I know you’ve heard it all before.
The “old way” of doing business in the funeral profession is dying (pun intended).
And in fact, the “new way” is already here. It’s happening. And it seems to be picking up momentum.
There are plenty of folks in the funeral profession reading this blog right now that probably feel a tingle of resistance growing in your gut. These words might trigger you! You might even hate me for admitting the imminent change that is in the air.
And you’re not alone.
So how do we move through this dense, heavy, and complicated process — from the “old way” to the new? I know it’s MUCH more complicated than I’m writing about here, but here are 5 big steps you must take:
Tip #1: Allow change in a way that’s meaningful to your funeral business
Just because there are Death Doulas, and human re-composting programs happening that could be considered to be radical by some, doesn’t mean you have to go all in and change everything at once. And if you’re feeling resistance to any changes happening, ask yourself, honestly, the ways in which you can see your own funeral business evolving with this wave.
Here are a few questions to ask yourself:
- What is absolutely not working anymore at our business?
- What services are no longer selling like they used to?
- What new programs / ideas / roles are being created right now that I’d love to offer at my own funeral business?
Tip #2: Go to great lengths to listen before acting
One of the greatest gifts you can give to your families, is to actually listen to them. What changes have they been asking for, or remarking on? What suggestions have they made? What kinds of things are they purchasing or creating outside of, or alongside your services? What have you found that your families really aren’t fond of?
These are the questions you should be asking. You can try asking them through surveys, in-person, on social media, or even through a workshop/gathering you put together at your funeral home. The answers are gold, so make sure to listen to them. Time spent with your client families, is never time wasted.
Tip 3: Simplify, simplify, simplify
Doing ONE thing with greatness beats the heck out of doing a bunch of things with mediocrity. Simplifying your business will be the best detox you’ve ever experienced — for you, for your employees, for your energy, and for your profits. Figure out your niche by asking your families what you do best, and follow the momentum from there (see next point).
Tip #4: Follow the momentum
This might sound overly simply to some of you, but are you truly following the momentum? There is momentum happening in our profession… Are you tapped into it? Are you tapped into the momentum of your customers sharing certain aspects of your business? Are you listening to the “signs”, and not just using logic? This means stop pushing what isn’t getting momentum in your business, too.
Tip #5: Remember it’s about people, not about products
You will not grow a new flavor of a successful funeral business without putting people before your products. The community you create through real, deep connections with your client families is the most valuable product out there. Consider putting your energy into products that create a sense of community, such as social memorial websites or Sympathy Stores, which invite your client families to come together. Otherwise, remember step 3: simplify.
And finally, may we wish you a big dose of patience, a clear long-term vision, and the right funeral home website to tie your upgraded funeral business all together.
What ways have you been able to help create the new way of funerals at your funeral business? Tell us in the comments below!