Opening a funeral home can be a lucrative business opportunity, but it is essential to understand the step-by-step process. This article will provide entrepreneurs with the information they need to get started.
Here are the ten steps you can take to start building your own funeral home.
Ten Steps to Launching a New Funeral Home
1. Choose Your Type of Funeral Home
The first step in launching a funeral home is to identify the type of business you want to launch. You might choose from the following types among others:
A traditional funeral home
This type of funeral home offers the full range of funeral services, from embalming and burial to cremation.
A cremation-only funeral home
As the name suggests, this type of funeral home only offers cremation services.
A green funeral home
Green funeral homes are becoming increasingly popular, as they offer more environmentally-friendly funeral options.
2. Name Your Funeral Home
Give your funeral home an identity so people will think of it as a well-known and respected brand. You can take the name of your funeral home business from your industry, focus on a geographical location, or use your own name among other options.
The main goal for naming your funeral home business is to make it sound appealing and trustworthy so that families will want to use your services.
3. Determine Your Funeral Home Business Model
There are several possible types of business models for a funeral home business, including:
- A family-owned funeral home: In this type of business model, the funeral home is owned by one or more family members.
- A publicly traded funeral home: In this type of business model, the funeral home is owned by shareholders who have invested in the company.
- A cooperative funeral home: In this type of business model, the funeral home is owned by a group of people who have come together to share resources and expertise.
No matter which model you choose, make sure that it aligns with your business goals and the products and services you offer.
4. Choose a Legal Form for Your Business
By incorporating your funeral home business, you will limit your liability. You can incorporate as a Limited Liability Company (LLC), a C Corporation (C-Corp), or an S Corporation (S-Corp). Or you can operate as a sole proprietorship.
The business structure you choose for your funeral home business will determine the amount of taxes you pay and which state or federal tax forms you need to file.
Read our article comparing the most common funeral home business structures.
5. Write a Funeral Home Business Plan
All funeral home business owners should develop a business plan.
A business plan is a document that outlines the goals, strategies, and operations of a business. It can be used to secure funding from investors or lenders, as well as to guide the day-to-day operations of the business. The business plan should include information on the company’s products or services, market analysis, financial projections, and management team among other things.
Read our article about how to write a funeral home business plan.
6. Apply for the Necessary Permits and Licenses
There may be required licenses and permits you need to obtain before launching your funeral home.
For example, you may need to obtain a license to operate as a funeral director in your state. Additionally, you may need to obtain a license to transport human remains.
You must also register your funeral home business as a legal entity with the state where you plan to do business. You can simply file an online form through your Secretary of State website.
Registering with the federal government is also essential so you can properly pay taxes for your business. You will also need an Employer Identification Number (EIN), which you can apply for at the IRS website, if you plan to hire employees.
Read our article about obtaining the proper funeral home business licenses.
7. Determine Your Budget & Apply for Funding as Needed
In developing your funeral home business plan, you will figure out how much funding you need to start and grow your business.
If you have your own funds to invest in your funeral home, you may consider taking advantage of that. In addition to your personal funds, other forms of potential funding for your funeral home include traditional bank loans, SBA loans, credit cards, angel investors and family and friends.
Read our article about the costs associated with starting a funeral home to help you determine if funding is needed.
8. Get the Technology & Software Needed to Run Your Business Efficiently
When you start your funeral home, it’s essential to have the right technology in place to maximize efficiency. You need a computer with Internet access, and accounting software for tracking expenses and revenues.
You may also want to invest in funeral home software, which can automate tasks like customer relationship management (CRM), online funeral arrangements, and appointment scheduling.
Some of the most popular funeral home software programs on the market today include FuneralWizard, myFuneral Home, and OFreezer.
9. Market Your Funeral Home to Potential Customers
Before you start selling your products and services, you must let the world know you exist. The first step is to create a website so people can learn more about your products and services and how they benefit them.
After you launch your website, start promoting it through social media channels like Facebook, LinkedIn, and Twitter. Also consider networking with other people in the funeral home industry through social media and blogs so they can help share your business.
You also need to start gathering the materials needed to execute on your promotions strategy, which is your strategy for attracting new customers. Funeral home businesses should consider the following promotional strategies for which you should start getting prepared:
- Develop a marketing plan and budget
- Create an advertising campaign
- Direct mail campaigns
- PR and media relations
Read our article about how to market your funeral home for more tips.
10. Get New Customers & Grow Your Business
When you promote your products and services, you’ll start to get interest from potential customers.
Make sure you’re ready to serve these customers. Also, be sure to establish systems to ensure consistency and reduce costs. And be sure to find and train the right people to help you grow your funeral home.
Read our article about how to effectively grow your funeral home to learn more.
Starting a Funeral Home FAQs
Why Start a Funeral Home?
The funeral home industry is expected to grow at a rate of 1.4% from 2019 to 2029.
There are several reasons why you should start a funeral home business:
- There is always a demand for funeral services.
- You can offer a needed service to your community.
- You can be your own boss and set your own hours.
- You can make a good living in the funeral home industry.
What are Some Tips for Starting a Funeral Home?
Here are some tips for starting a funeral home business:
- Plan your business carefully.
- Choose the right location.
- Get the necessary licenses and permits.
- Invest in the right technology and software.
- Promote your business effectively.
Where Can I Find a Simple Checklist for Starting a Funeral Home
A simple checklist to use when starting a funeral home is as follows:
- Choose Your Type of Funeral Home Company: This should be based on what you are best at and how much experience you have. Remember to keep your interests, skills, and experience in mind at all times.
- Name Your Funeral Home: This should be done with care, as your brand is important for attracting the right customers. A simple, memorable name will go a long way.
- Choose a Legal Form for Your Business: Whether you choose to become a sole proprietorship, partnership, LLC, corporation or another option will depend on your business. Ensure that you are aware of all the implications of each type.
- Determine Your Funeral Home Business Model: Determine how your business will make money. Will you sell products, services, or a combination of both?
- Write a Funeral Home Business Plan: Your business plan will also help you determine what your start-up costs will be and will provide a roadmap with which you can launch and grow.
- Apply for the Necessary Permits and Licenses: In most locations you will be required to apply for a business license and/or permits before you can begin operations.
- Determine Your Budget & Apply for Funding as Needed: You will need to know how much money you have to spend on all of your business-related expenses before opening any doors. If needed, apply for a small business loan or other funding options.
- Get the Technology & Software Needed to Run Your Business Efficiently: You need to have the right tools in place to succeed. Implement software that will help you manage your time, contacts, and business operations in general.
- Market Your Funeral Home Business to Potential Customers: A solid marketing plan will be crucial to your success. It should focus on attracting the right customers so that you can provide them with the products and services they truly need.
- Get Customers & Grow Your Business: Once you have a solid marketing plan, it's time to actively pursue and secure those who could benefit the most from your products and services.
Open a Funeral Home
Opening a funeral home can be a great business opportunity, but it is important to complete a few steps. Make sure you have a business plan in place and get the necessary licenses and permits. Then, find the right location for your business and invest in the technology and software you need to run it efficiently.
Promote your funeral home business effectively to attract the right customers. With the right planning and execution, your funeral home business can be a great success!