We’ve always done it this way.
That’s a dangerous mentality when approaching your funeral home’s business strategy. The world is changing faster than ever. And that includes what families want — and expect — from a funeral director.
In an article titled The Business of Stagnation: Status Quo & Change Resistance published in CEO Magazine, author Janine Garner explains that “Sitting comfortably on the comfort zone sofa, accepting status quo, resisting change, and refusing to explore alternate thinking and solutions results in complacency and the risk of heading in one direction — down a slippery slope to failure.”
It’s harder to climb out of a hole than it is to just avoid one. By challenging the status quo your funeral home is less likely to stagnate and will remain competitive for years to come. Let’s look at common issues that cause business stagnation.
So what causes a funeral home to stagnate?
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Not Engaging Families Online and Offline
Funeral homes, more than other businesses, need to be community oriented. A community-focused approach helps your funeral home in multiple ways. It builds loyalty, inspires trust, and makes it easier to get input and feedback from the families you serve.
Having a “community ambassador” that represents your funeral home at community events is just as important as having a someone who will interact with families on social media. Engaging families will lead to overall better satisfaction — and higher profits. An article for Inc. found that 70% of people will spend up to 13% more with a company they feel provided an above-average experience.
Taking On Too Much
In a smaller business environment like a funeral home, owners tend to be more hands-on. While it’s not a bad thing, it can start to become a problem if you’re taking on too much work. A funeral director already has to juggle several roles. By taking on too many tasks, you neglect the important stuff. Don’t be afraid to delegate tasks — like social media posts or updating the website — to your staff. That leaves you with more time for the bigger decisions.
This is the number one factor in business stagnation. Just ask Blockbuster or Borders. Your business might be doing fine at the moment, but there’s no guarantees for the future. Innovation is key to not just success, but to your funeral home’s survival. Yet most businesses don’t have a strategy to innovate. The Association Innovation Benchmarking Report found that 65% of businesses surveyed have no plans for innovation, despite the report’s strong recommendation for having an innovation plan.
No Defining Factor
Another hurdle for funeral homes is their unique selling point. Many businesses are able to get by without offering unique services or products that set them apart. But those same businesses will also struggle to stay competitive. If your goal is growth, then your funeral home will need to find a unique selling point to set it apart from your competition.
Quantity Over Quality
As business grows, it’s important to maintain the level of quality that families have come to expect. To avoid stretching you and your staff too thin, your funeral home needs efficient ways to add value to each service provided for families. The easiest way to do this is to incorporate technology that can easily personalize traditional aspects of a funeral service — like Tribute Videos or memorial register books.
Lack of Investment
Stagnation is avoided through newer products, an updated facility, modern technology, or a bigger staff. All of that requires investment. Failing to invest in key areas only quickens a funeral home’s path from the status quo to stagnation.