Attributes of a Funeral Business Builder

It happens in many industries. A person with a specialized skillset decides to open their own business.

I call this the “frustrated technician” syndrome. A person with specialized technical skills is frustrated by the limitations of being an employee and decides to launch a business.

The CPA opens their own accounting practice.

The Architect opens their own design firm.

The software developer opens their own technology company.

And, the Funeral Director opens their own Funeral Home.

The Funeral Director has mastered the skills required to serve a family and run a great funeral. But now they have to learn a new skillset as they transition to being a Funeral Home Owner.

Suddenly, they have to know how to manage cash flow, recruit staff, maintain their facility, pay taxes and do dozens of other owner-related tasks.

In today’s market, many long-term Funeral Home Owners are reaching the end of their career and are interested in selling their business. As a result, younger owners have a seemingly golden opportunity to acquire more funeral homes.

Rather than having a single funeral home, they start dreaming of a chain of funeral homes.

It’s a tempting vision. But, all too often, that is a huge mistake!

They end up owning a funeral home that was already in decline, and now they have to turn it around. Unfortunately, they have no idea how to turn the business around and end up owning a nightmare instead of a dream.

They transitioned from being a Funeral Director to being a Funeral Home Owner to owning multiple funeral homes. The problem is they skipped a step in their personal development journey. They needed to become a Funeral Business Builder before they went down the path of owning multiple funeral homes.

The owner of a funeral home is often administering an existing business. They have to keep the ship afloat and make a bit of profit along the way.

But the person who has become a Funeral Business Builder is different. I’ve helped many owners make the transition, and below are eight attributes that they all shared.

A Funeral Business Builder is….

Able to assess the market
They can look at the market and identify the opportunities and threats. For example, they might see that the traditional funeral market is crowded, but there is an opportunity for a discount cremation business. Or, they might see that most retirees leave town, so the funeral market is smaller than expected.

Able to assess a funeral home
They can impartially look at a funeral home and identify the strengths and weaknesses of that particular business. What’s the trend of the call volume? How about revenue per call? Does it need remodeling?

Able to spot the element that creates a competitive advantage
Successful business builders are masters at identifying the one aspect of the new business that they will use to create a competitive advantage. For example, if the funeral home has two largely unused visitation rooms, they might decide to turn one into a dining area so they can offer receptions.

Understand the relevant marketing concepts
Years ago, a funeral home could grow by creating a low customer following. But today, loyalty is out the window, and every call is up for grabs. That means the owner must understand the key elements of today’s marketing landscape to grow a business.

Willing to innovate
Successful Funeral Business Builders are always willing to innovate. That doesn’t mean they buy every new piece of technology they see. But they understand that by constantly improving the customer experience, they can stay ahead of their competitors.

Comfortable Competing
Most Funeral Directors try to avoid conflict. But as a business builder, you have to become comfortable with conflict because that is the nature of competition. It’s you against your competitors. Someone will win, and someone will lose. If that bothers you, you shouldn’t be an owner, let alone a business builder.

Know the value of outside experts
Owners are often paralyzed with indecision because they are too close to the problem to see their way out. It’s the classic “too close to the forest to see the trees” scenario. Successful Funeral Business Builders bring in people (like me) with an outsider’s perspective to help them accomplish their goals.

I help funeral home owners get from 7 figures in revenue to 8 figures. The primary way I do that is to help them complete the transformation from Funeral Director to Funeral Home Owner to Funeral Business Builder.

If 2022 is the year you will transform into a Funeral Business Builder, feel free to schedule a time for us to talk. Here’s the link to my online calendar.

Until next time


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