How to Start and Run a Funeral Home
How much money do you make owning a funeral home? Starting any business requires adequate planning as well as abiding by regulatory frameworks guiding its operations. You also have to develop effective marketing strategies for selling your products and services. This can make the whole processing of starting a business challenging especially for persons with limited knowledge of what it takes to start. The same applies to starting a funeral home. Here you need to have had previous experience in providing mortuary services. This line of business also requires empathy as well as efficient customer service skills.
Different faiths have their unique burial rites/rituals. Thus it is necessary to have an understanding of what each demand. This article will reveal information that will help you start your funeral home business. It will focus on the most basic requirements which you cannot do without. In the end, you would have will have gained knowledge of the procedures involved and how to commence business.
Carry Out a Survey/Research of the Funeral Industry
A survey of the industry tests to see if there is a real demand for funeral home services in a particular area or chosen location. This helps in selecting a suitable location for the business too. The study also helps you determine how much resources (financial) are required for the project. It also helps the business to measure if the market is over-saturated by stronger competitors, as well as also revealing if there will be potential setbacks in trademark registrations, and also several other legal hurdles relevant to establishing your business.
Getting a Space
This is where you will run all the services provided by your funeral home. These may include areas for cremation services, rooms for holding funeral services, a space for selling caskets which may also double as a casket showroom, refrigerators for the mortuary as well as one for preparing the body for the funeral. To provide all the above-mentioned services adequate space is necessary.
Providing a General Price List
This is known for short as the GPL and a stipulated requirement by the Federal Trade Commission for all funeral home service providers. It requires that all funeral home service owners should prepare a comprehensive General Price List of all services provided so clients can easily go through to have a clear understanding of services they may or may not need. These services may include but not limited to transporting the body for burial, embalming fees among similar services. All information provided in your GPL must be very clear and specific. This should include what your clients are expected to pay for.
Applying for Licensing
This is part of the basic requirements for starting your funeral home business. Having basic education (college education) in mortuary science is required for directors of funeral homes. The American Board of Funeral Service Education also demands to have an associate degree in funeral service education. For most states, you will have to take a state board exam to obtain a funeral home license. There are provisions for apprenticeship. However, the apprentice would have to learn from a licensed funeral director. After learning is complete, a licensing exam is written.
This line of business requires specialized knowledge in handling embalming, cremating and body preparation tasks. Because you cannot do all these alone, you need capable hands to help in providing these services. In addition, the general administrative structure of your business will require hiring the right hands for the job.
Doing the Necessary Paperwork
Owning a funeral home entails a lot of responsibilities. Some of these include sorting out insurance issues with several insurance providers. Having knowledge on funeral insurance will be of immense benefit here. Other equally important paperwork you must attend to include death registrations as well as following due cremation protocols as well as sorting out purchasing issues for graves needed for burials.
Having a Business Plan
One of the most important requirements for starting a funeral home is writing your business plan. If you don’t have the necessary knowledge, you should seek competent help to write a good business plan that reflects the realities of the business as well as contains definite targets the business is expected to attain within a specified period of time. It is important to also state here that full implementation of the contents of your business plan is necessary if you wish to obtain desired results.
Having a Marketing Strategy
There are lots of funeral home service providers who have become household names by building a plan reputed for excellence. To stand a chance of competing, you need to have an effective marketing plan that contains definite strategies that will help your business attract the much-desired patronage necessary for success.
Starting a funeral home requires a lot of logistic issues to be worked out. Passion is an important ingredient that is needed if you must make appreciable headway in the business. This is the major factor that will keep you focused during trying and challenging times. Because your clients will be grieving for their loved ones, you need to be able to act as an emotional support during this period by ensuring the services provided by you are aimed a soothing their grief.