Is the Funeral Industry Ready to Boom? (Part 1)Tiffany Stewart is currently a graduate student at Midwestern State University in Wichita Falls, Texas and expects to complete a Masters in Counseling in 2011. Her areas of interest include geriatrics, caring for families affected by Alzheimer?s and the death-care industry. ?I decided to intern with ConnectingDirectors.com because they are at the forefront of news, trends and transitions within the death-care industry and that is exactly where I want to be.? Tiffany is also a competitive cyclist and enjoys outdoor activities. Connect with Tiffany on Facebook.
Is the Funeral Industry Ready to Boom? (Part 1)
Because of the sheer size of the Baby Boomer generation, the death-care industry has long awaited the demise of this group that represents 28% of the American population. The majority is now between the ages of 46 and 64, and should enjoy longer lives than previous generation. Nonetheless, the question remains: will the industry be ready when the Boomers?in significant numbers?begin their final farewell?
The slight decline in business in recent years due to the decreased mortality rates, has already eliminated some funeral homes. The ?survivors? that plan to thrive in the years ahead must recognize that Boomers have radically changed many other industries and experts predict they will change death-care as well. Thomas Bernhard of the National Funeral Directors Association said it best:
1) Don?t make them (Baby Boomers) come to your funeral home.
2) Don?t talk like a funeral director. Listen.
3) Don?t limit their choices. Boomers are used to having a lot of options.
One thing is readily apparent in looking at every industry impacted by Boomers thus far. Boomers insist on doing things their way. It is evident that for those who want their businesses to survive and thrive, they will need to be flexible and willing to adapt to the unconventional ways of the Boomers. While there are some great opportunities ahead, those that resist change will fall behind and become relics of the past.
Alvin Toffler, futurist and author of several books, predicted that many traditional institutions will literally crumble. When interviewed by Investor?s Business Daily in 2006, he identified two major points that would determine those who do and do not prosper over the next two decades: (1) ?Realize that traditional institutions are falling apart, and (2) always think beyond your immediate business horizons.? How different are the operations at your funeral home now compared to 20 years ago? The Boomers final goodbye will change the funeral industry. Are you prepared?
Share your comments and strategies with us in the comments section below or contact me on Facebook. (In Part Two we will take a look at flexibility in the funeral home business.)