10 Mistakes New Funeral Homes Should Avoid in 2022
Anytime you establish your own business, assume someone else’s, or even accept a promotion to a role in upper management, you’re going to have your work cut out for you, at least at first. Deathcare is no different. Establishing or running a funeral home, crematory, or cemetery of your own isn’t the same as joining the team as an employee.
There are plenty of organizations and individuals who are well-equipped to help you succeed in your new endeavor – and you’ll want to work closely with them to dot all of your i’s and cross all of your t’s. In the meantime, we’ve put together a list of 10 big-picture mistakes you DON’T want to make as a new owner or manager in 2022.
The biggest mistakes include:
- Ignoring technology. Have a mobile-friendly website. Spend money on things that make your work life easier and streamline operations: software for managing the business side, including organization, finances, and scheduling. Learn to use these tools effectively.
- Underestimating the power of social media. As of last fall, nearly 3 billion people worldwide used Facebook, and more than 60% of users logged in on a daily basis. Facebook and other social media sites can be powerful tools in your advertising arsenal, especially when you use them strategically.
- Not exceeding client expectations. Offer flexible and convenient payment options to your clients so it’s easy for them to do business with you. Include easy-to-understand educational information on your website. The less of a struggle and the more convenient it is to work with your business during such a difficult time, the better their experience will be. And the better their experience, the more positive the word of mouth.
- Not handling reviews and complaints. If someone has an experience with your business that moves them to leave negative reviews or to lodge complaints, it’s imperative to address such concerns promptly. Your standing and reputation within your community is gold: You need the trust of the people you serve. Be trustworthy and demonstrate to the best of your ability that your relationship with your community is one of your highest priorities.
- Taking other businesses in the community for granted. Your business will become part of a greater network including area florists, churches, hospice organizations, and community and senior centers. The stronger the relationships, the greater the ability of each to support the others when things are less economically stable for all of you. Nurture and protect the integrity of that network and keep it strong. It’s a vital prong of the backbone of your business.
- Micromanaging. You can’t do everything; if you micromanage, you’re likely to burn out. Find – and make use of – good help. Don’t be a martyr. Have a staff and a network of expert partners and delegate.
- Never saying “no.” It may be hard, especially when you’re trying to build a good reputation and you want to do everything you can for your clients. But there are industry standards and regulations that we all have to observe and operate within, and that goes for our families, as well. While it’s your job as the funeral director to please the families and bereaved, there may be times when a request is impossible to fulfill. It will be up to you to draw a line and maintain the boundaries you set. Determine now that you will at some point likely be called upon to set and defend some limits.
- Not familiarizing yourself with rules and regulations. You might be familiar with the specific guidelines related to caring for the deceased in your locality, but are you well-versed in the rules and regulations of running a business? Laws and guidelines can vary based on state, county, municipality, and sometimes even neighborhoods. The old adage about “asking for forgiveness later” doesn’t apply; learn and follow the rules and do things right the first time.
- Not recognizing the value in mistakes. Mistakes are wonderful teachers and since a few will inevitably slip past, pay attention and learn from them.
- Expecting perfection. Try not to hang onto your failures. There will likely be a few of those, too, because you aren’t going to get everything right every time, since nobody does.
Thanks to Connecting Directors author Jennifer Trudeau for this article!