A wreath hanging on a blue door


Written by Sharon Verbeten


If I have one flaw, at least according to my husband, it’s that I’m a shopaholic. Oh, don’t worry, I’m not a hoarder or deep in debt. I just love to shop, as much as my husband loves to fish (hey, we can both feed our family with our “take homes”).


I’m one of those people who begins shopping for Christmas (the next year) on Dec. 26. I do hit the after-holiday sales. And if I see a gift in August that is absolutely perfect for my niece, Abby, I’ll buy it right away (the hardest part for me is holding onto it until Christmas).


Finding just the right gift for someone can often be a challenge — one I realize most people don’t appreciate or enjoy. That’s why I’m advocating for Christmas in August — or at least getting some of your shopping done now. Why stress later?


The same holds true for your business. Now’s a great time to assess your funeral home’s inventory. What is selling? What is languishing on your shelves? And, perhaps more importantly, why?


If chapbooks and other memory books aren’t moving, take a different approach. Maybe offer a sale (what? You can do that in a funeral home?). Or offer a free book to a family at a time of need. Keep them out on your tables in the lobby. Hand them out at business after-hours events. Giving something away free every now and then can be a good thing.


And why not take this time to consider adding new offerings? Frazer Consultants offers several styles of hand-blown glass ornaments (butterfly, guardian angel, and dove) tipped with 22K gold and crystal snowflake ornaments to accessorize a holiday tree or mantel. Don’t just think about selling ornaments, however, for funerals in December. The holidays are a troubling time for those suffering a recent loss and they may appreciate being offered such a remembrance at any time.


But enough of the sales pitch. My point simply is this: don’t be afraid to sell, and don’t be afraid to assess what you already are offering. Some things simply might not work for your funeral home or your demographic. That’s okay; learn and move on.


If I’ve learned anything as a shopaholic, it’s that you will have buyer’s remorse at times, but you just have to make the best of it. Trust in what you select and put your best foot forward to offer the best products for your families.


Now, is it too early for Black Friday?


Freelance writer/editor Sharon Verbeten has written about the funeral profession — in trade journals and online — for more than 20 years. She lives in Green Bay, Wisconsin.


Our collection of personalized glass and crystal tribute ornaments make perfect mementos for your client families. Call us at 866-372-9372 to learn more!