“The Ball’s in My Court”

“The ball’s in my court.”

That’s what a client said to me last week as we wrapped up a project. We had spent five months repositioning his funeral home to meet the needs of a changing demographic.

Times have changed, and to his credit, he is also willing to change. Working together, we created a long list of marketing tools to help reposition his business. Now he just needs to implement everything.

Will it work?

I believe so, but it’s not because of the marketing tools. It’s because this particular client is ready for them.

He’s transitioned from being a Funeral Home Owner to a Funeral Business Builder.

Is there a difference? Yes, and it’s huge!

Most Funeral Home Owners are Funeral Directors who happen to own the business. There’s nothing wrong with that; it just limits your growth unless you can switch roles quickly.

As I’ve said many times in these newsletters, the skills that make you a great Funeral Director will not make you a successful Funeral Business Builder. It’s a whole new skill set for you to master.

It’s no different than other professions, such as being a medical doctor. You start as an MD working in someone else’s practice and make a good living. Then you decide to open your own practice only to discover that growing a practice has little to do with your medical skills and everything to do with your business-building skills.

Becoming a funeral home owner is relatively easy if you have the financing. You can just buy one or build one, and voila, you are a funeral home owner.

Getting to the first million in revenue is not easy but not overly complicated. You take care of 250 families at an average of $4,000 each, and you’ve hit the million-dollar mark. You’ll be working hard and need a couple of reliable Funeral Directors on your team, but it’s a proven model.

But getting from $1M to $10M is a whole different game because the skills that brought you to $1M won’t get you to $10M.

Getting from $1M to $10M requires you to become what I call a “Funeral Business Builder.” It’s a different set of skills, and it’s a different mindset as well.

For most owners who are still meeting with families every day, it requires them to be able to quickly switch roles. Frankly, it’s not easy. In fact, it’s incredibly hard. That’s why so few make it.

But here’s the dirty secret….all the rewards are at the $10M level.

I have multiple clients at that level, and they live a pretty low-stress life these days. They don’t worry about taking time off because they’ve grown a great business that doesn’t need them to be there every day. They also have a business worth far more than one or two funeral homes.

When a corporate consolidator evaluates a potential acquisition, they have a set multiple based on your earnings. But if they are buying someone who’s doing over $10M it’s a higher multiple because they are not purchasing a business; they are buying an entire market.

So, where am I going with this rant?

This is the start of a long series of newsletters dealing with the skills you need to master to become a Funeral Business Builder. I’ve worked with hundreds of owners, and I’ve taken the time to analyze the skills of those who have made it from $1M to $10M.

The skills can be lumped into the following categories.

  1. Character
  2. Leadership
  3. Productivity
  4. Strategy
  5. Messaging
  6. Marketing
  7. Communications
  8. Sales
  9. Negotiation
  10. Management
  11. Execution

Over the coming months, I will discuss each of these topics. Sometimes it’ll only take one newsletter per topic, and sometimes, it’ll take a handful.

I can provide you with excellent funeral experience packages and great marketing, but even that won’t guarantee your success. The secret to long-term success is to transition from being a Funeral Director to Funeral Home Owner to Funeral Business Builder.

My goal is to help you grow your business, and this newsletter series will help you understand everything you need to master to get to $10M or more.

I can put the ball in your court, and the next move is yours to make. Let’s make it together!

Until next time


PS: Even if you don’t aspire to have a $10M business, this series will help you win more calls, serve more families, and have the business you’ve always wanted.

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