Melbourne-based entrepreneur Kjetil Hansen appeared on the hit TV show “Shark Tank” this week. He walked away with a pledge for $300,000 to expand Deliciou, his line of bacon-flavoured vegetarian seasoning.
To Shark Tank investors, the product was irresistible, sporting the tagline “Makes everything taste like bacon.” It seemed new, but Kjetil had actually been selling his seasoning for over a year online, using a platform powered by Xero and e-commerce app Shopify.
“I started using Xero for Deliciou because it integrates seamlessly with Shopify and makes accounting simple,” says Kjetil. “For an e-commerce store owner, it’s critical to understand the numbers, and Xero makes it easy to keep on top of them. I can process payroll in under 5 minutes for multiple staff and reconcile thousands of bank transactions in just a few minutes. Xero also makes life easier for my accountant.”
Kjetil is no stranger to accounting. He graduated with a university degree in the subject and worked as a Xero Partner at a consulting firm. He then embarked on a master’s degree in business at University of Melbourne before dropping out to pursue his entrepreneurial dream of Deliciou.
It’s as simple as a trestle table and a laptop
He invested all of his savings, about $30,000, into the business. In less than a year, he had recorded $60,000 in sales. The seasoning comes in four flavours; Original, Smokey BBQ, Cheesy and Spicy. It sells for $20 a bottle, or four for $40.
“Shopify enabled me to start an online store with just a laptop and a trestle table,” says Kjetil. “No coding or design skills needed.”
As Deliciou grew, Shopify kept pace with a seamless order-processing and checkout system as well as connections to powerful e-commerce apps.
“Many online stores see their website crash when they get lots of traffic,” said Kjetil. “Our site maintained 100 percent uptime even amid an explosion of visits after my ‘Shark Tank’ appearance.”
‘’By setting up the right software combination from day one, we’ve saved hundreds of hours in administration time. It is great knowing that the business has the infrastructure to handle the growth, so that we can focus on expanding the business.’’
Shopify has been a fast-paced growth story in the U.S. It handles e-commerce sites for both small entrepreneurs and large businesses including Tesla and GE. It’s now expanding its team across the Asia-Pacific. Shopify powers more than 500,000 businesses globally, with more than $40 billion worth of goods and services sold through the platform.