Funeral homes offer a variety of services, including memorial services and preparing the dead for funerals or cremation.

Funeral directors usually help to manage the funeral arrangements and plans, supporting families through this difficult time. Funeral directors may help families choose caskets, urns, and other products. They coordinate with all of the parties involved with a funeral, including clergy, the cemetery, and the crematorium. Funeral homes also supply many of the materials for funerals, including flowers, music, and memorial cards, and they typically provide transportation for the deceased and families to the cemetery.

Death Care Industry Trends

Demand for funeral home services is steady since most families rely on funeral homes when a loved one passes away. According to IBIS World, the industry is still affected by economic health, though, since more families with limited budgets opt for cremation services, which are less expensive than burial services. From 2014 through 2019, the funeral home industry experienced 1.0 percent annual growth, and the industry was projected to bring in $17 billion in revenue in 2019. During that five-year period, the number of businesses increased to 29,769, while industry employment grew to 121,404.

The National Funeral Directors Association notes that many trends are transforming the funeral home industry. Baby boomers are increasingly planning funerals that are personal to honor the loved one who has passed. Today, it’s common to incorporate the deceased’s hobbies and interests in a funeral. Families are looking for funeral homes that can honor these wishes and customize a funeral to best reflect their loved ones.

With the increased awareness of eco-friendly living, those environmental values are now reflected in the funeral planning industry. Green funerals have grown in popularity, and they’re expected to continue to become even more popular. Green funerals are sometimes held outside, may feature organic flowers that have been locally grown, and may use sustainable or biodegradable caskets and clothing. In addition to green funerals, funeral homes can adopt eco-friendly practices like natural burial and using formaldehyde-free products in embalming.

Like so many industries, the funeral home industry is also embracing technology. More funeral homes are listing their products and services on their websites so that potential clients can research from the comfort of their own homes. Some funeral homes have even begun to offer broadcasts of funeral services, allowing family members who can’t travel to still view the service live.

In addition to these different service offerings, the face of the funeral industry is also changing. Traditionally, most funeral homes were staffed largely by men, but women are increasingly getting involved in this industry. While funeral homes were often passed down through families, today, people are choosing to join the industry. With over 60 percent of American mortuary science students being female, we’re likely to continue to see a shift toward greater female staffing in funeral homes.

Who is the target market for a funeral home?

Funeral homes generally market to families whose loved ones have passed away, but that’s not always the case. Funeral homes are increasingly offering funeral pre-planning where individuals can specify their wishes and even pre-pay for a funeral, so funeral homes may also market to people who want to ease their loved ones’ burden when they pass away. Different businesses may have specializations, like offering green funerals, that can also refine their target market.

How much can you potentially make with a funeral home business?

Funeral home income will vary depending on the business’s location, expenses, and even local funeral home competitors’ presence. Regional studies show that funeral homes perform approximately 110 funerals per year. With funerals averaging around $6,500 each, many funeral homes bring in revenue ranging from $1,700,000 to $1.5 million. Even with accounting for a business’ expenses, it’s clear that the funeral home industry can be a profitable one.

Some things to Consider

As with any new venture, it’s important to thoroughly research your location and your target market to understand the services that will be most in-demand. Be prepared for the multicultural differences that occur with funerals – each culture has its own practices and traditions that shape the mood and design. The more awareness and sensitivity you have to this, the greater your target audience will be, and the better your business reputation will become.

And, finally, do your due diligence. Prepare your business plan, seek out other professionals who already operate successful funeral home businesses, lean on guidance from professionals like business formation lawyers, accountants, and others. The stronger you build your foundation, the greater chance for your success.

Since our inception, Osiris Software has been helping funeral homes, cemetery and crematory businesses prosper through innovative solutions and world class customer service.