Funeral Home Owners – How much is your time worth?

Do you know how much your time is worth?

After spending most of my career as a consultant, I have a pretty clear understanding of what an hour of my time is worth. However, I also know that not all hours in my day are worth the same amount.

For example, let’s say I spend an hour fine-tuning a growth strategy for a client, another hour writing this newsletter, and another hour working with my CPA. Are all of those hours worth the same amount?


Last summer, I had a zoom meeting with a client who showed up dripping in sweat because he had been cutting the grass at his funeral home. But, more importantly, he had made no progress on his action items from our project.

That led us into a long conversation about time management and whether or not spending an hour on his riding lawnmower was the best use of his time.

Hint: it wasn’t.

As the owner of a funeral home, you often wear a lot of hats, and each hat comes with a list of tasks. Some of those tasks are worth a lot of money, and some are worth very little.

Here’s a handy framework that I’ve used for several years.

Create four lists. At the top of the first list put $10/hr, second list $100/hr, third list $1,000/hr, and fourth list $10,000/hr.

Next, spend some time thinking through everything you do for your funeral home and put each item onto one of those lists.

Consider the task of cutting the funeral home lawn. That one belongs on the $10/hr list.

Identifying the items for your $10/hr list is pretty straightforward. If it’s a menial task that you could outsource to someone with no special skills, it belongs on that list.

Most of the day-to-day activities performed by a Funeral Director belong on the $100/hr list.

  • Making funeral arrangements
  • Embalming a body
  • Conducting a funeral

The tasks that go on your $1,000/hr list involve things like,

  • Managing & training your team
  • Mastering your case management system
  • Building relationships with local clergy, hospice, hospitals, etc.
  • Financial administration
  • Managing vendors
  • Managing the facility

So what’s on your $10,000/hr list?

  • Evaluating new acquisition targets
  • Creating a strategy for growing the business
  • Creating or approving new marketing campaigns
  • Improving the funeral experience
  • Selecting vendors worth partnering with

At the $10, $100, and $1000 levels you are working in your business.

At the $10,000 level, you are working on your business.

You might have to do everything on each list if you have a small funeral home. But the key to growing a small funeral home business is to spend time every day on $10,000/hr work.

As your business grows, outsource the $10/hr list. Hire people for the $100/hr work. Create systems and procedures so the $1,000/hr work becomes effortless. Then put all of your energies into $10,000/hr tasks.

The next decade will be a turbulent time as you adjust to the rise of cremation and the decline of traditional funerals. If you spend too much time on $10/hr tasks or $100/hr tasks, you probably won’t make it.

But working on $10,000/hr tasks can be hard to do, especially on your own. You know you need to work on your business instead of just in your business, and you need a guide to show you the way.

That’s why funeral home owners who are serious about growing their business call me.

Together we will work on your business, so you can stop working in your business.

Until next time


PS: Remember to do some $10,000/hr work every day because most of your competitors won’t. If you do, you can own the market.

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