The Funeral Home is a place where the dead person’s body is being prepared for burial or cremation and viewing. The family and the close ones of the deceased person need the service of the funeral homes. It can very well be termed an essential service. If properly planned, a funeral home can be a profitable and rewarding business.
If you want to set up a funeral home business, you have made a good decision as it is a profit-making venture. However, before starting the business, you have to do thorough research and follow the necessary steps to set up the business.
Here is a stepwise startup guide to starting a successful funeral home:
Here are the 10 Steps to Start a Funeral Home
1. Select the Funeral/Death Services
Before starting your business, or putting the first step in, do some homework. Let us see the types of services provided by a Funeral Home. Here, you have to remember that, the types or some details of the service depend on the wish of the deceased and sometimes of his/her kin. However, let us focus on the general set of services provided by funeral homes.
These services include:
- Doing the necessary paperwork
- Securing the required permits and death certificate
- Coordinating with the cemetery or crematory
- Storing the Remains
The other services offered by the Cremation Home include:
- Embalming the body or cosmetic applications
- Viewing Facilities
- Funeral Service
- Memorial Service
- Caskets, containers, or urns
- Clothes for Burial
- A hearse or other Carrier
2. Purchase/ Rent a Land
You can start the Funeral home on a rented premise, or you can buy a building or land and construct it. In any case, there has to be a Certificate of Occupancy (CO). If you are taking the premises on the lease, make sure that the landlord has the CO. In the case of the purchase of property, you have to obtain the CO. The CO ensures that the area and the building comply with the local rules and regulations regarding setting up a Funeral Home.
3. Choose a Name for Your Funeral Home Business
After deciding on the premise, you have to choose the name of your Funeral Home. Find a simple and meaningful name that will create a good impression as well as convey an emotional message.
While deciding on the name, find out the domain availability of the name. It is always desirable to have the domain in the name of your business. Keep a list of a few selected names and finalize the name on which there is domain availability.
4. Register Your Funeral Home Business
To start a funeral home business, you have to legalize it by forming a business organization. Every state and country provides a wide range of business structures as per the scale of operation.
If you are from the United States, there are common forms of legal entities like Sole Proprietorship, Partnership, or LLC. You can choose any of the business structures, but forming an LLC is preferred by most small business owners as it protects you from being personally liable.
5. Tax, Licenses, and Permits
Register your Funeral Home Business for taxes. For this, you have to apply for an EIN. Obtain the necessary licenses and permits required for the business. These licenses and permits vary according to the location of your business. Without a license or permits, you can face severe consequences of fines or other legal actions.
You also need to buy appropriate business insurance for your business. Insurance protects your business from any untoward incident or subsequent loss.
6. Open a Business Bank Account
After the legal formalities, you have to open a bank account in the name of your business immediately. Try to have a credit card also. This will help you organize your business finances and keep them separate from your accounts and expenditures.
In the initial phase of your business, appoint an expert accountant and a tax consultant for the smooth running of the business as well as streamline the profit and growth of your business.
7. Estimate the Cost of Starting a Funeral Home Business
The economics of any business starts with the expenses. Without the correct figure for the expenses, you cannot calculate the percentage of profit. There are different expense heads:
The rent of a suitable building will range between $1000-$2500 per month. Single Embalming Machine costs between $5000-6000
The cost of embalming fluid, refrigerator, embalming table, hydraulic lift, etc. will be approximately $ 10,000 annually. Also, you will also need to invest in Cosmetics, Dresses, Caskets, Urns, etc.
The salaries of a Marketing person, accountant, receptionist, manager, etc. will sum up to approximately $ 18000 to $20000 per month. Incidental expenses and other miscellaneous expenses may range between $ 500-$1000 per month.
8. Arrange Fund
If you have the necessary funds, you can skip this chapter. The Funeral home business does require a reasonable amount of investment. If you are in a shortage of funds, take the necessary steps to arrange it.
Other than trying to borrow money from friends and relatives, also contact financial institutions and investors to get business loans. In securing finance from investors, a well-documented business plan will come in handy.
9. Decide on How Much Profit Can You Make from Funeral Home Business
You must have a clear pricing strategy and structure so that you are sure about how much profit returns for the funeral-related services offered.
For example, if you are providing the basic service along with the special services, you can charge your client between $ 6000-7000. This will fetch you a profit of 20-30%. You get a good margin by selling items like caskets, urns, flowers, funerals, memorial services, etc.
10. How to Increase Profit & Make More Money?
With the passage of time and digitization, the funeral has also undergone certain changes in approach and outlook. You can earn more profit from your Funeral Home Business by selling different funeral items with certain value additions. To increase your profit margin in the Funeral Home Business, you have to follow a few methods.
a) Personalized Items:
The funeral procedures must have a personal touch. The casket, the tombstone, or the urn to keep the remains should be customized as the clients are not satisfied with some common objects. You have to design them according to the choices and demands of your clients. If you cannot do it yourself, order it from some other seller or organization. Personalized items will fetch you more profit.
b) Out of the Box Ideas:
Suggest some innovative ideas about the last rites. Like, such as spreading the ashes of the deceased person in the sea or mountains, a seaside burial or cremation, accessories made from the remains of the deceased, etc. As we all know, an innovative idea is always expensive.
c) Service of Remembrance:
Try to make the funeral service or the memorial service of the deceased person a truly emotional and memorable event. You can use the video clippings and photographs of the deceased person, light music, refreshments, and specially made audio-visual presentations to make the event much more than just a memorial service.
d) Networking through Personal Contacts:
The key to the success of your Funeral Home Business is personal contact. The more you are in regular touch with the local people, the more you will get clients. And, a satisfied client will take your service again and also refer your name to his family, friends, and other acquaintances. So, you need to know several people from the area of your business personally.
e) Explore Digital Platforms:
In this age of virtual communication, digital communication is as important as personal contact. You need to have your website and it should be designed and hosted by experts having a good logo. The website will not only spread your name but also should have snapshots of your service. Keep facilities for online booking and online payment. Share the links to your website on your social networking profiles like Instagram, Facebook, or Twitter.
Depend on advertisements in print media, audio-visual media, and hoardings or banners.
g) Take Expert Advice:
Appoint a marketing expert from the beginning of your Funeral Home business. He will be able to feel the pulse of the market and suggest to you, different methods for profit maximization.
h) Cremation with Funeral:
Nowadays, cremation is preferred due to its low cost. However, as the owner of the Funeral Home, you can offer your clients the proposal of visitation before and memorial service after the cremation. This will help in increasing your revenue.
i) Eco-friendly Burials:
You can arrange for an eco-friendly burial with a biodegradable casket that will mix up with the soil eventually.
j) Advance Contract:
You can let your client sign an advance contract for funeral services beforehand. This will fetch you from earning beforehand.
As death is inevitable, so also death-related rituals. That is the guiding principle of your Funeral Home Business. However, you have to consider a few things like the location of your business, where the number of senior adults is more.
Apart from that you have to feel the pain and grief of the family of the deceased and thereby provide a touching hand and not just a funeral service. As the owner of the Funeral Home, you have to make the event emotional and respectful.
Suggested Read: Best Funeral Business Ideas & Opportunities
The modern age and its new outlook have influenced this business to a great extent. Therefore, to sustain and move ahead in this business, you need to think with an open mind and come up with unique ideas.
There are a lot of scopes and opportunities in this kind of business. If you plan well, follow the formalities, and have good ideas, you can earn a good profit from the funeral home business.
About the Author: 99businessideas.com led by Rupak Chakrabarty is committed to helping beginners, entrepreneurs, and small business owners in starting, managing, and growing their businesses.