Opening a funeral program business can be a very lucrative endeavor. Not only is the industry growing, but the services that you can provide as a funeral program business owner are in high demand. However, starting a funeral program business is not without its challenges.
Here are the eight steps you can take to get started on building your very own funeral program business.
Eight Steps to Launching a New Funeral Program Business
1. Name Your Funeral Program Business
Give your funeral program business an identity so people will think of it as a well-known and respected brand. You can take the name of your funeral program business from your industry, focus on a geographical location, or use your own name among other options.
The main goal for naming your funeral program business is to make it sound appealing and trustworthy so that individuals will want to work with you.
2. Choose a Legal Form for Your Business
By incorporating your funeral program 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 program 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 program business structures.
3. Write a Funeral Program Business Plan
All funeral program 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 program business plan.
4. Apply for the Necessary Permits and Licenses
There may be required licenses and permits you need to obtain before launching your funeral program business.
For example, if you plan to sell products, you will likely need to obtain a sales tax permit.
You must also register your funeral program 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 program business licenses.
5. Determine Your Budget & Apply for Funding as Needed
In developing your funeral program 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 program business, you may consider taking advantage of that. In addition to your personal funds, other forms of potential funding for your funeral program business 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 program business to help you determine if funding is needed.
6. Get the Technology & Software Needed to Run Your Business Efficiently
When you start your funeral program business, it’s essential to have the right technology in place to maximize efficiency. You definitely need a computer with Internet access, and accounting software for tracking expenses and revenues.
You may also want to invest in project management software to help you keep track of deadlines and tasks, as well as customer relationship management (CRM) software to manage your client relationships. Social media can also be a valuable tool for marketing your funeral program business.
7. Market Your Funeral Program Business to Potential Customers
Before you start selling your plots 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 online channels like:
- Sponsoring or exhibiting at local events
- Mailing brochures to local
- Sending out press releases to local media outlets
- Advertising in local print, radio, or TV outlets
Read our article about how to market your funeral program business for more tips.
8. 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 program business.
Read our article about how to effectively grow your funeral program business to learn more.
Starting a Funeral Program Business FAQs
The funeral program industry is expected to grow in the coming years, so it’s a good time to get started. Funeral program businesses offer an important service to grieving families, and there is always a need for this type of business.
Some tips for starting a funeral program business include:
- Research the funeral program industry and understand the various available products and services.
- Develop a clear marketing strategy and promotional plan.
- Network with other people in the funeral program industry.
- Get prepared with the materials you need to execute your promotional strategy.
A simple checklist to use when starting a funeral program business is as follows:
- Name Your Funeral Program Business: 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.
- Write a Funeral Program Business Plan: Your business plan will also help you determine your start-up costs 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 Program 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.
Starting a funeral program business can be a lucrative endeavor, but it takes hard work and planning to succeed. By researching the market, developing a marketing strategy, and networking with other professionals in the industry, you’ll be well on your way to starting a successful funeral program business.