In the monthly “SKU View” series, Food Entrepreneur is tapping the expertise of mentors and startup founders at SKU, a consumer products accelerator based in Austin, Texas, to deliver insights on issues that affect early-stage food and beverage brands.

AUSTIN, TEXAS — Tyla-Simone Crayton, founder and chief executive officer of Sienna Sauce, snagged a deal on the television show “Shark Tank” two years ago. The Texas-based teenage entrepreneur, alongside her mother, Monique, accepted a bid on their bottled sauce business by fashion designer Kendra Scott, appearing on the program as a guest investor.

“When I was eight years old … I started watching ‘Shark Tank,’ and I started seeing entrepreneurship as an option,” Ms. Crayton told the tycoons during her pitch. “And as I got older and started finding out more about myself, I decided that entrepreneurship should be the route for me.”

Sienna Sauce markets a range of low-sodium, honey-sweetened sauces based on recipes Ms. Crayton concocted in her family’s kitchen as a child. Available in smoky, spicy, sweet and tangy, and lemon pepper flavors, the condiments may be used as a dip, marinade or glaze, according to the company.

“Shark Tank,” which first aired in 2009, has provided national exposure for numerous food and beverage brands over the years. While not all pitches result in transactions, the entrepreneurs behind brands including Quevos, Pipsnacks, Aura Bora, Pulp Pantry and Pan’s Mushroom Jerky said they have gained meaningful traction following their appearances on the reality series.

In an interview, Ms. Crayton offered advice for making a splash on the show.

Food Entrepreneur: How do you know if your business is ready for “Shark Tank”?

Tyla-Simone Crayton: Being ready for “Shark Tank” is just as much about the business as it is about the person going on the show. “Shark Tank” does detailed background checks and is very serious about financials being in place. Capacity is important because if you do get an air date millions of people will see your product, and they don’t want your business to collapse because you’re not able to handle the demand. Make sure you have a good team because you will need help. If you can handle all those things, you are ready for “Shark Tank.” Businesses go on the show at all stages, but you only get one shot. So, be ready.

What is the process to get on the show?

Ms. Crayton: You submit an application. There are multiple rounds of review, and then you may be picked to come and film. You may never receive an air date, and there is no guarantee throughout the entire process that you will be on the show.

How do you prepare for the pitch?

Ms. Crayton: The “Shark Tank” producers will give you a guide and help you to prepare. You don’t need to stuff everything in your pitch; you will have plenty of time to sell the sharks anything you don’t include in your pitch. Don't overthink it. Hit the key points, and have a lot of energy and a great story.

Do you need to do anything silly or gimmicky to stand out?

Ms. Crayton: Catchy pitches tend to stand out to the sharks and the viewers. Remember you need to win the viewers over just as much as the sharks. This is reality TV, so have fun.

What are the key things to do in order to get a deal with a shark?

Ms. Crayton: Be yourself, know your numbers, and be clear about your business plan.

How do you prepare for the exposure and demand when your episode airs?

Ms. Crayton: You should talk to your supplier and past businesses that have been on “Shark Tank.” It’s hard to prepare because some episodes get more views than others, and some products are easier to consume. Limit your offering, and be prepared for anything. Try to make your supply chain as simple as possible.

What was most surprising to you about the experience?

Ms. Crayton: I was surprised by how much time we had with the sharks. On TV the segment is three to five minutes, but during filming we had a lot of time to tell them all the great things about our business.