Funeral Home Business Plan
Your Funeral Home should arrange the services associated with the burial or cremation of the deceased. These include conveying the deceased from the place of death to the funeral home's premises and preparing them for burial or cremation (this may include embalming). The deceased is then laid to rest in a chapel of rest or church.
Many funeral homes are family run services. It is apparent that the small family-owned funeral homes will continue to do well and are here for the long haul. Acquisition groups, which are buying cemeteries and funeral homes, have not obliterated them.
Your funeral home should organize the funeral on behalf of the deceased's family/partner, which includes confirming the date, time and place of the service, in some cases paying cremation or cemetery charges and church fees, providing a hearse to transport the coffin and mourners to the funeral venue and either purchasing a grave or arranging the dispersal of the ashes.
Other services will include receiving flowers or acting as a collection point for donations, organizing catering, arranging a headstone or placing the notice of death in the newspaper.
The idea behind funeral planning is simply that one day a great deal of vital information about you will be needed by your family and anyone whose responsibility it is to assist them. There's no doubt that those who plan ahead are more comfortable knowing not only that their personal wishes will be fulfilled, but also that unnecessary difficulties can be avoided.
Both you and your loved ones can benefit when funeral arrangements are made well in advance of need. By discussing plans in advance, you can take all the time necessary to make the most satisfactory decisions regarding the type of ceremony and burial procedures preferred. A carefully planned funeral service can also be the most comforting to your family. It can spare them from facing decisions that can be so difficult at a time of death. And it can give them lasting peace of mind knowing they've acted in accordance with your wishes.
You must encourage your clients to discuss their thoughts and decisions with their family and call you if they have additional questions. Planning ahead basically involves three separate steps.
- Recording all the necessary biographical information needed at the time of need
- The selection of type of service and merchandise preferred.
- Pre-paying thus guaranteeing those costs will never increase.
A funeral home arranges the services associated with the burial or cremation of the deceased. These include conveying the deceased from the place of death to the funeral home's premises and preparing them for burial or cremation (this may include embalming). The deceased is then laid to rest in a chapel of rest or church. Funeral homes organize the funeral on behalf of the deceased's family/partner, which includes confirming the date, time and place of the service, in some cases paying cremation or cemetery charges and church fees, providing a hearse to transport the coffin and mourners to the funeral venue and either purchasing a grave or arranging the dispersal of the ashes.
A funeral home will ensure that all of the necessary paperwork, e.g. authorization for cremation, is completed and obtained. Other services may include receiving flowers or acting as a collection point for donations, organizing catering, arranging a headstone or placing the notice of death in the newspaper. A funeral home will act in an advisory capacity, both before and during the funeral, offering guidance, support and comfort.
The price of funerals has risen dramatically in recent years, partly due to a steep increase in the cost of burial fees, especially in urban areas. Funeral homes have also been forced to increase prices to make up for the fact that the death rate is falling.
The average cost of a funeral is around $1,400-$2,000, although it can be considerably higher. Cremations are increasingly favored as they are cheaper. There is increased interest in 'environmentally friendly' funerals, e.g. featuring cardboard or wicker coffins, and burial in reserved woodland rather than church grounds, which are cheaper, and may dispense with a funeral home's services altogether, although some will help arrange such services, or sell coffins, funeral parlor places, etc to the family. There is a move towards more secular and personalized funerals.
Today, people all over the world commemorate their loved ones with ceremonies that reflect their religious or cultural attitudes toward death. Just as we have rituals for other passages of life, such as graduations and weddings, we need a ritual for death - one of the most significant of all passages. Funerals just don't recognize that a life has ended; they recognize that a life was lived. They offer survivors a chance to gather and recall what mattered to them about the deceased's life: his or her accomplishments, friendship, guidance or love.
The funeral ritual also helps the survivors to heal emotionally. When someone we love dies, we experience grief, which, though it hurts, is not something to avoid. Grief is part of the healing process that allows us to separate ourselves from the deceased person and go on with our lives.
An important step in grieving is expressing the emotions that may accompany death: anger, guilt, fear, sorrow, and depression. A funeral gives mourners a place to express those feelings. Funerals stimulate mourners to talk about the deceased, one of the first steps toward accepting the death. The funeral brings together a community of mourners who, by supporting each other, can help themselves through a difficult period.
To resolve their grief, mourners need to accept the reality of death not only on an intellectual level, but on an emotional level as well. It is for this reason that the traditional funeral is usually preceded by an open-casket visitation period. This may seem unnecessary; but many grief experts say that nothing helps you accept death as much as seeing the dead person. Viewings help with grieving because they show that there's no return.
Perhaps no other moment in the funeral process is as powerful as the final disposition. For survivors, this is a strong symbolic moment, a confirmation that they must let go of the person who dies and look ahead to a changed life.
Your funeral home can act in an advisory capacity, both before and during the funeral, offering guidance, support and comfort.
Your funeral homes’ commitment to the family and to personalized service will keep them in the game, even if the big guys can continue charging less by buying caskets and other funeral products at volume discount. It's not like going to Wal-mart to buy a dress, but we do give affordable, personal service and provide a funeral experience for the living.
You will need to take all necessary steps to procure proper licensing and certifications. It should be your goal as management to build a positive reputation of a caring, safe and secure establishment.
Your aims should be to provide close personal attention to each client as this is essential in providing a quality experience for all; therefore, adequate personnel will be hired to ensure each client has the proper attention whilst in your care.
Your keys to success in your Funeral Home Business Plan will be:
- Maintaining a reputable and untarnished reputation in the community.
- Quality care.
- Competitive pricing.
- Flexible hours.
The objectives for your first three years of operation may include:
- To create a service based operation whose primary goal is to exceed customer's expectations.
- To increase the number of client's served by 20% each year.
- To develop a sustainable, profitable, start-up business.
Writing A Funeral Home Business Plan
Writing A Funeral Home Business Plan
If you are hoping to use your Funeral Home Business Plan to convince an investor or lender to support your Funeral Home, it is crucial to understand their objectives and address them in the Funeral Home Business Plan so you can be certain of meeting their particular lending or investment criteria.
It is important to make your Funeral Home Business Plan stand out from the crowd, so make it easy to read, comprehensive yet concise and ensure there is no contradiction. For instance, check that the figures you include in the Funeral Home Business Plan for expenditure on equipment are the same amounts as you put in your financial forecasts - all too often these just don't tie up and so the Funeral Home Business Plan loses credibility.
Where possible identify as early as you can what your prospective investor wants to know about you and your Funeral Home Business Plan. If you state the assumptions you have made in reaching your conclusions (the market research results that led you to your calculated sales forecasts, or why you have chosen to locate your Funeral Home in a particular place, for example), the investor will not be left guessing as to your intentions or think that you haven't addressed certain key issues. Be honest, clear and believable.
Remember that the Funeral Home Business Plan needs to be realistic and still convince investors that the Funeral Home can be successful.
This means they will want to see evidence to back up any claims you make, and the plan will need to show that (at least in the medium term) the Funeral Home will be able to support you and any borrowing requirements you may have.
Marketing plays a vital role in successful Funeral Home. How well you market your Funeral Home, along with a few other considerations, will ultimately determine your degree of success or failure. The key element of a successful Funeral Home Marketing Plan is to know your customers-their likes, dislikes, expectations. By identifying these factors, you can develop a Funeral Home Marketing Strategy that will allow you to arouse and fulfill their needs.
Identify your customers by their age, sex, income / educational level and residence. At first, target only those customers who are more likely to purchase your product or service. As your customer base expands, you may need to consider modifying the Funeral Home Marketing Plan to include other customers.
Develop a Funeral Home Marketing Plan for your Funeral Home by answering these questions. (Potential franchise owners will have to use the Funeral Home Marketing Strategy the franchisor has developed.) Your Funeral Home Marketing Plan should be included in your Funeral Home Business Plan and contain answers to the questions outlined below.
- Who are your customers? Define your target market(s).
- Are your markets growing? steady? declining?
- Is your market share growing? steady? declining?
- If a franchise, how is your market segmented?
- Are your markets large enough to expand?
- How will you attract, hold, increase your market share? If a franchise, will the franchisor provide assistance in this area? Based on the franchisor's strategy? how will you promote your sales?
- What pricing strategy have you devised?
The Funeral Home Business Owner should undertake market research and ensure that their Funeral Home Business Plan includes reference to the market size, its predicted growth path and how they will gain access to this market. A Funeral Home Business Plan will consider the local population, Internet penetration rates, predictions about whether it is likely to grow or decline, etc., concluding with a review of the competitive environment.
An integral component to understanding any Funeral Home is understanding the competition, both its nature and the bases for competition within the industry. Is it a particularly competitive environment, or one that lacks competition? How are the incumbents competing-–is there a price leader evident? Finally, including a thorough understanding of the bases on which you intend to compete is vital; can you compete effectively with the existing players?
Make the Funeral Home Business Plan concise, but include enough detail to ensure the reader has sufficient information to make informed decisions. Given that the Funeral Home Business Plan’s writer usually has a significant role to play in the running of the Funeral Home, the Funeral Home Business Plan should reflect a sense of professionalism, with no spelling mistakes, realistic assumptions, credible projections and accurate content. The writer should also consider the format of the plan, e.g., if a presentation is required, a back-up PowerPoint presentation should be created.
If you are seeking investment in your Funeral Home, it is important to clearly describe the investment opportunity. Why would the investor be better off investing in your Funeral Home rather than leaving money in a bank account, shares or investing in another Funeral Home Business? What is the Unique Selling Proposition (USP) for the business? Why will people part with their cash to buy from you?
Funeral Home Business Plan
Funeral Home Business Plan
Remember to include information on in the Funeral Home Business Plan;
- qualification standards;
- job descriptions;
- wages and salaries;
- performance standards;
- staff benefits;
- staff training.
- Can management prepare and implement a sound Funeral Home Business Plan?
- Does management have adequate authority and control to fulfill its responsibility?
- Do training programs encourage personal skill development towards increased responsibility?
- Can management change be introduced as required to benefit the business? Even if the changes require a new manager?
- Does the manager have the qualities of time, character, stamina, planning, control, development, leadership, decision-making, confidence, practical realism? And commitment?
Preparation and Commitment
- Have you obtained independent legal advice on all contracts?
- Are all financial commitments finalized? In writing?
- Does the Funeral Home Business Plan have time in its favour?
- Are you prepared to lose your investment?
- Are you prepared to succeed?
A great Funeral Home did not just happen.
It was planned that way.
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