that its healthy to talk about and she provides the forum for people to do it in a non threatening way. If she would have had her act together, she might have had the naysayers like Barbara Corkeran look at this with a little more interest....
    Maybe next time, Bea!

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  20. Anonymous12:20 PM

    I thought it was a great idea...but Bea, you seem so full of yourself that it is a real turn off. I have 14 local store fronts and I hope I don´t come across like that. Have you seen your pic of youself on your site? I have boobs too....lol
    but save them for play not business. First impressions mean a lot.
    I wish you success.

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    1. We see other women including anchors, lawyers, and others on TV wear certain types of clothing all the time. Bea did not seem full of herself, but was very confident.

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  21. Anonymous9:05 PM

    I was immediately offended by her calling her 2nd idea "Pretty Padded Parlor". The tag "A Nice Place To Go Crazy" is also very disrespectful to the psychiatric field. You can say she's taking a light-hearted approach to the business, but no matter how it's explained, it is nothing but disrespectful to anyone who's been to a therapist or called crazy.

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