Nancy Bush and Sue Kruskopf come to the Shark Tank in episode 310 with their business, My Wonderful Life. When Bush's husband passed away, she was faced with making decisions about his funeral. The women were able to pull together a party for Bush's husband's funeral, and their friends and family were impressed with the celebration. The pair believes that the funeral pre-planning business has potential for profit that will only increase with the aging Baby Boomer population.
Will the Sharks bite on this slightly macabre business model, or will My Wonderful Life get buried?
My Wonderful Life Shark Tank Recap
The women are seeking $100,000 in exchange for 10% of the business. They open by asking for a show of hands “how many of us are going to die,” and explain the idea behind the business. People can use the website to plan their own services and express their wishes for their own final farewells. Bush and Kruskopf are confident that enough people will enter the business by using the free website service, and then upgrade to the paid services they offer.
Kruskopf offers a demonstration, using “Mr. Wonderful,” Kevin O'Leary as an example, and showing how the website can be used to plan, and even pre-pay for funeral services.
O'Leary wants to know how the women plan to make money with their business model. Bush explains that they've recently partnered with a large insurance company, and created a product called the “My Wonderful Life policy,” an insurance plan that allows users to pre-pay for their own funerals. My Wonderful Life makes 5% on the sale of each policy.
Kevin O'Leary believes that most people do their funeral planning through their funeral home. Mark Cuban asks if the agreement with the insurance company is exclusive. When the ladies respond negatively, he says “that's a killer to me.” The business isn't proprietary, which is a real problem.
O'Leary says “This was an interesting idea, but as a business plan, I see all kinds of holes in it. Nothing proprietary about it, you're captured by an insurance company, hard to acquire customers, competing with the funeral homes themselves, who have no interest in giving you any business.”
Mark Cuban believes the woman haven't taken enough steps to protect the business and make it proprietary. They're too vulnerable to copycats and competition.
Cuban is the first to go out, citing the lack of sales. Daymond John says, “I think I'll probably be dead before I see my money back. I'm out.”
Barbara Corcoran tells the ladies that they're “here too early,” that their model is untested. She's out.
Robert Herjavec says they “haven't gotten out of the starting gate.” He's out.
Kevin O'Leary is the final Shark to go out. The ladies leave the stage with no Shark deal.
My Wonderful Life Shark Tank Update
Although the Sharks weren't convinced the business model was ripe for the picking, the “Shark Tank Effect” boosted interest in the company. The website's traffic increased by over 1000% on the night the episode aired, and the influx of new memberships was enough to carry My Wonderful Life forward. Today, the website is still active, and the social media pages are regularly updated, seeming to indicate a successful business. Where the Sharks didn't see a profit margin, the ladies of My Wonderful Life stuck by their belief in their business, and turned a unique idea into a business.
Posts about My Wonderful Life on Shark Tank Blog
My Wonderful Life Company Information