Hello Money Monkeys. My name is Walter Charges and I am looking for an investment of £250,000 for a 15% share in my business, Dead-End.
Thank you and I’m happy to take any questions you may have.
Is that it?
For the introduction yes.
But you haven’t told us anything.
With respect Simon, I’ve told you quite a bit.
No, I don’t think you understand. You stand here in front of us, give us a one line introduction and expect us to do all the work in trying to understand what your business is about.
That’s why I said I’d be happy to take any questions, but you haven’t asked me any yet.
This is ridiculous.
Simon, let me talk to him. Walter, what is Dead-End?
Thank you, Fiona. Dead-End is a one stop suicide solution that not only benefits the individual that wishes to end their life, but also takes away the potential inconvenience that a suicide tends to create.
Yes. If someone were to jump from a bridge, then that bridge could be closed for up to three hours preventing traffic from crossing and causing some quite severe interruption to your day.
If someone were to slit their wrists in the bath, you’d be left with a lot of cleaning up to do and no doubt a water bill higher than usual as the taps could possibly have been left on for the duration of the event.
If someone were to hang themselves…
Ok, ok. I think we understand. I am not enjoying where this is going so, I am happy to say that I will not be investing in Dead-End.
Ok Simon, thank you.
Walter, hello. My name is Derek and I’m a little confused as to what it is you’re offering exactly.
Hello Derek, well it’s essentially a suicide booth. You pop in and we, pop you off.
Sorry Walter but I still don’t understand. Walk me through the process. The customer journey if you will.
No problem. So, imagine you’ve woken up one morning and have decided that today is the day, your final day. You come along to your local Dead-End Departure Lounge, sign in and non-verbally agree to proceed by exiting through the red door. If you suddenly change your mind, then you can exit through the green door.
Why those colours?
We did have them the other way round. Red for stop, green for go ahead, but I thought someone would no doubt twist this to be a way of us subconsciously encouraging people to go ahead with their suicide, so we swapped the colours around. They are still colours that people recognise with traffic lights, but this way it looks like the red light suggests that the customer stop and re-evaluate their decision.
Sorry Walter but just to go back to something you said earlier. How can you non-verbally agree to kill yourself?
On our website, flyers and other promotional materials it states that this is an on request, non-contact, non-verbal process. Once a customer has entered the booth, they are met by a team member who will support any requests made prior to arrival. For example, one of our most requested items are a pen and paper which the customer uses to leave a final note. The note is then either passed on to family, friends or left with us to dispose of.
Yes, we either throw them away or if they’re worth keeping then we, keep them.
We have grand plans to open an online shop and museum as, without giving too much away, we have had a couple of high profile users of the service and I’m sure there will be a market for this. In fact, I know there is. Look at the Victorians.
Let me get this straight. You intend to profit off of the deaths of others?
Yes Fiona, that’s correct.
That is disgusting. I will not be investing. Goodbye.
Hey c’mon now Fiona, don’t be so hasty.
Sorry Derek but this is too much. You and Lia are welcome to this.
So, is it ok if I carry on?
Yes Walter, please do.
Thank you, Derek. The online shop will sell many items from the deceased. Personal trinkets, clothing and even property.
Yes. We have very strict guidelines when it comes to using our service and although there is no set fee, we do explain that the customers possessions become our possessions once they have passed on. It's all on our website with our unique ALLiN payment structure.
I have a question then. What if someone comes to you who has nothing. Literally nothing. Would you still allow them to use your service.
Yes of course. We cannot and will not turn people away. It does happen that the odd person will come through with nothing but then an hour later you may have someone drive up in a Merc and that’s anywhere between £10k - £25k in the bank.
What if a customer arrives drunk or high and wants to end their life?
We do not allow people in drunk or high unless they have signed up online first and this has to be at least 24 hours before the departure date.
Yes. So if for example, Simon wants to use our service and completes the necessary online documents on the Wednesday and arrives to us on the Friday pissed, then we will allow him to progress. You can’t deny someone the right to die just because they’ve had a few drinks.
This is difficult for me to get my head round right now. Do you have any sales data so far.
I can share with you the data from our pilot site which will be registered as a fully operative site in the next few weeks.
Is this what you want my money for?
No, no. That’s already sorted.
Ok, the numbers so far then please.
The pilot booth opened 8 months ago and has a running cost of approximately £4,300 per month. So total costs for the 8 months comes to approximately £34,400.
Why approximately? Why not give me the exact figure?
Because there have been unexpected issues which have been written into the costs such as collection and court fees.
Yes, of the bodies.
Wait, so people have been using this! I can’t believe this is real.
Fiona, you said you weren’t interested so can you please butt out.
I’m sorry Derek but this is sickening. Can I speak to the floor manager please, I’m leaving the stage.
Sorry Fiona, I didn’t…
Don’t worry yourself Walter. This is what business is all about. If you can’t take the heat, eh Fiona! Numbers please Walter.
Yes. 8 months total spend of £34,400 with a further £16,000 in setting up costs. Total of £50,400. Income over those 8 months totals £119,781 with an estimated £41,000 still outstanding. Combined income total will be around £160k.
Profit of £110k.
If we used the same numbers for a 12 month total, then we can expect to turn a profit of around £80k a year from each unit. This is a conservative estimate. Within three years the expected profit will be well in excess of £1,000,000.
Wow. How many customers did you have over those 8 months?
14. Is that all. That’s less than two a month.
Yes, but our pilot site is situated in Portsmouth. Once we open sites up North the numbers will increase.
Is that so?
Yes. And from there we can branch into Scotland where we expect to see a substantial increase in users.
Yes Lia, hello
I’m liking the sound of your numbers, but you haven’t shared with us the following information. Do you have any staff and if so, what are those costs.
I’m glad you asked that Lia. Currently this is being run by myself and a close friend who has a 10% share but is very much a silent partner. Neither of us take a wage from this right now and have been taking it in turns running the booth.
So am I right in assuming that neither of you have day jobs.
No we don’t. All of our energy is put into making this work.
How do you get by day to day. Paying the rent, food and so on.
Erm, well. About 10 months ago I came into a lot of money and decided that now was the time to launch this.
Where did the money come from?
A death in the family. My father took his own life.
Wait. Hang on a minute. Your father dies by suicide, you become wealthy and set up an assisted suicide business off the back of that. Comes across as a little bit suspect to me.
I’m sorry Lia but I don’t appreciate your tone and what you are insinuating.
I’m not insinuating anything. It just looks a bit dodgy to me.
In what way.
If you were to make me an offer I would refuse. I do not wish for you to be a part of my business, therefore I will not be accepting any investment from you.
Ha ha, now that’s a first, eh Lia!
Laugh all you like Derek. I will not be investing. Goodbye.
It’s just down to you and me then Walter. I can see you’re a bit all over the place with structure, but I know you have it all mapped out in your head. I’ve not met anyone turn a £100k profit in 8 months with just 14 customers. Hold up, were they all paying customers.
No. We had 9 John Doughs and 5 John No Doughs.
Doughs! Like the money. Ha, very funny. I think we will work well together so I’ll tell you what. I will make you an offer. £250,000 but I want 30% of the business.
Blimey that was quick. What if I refuse to budge from 30%?
Then I walk away with no investment but still some valuable TV time. Instant ad space isn’t it.
No, not really. We don’t have to show this on the telly. You could walk away with no investment and no TV time.
Ok, so are you willing to come down to 20%?
No. I want 30. That will still leave you as majority shareholder, wouldn’t it?
Yes. I currently own 82% of the business. As mentioned, my friend has 10% and a few family members have 2% each.
So if I come in at 30% you’ll still have 52% of the business.
Would you take 22%?
No. The best I would be willing to drop to is 26%. Do you want to go and have a think about it?
No thank you Derek. Erm, my final offer is all of the money for 22%.
And I’ve already told you I won’t accept that.
Ok. Well, erm thank you everyone.
Stop! Stop. Look I can see the money making potential in this is monumental so I will stand up now and shake your hand at 25%
22% or I walk.
You’ve got balls of steel lad. 22% it is. You have a deal.
Thank you, Derek. I look forward to working with you.
Ok everyone that’s a wrap. Cameras are off, mics are off. Can Derek and Walter please make their way to our legal team to get contracts signed off and do the pieces for the press and PR.
Fee, can you please leave. Me and Walter have agreed to work together. You bailed out too soon.
Very good Derek. No, I wanted to quickly talk to Walter about something.
I will be getting my lawyers involved. I do not think that what you are doing is ethical or in any way acceptable. I will ensure that your business does not get to open one more of these disgusting booths. You should be ashamed of yourself.
You don’t have to answer to this Walter. Let’s go and get this sorted.
No, hang on a minute. Is this conversation recorded or is it just me and Fiona talking now?
It’s what it is. There is no filming or recording. The man said it’s a wrap. We’re done.
Ok Fiona, let me tell you this. I have been to court 14 times in the past 6 months. I have taken on grieving families, local councils and have won every single case. If you have a problem with what I’m doing, then I am more than happy to pass on the details of my lawyer. You may have heard of her actually. Rebecca Hall?
I don’t care what cases you’ve won. There must be something that someone missed.
Those who died wanted to die. If they didn’t die my way then they would have found another way.
Oh yes and become an inconvenience to others.
Have you ever been onto a local paper website and read a story about someone who has taken their own life? After which you read the comments below the article?
But, but… what? There is no but. Those comments people make from the luxury of anonymity are sickening. Complaints that the traffic has been backed up, or that someone’s mum may be caught in traffic when it's a hot day. Or how a bridge is too much of a temptation for mental head cases and attention seekers. This is the reality of how people think. The public aren’t the caring and sharing people you think they are.
Do you have any proof of this?
Yes. Of course I do. I’ve kept the receipts. I have the evidence. Why do you think I haven’t lost in court. I haven’t gone into this half arsed. I’ve been working on this idea for 2 years and believe me I have not left a single stone unturned.
Well, we will see about that won’t we.
Yes, I guess we will. Is that all? I have a contract to sign.
To find out more about Dead End go to the website https://isolacium.wixsite.com/deadend
Why I Wrote This:
First off, this is just a story but a story where I hope to challenge you, the reader, on the concept of an instant suicide solution.
It’s not a topic I take lightly, even if my tone suggests otherwise. Growing up, I knew more people that died from suicide than died from cancer. More people that ended their own lives than were killed at the hands of others.
Suicide is not a topic we should only talk about once the appropriate awareness day comes along. It happens every day. Open your eyes and look out for each other.