Created Growth to 10 Funeral Homes
That PLANNED their future!
What are the five biggest
challenges funeral homes deal with
on a daily basis?
Reputation is tough, because you have to really keep on top of
everything to keep your reputation good in this business. There
are some funeral homes that ruin it for the rest of us with bad
pre-need deals and pushy casket sales, but for the most part the
industry is clean. I think that as a funeral director, it’s a call to
serve. It’s tough to handle the death of a loved one, not to
mention deal with a burial. You have to have somewhat of a
servant’s spirit. Did you know that one of the main reasons we
have burials today is due to the Civil War and its savagery? It
was a major factor in the development of this business.
As I’ve said, our margins keep shrinking and we have
to stay on top of the game!
ADVERTISING AND MARKETING
It’s hard to find what works and also how much to spend.
CREMATION VS TRADITIONAL
This goes back to margins. If we don’t try and offer other
products with a cremation, the profit is not very good.
DECLINING NUMBERS AND GLUT OF FUNERAL
Believe it or not, as the number of funeral homes are increasing,
the number of deceased is decreasing with new medical
What is the biggest factor in funeral
homes either closing their doors or
selling to big corporate conglomerates?
Lack of business! With operating costs getting much higher and
profit margins being reduced by things like cremation, you have
to perform more events to be profitable. The only way to do
that is to take a share from the competition. There is a finite
number of people who pass. Funeral homes like us need to get
aggressive in their marketing and business models. If not, well,
you won’t be around in five to ten years.
Is your basic business model the
same? If not, what’s changed and
are there financial ramifications?
This question goes back to the current cremation trend vs
traditional. The model has to change, finding other ways to make
profit as our margins have shrunk. Also I can say with some
certainty that the number of funeral homes in markets across the
country will drop significantly over the next five years. If you don’t
keep up, you’ll get run over!
What is your outlook for the future of
funeral homes for the next five years?
We were just talking about this the other day at our monthly
meeting. You said that what I was talking about in the funeral
home business happened in the auto business in 2008 and 2009.
A weeding out if you will, of the weak. Like you said, the factory
came in and closed hundreds of car dealerships. With our
business, it will be the big players who own dozens or even
hundreds of homes that will buy up many others, and
keep the doors open if they’re profitable, or if not, close up and
clean up the competition. If funeral homes don’t get their acts
together, they will close the doors.