A Simple Way to Write a Funeral Home Mission Statement

Here’s one of my favorite quotes from the movie Braveheart.

“Tell our enemies that they may take our lives, but they’ll never take our freedom!”

And with that, William Wallace inspired a ragtag group of Scotts to charge the field and defeat a much larger, better-equipped English army.

William Wallace was the leader the Scottish people needed in the year 1297, just like Volodymyr Zelenskyy is the leader the Ukrainian people need today.

When faced with an overwhelming challenge or adversity, people need great leaders. They need someone who can set the direction, motivate everyone, and lead the charge.

For a funeral home owner to become a Funeral Business Builder, they must become a great leader. 

Leadership is pretty easy when your business is small, and you only have two or three employees. But as your business grows and you add more staff, your leadership ability can make or break your business.

To lead your team, you have to know where you’re going. You have to define a specific destination. Most companies do this with a mission statement, but let’s face it, most mission statements are terrible!

Many funeral homes have mission statements filled with insider language and business jargon. They sound like they were written by lawyers instead of funeral professionals who were passionate about their work.

Imagine William Wallace shouting your mission statement, trying to rally his troops. Would it work? Probably not.

Let’s fix that.

A good mission is short, interesting, and inspirational. Otherwise, it’s worthless.

In addition, your mission statement should position your effort as a counterattack against an injustice. Your mission is quite literally to overcome injustice.

What injustice do you want to overcome?

You can’t just say, “We’re going to win more calls and serve more families because I’d like to retire someday.” That might inspire you, but it isn’t going to excite your team.

Here’s a formula for a good, short mission statement.

We will accomplish _________________ by ____________ because ____________.

Here are some examples:

A funeral home website company: 

“We will create and deploy family-focused websites for 1,000 funeral homes within three years because your website should help you serve families, not maximize flower sales.”

An urn company: 

“We will provide one hundred thousand families with beautiful affordable urns within the next twelve months because no one deserves to have their final resting place be a cardboard box.”

Can you spot the injustice in each of those examples?

Now let’s try it for your funeral home. Remember, it should explain what you are doing to serve families, by when and why that matters.

Let’s say your goal is to grow your market share by 50% in the next three years. The injustice you want to overcome is that local families are being underserved by cookie-cutter funerals offered by your competitors.

We will provide 50% more families with a beautiful and personalized memorial event within the next three years because everyone deserves to share and celebrate the stories of a lifetime.

That’s not bad! Can you imagine getting your team excited about that mission?

Let’s say you wanted to start an online cremation business that offers a better experience at a higher price than most direct cremation companies. Your goal is 1000 calls in the next two years. The injustice you want to address is that most direct cremation companies provide minimal service other than the disposition of the remains.

“Within the next two years, we will provide one thousand online cremation families with a premium level of care because we believe every family deserves full-service support.’

Notice that you can flip the order around if you want. In this example, I put the timeframe first and then the goal, followed by the injustice.

In case you’re curious, here’s the mission statement for my business.

“We will double our business in the next two years by helping 100 funeral home owners grow their volume by at least 50% because independent funeral homes should be able to beat the corporate giants.”

You’ll notice that I have my goal and timeframe plus my goal for my clients. The goal is to double the business but to do it by helping a relatively small group of owners. So rather than helping 1,000 clients solve a small problem, I prefer to help 100 solve the bigger issues.

The injustice I’m addressing is that corporate funeral home chains often win calls because they have better marketing, not because they serve families better. I see it as the classic David vs. Goliath battle, and I prefer to help David.

To become a Funeral Business Builder, you must be able to write a compelling mission statement. Just remember to keep it short, keep it interesting, and make it inspirational.

Until next time

John

 

PS: My goal is to help you master the skills necessary to build a $10M funeral home business. In case you missed it, here’s the high-level outline for this newsletter series.

  • Character – completed
  • Leadership (today’s article)
  • Productivity
  • Strategy
  • Messaging
  • Marketing
  • Communications
  • Sales
  • Negotiation
  • Management
  • Execution

 

You can read the past articles in this series at this link

https://blog.funeralbusinessbuilder.com/category/funeral-business-builder/

 

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