Well-operated funeral homes not only have an impactful role in the lives of many families, but they also play a significant role in a country’s economy. For instance, considering the aging population in Singapore, the country’s annual deaths are steadily climbing, set to reach nearly 40,000 in 2040 compared to 24,000 in 2021, as per the National Environment Agency (NEA).
Moreover, the promising funeral industry in Singapore is looking to fill around 800 vacancies in the next few years during an expected rise in demand for such services. However, if you know someone who runs a funeral home or you have attended funerals, you would have noticed that these sacred events, which are meant to honor the loved ones’ lives with grace and dignity, rarely go 100% to plan, raising a question on the quality of the funeral services.
Due to this, most families are now constantly in search of funeral homes that would treat every single funeral with the same level of importance. Thus, if you want to take the matter into your own hands by starting a successful memorial service business, read on. In this article, we will discuss the five tips that will help you understand how to start a successful funeral business.
1. Define Your Values, Vision, And Mission
As a funeral home business owner, your first step should be to identify your core values, mission, and vision when it’s about celebrating the lives of loved ones who are no more and serving families. Remember, there are commonly two major reasons why a funeral home business fails, i.e., funeral directors fail to communicate with clients’ families properly, and they also fail to realize exactly what is needed by the client’s family in such moments.
Moreover, new clients often demand many other elements from a Singapore funeral service, like personalization, live streaming, cremation, green funerals, pre-planning, or alternative services, which require funeral homes to stay prepared while realizing that every situation is unique. Thus, before you list down your services, always remember and reflect internally on what actually inspired you to start the funeral services journey in the first place. Once done, create a thorough business plan that solidifies the funeral home’s real purpose and outlines how you will bring that purpose to life for your community.
2. Map Out Business Financing And Startup Cost
It is true that startup cost seems intimidating at first; however, you must remember the financial upside of establishing a funeral home, especially in an industry like that of Singapore. Once you map out the cash inflow of your startup based on the costing and average revenue generated per year, you should then list down the factors responsible for the cash outflow. For instance, your funeral home business will require:
- Equipment for embalming and cremation
- An operating site or building
- A website and marketing team
- A parking lot
- Computers, printers, and furniture
- Cold storage
- A hearse
Once you have these ongoing and startup costs in mind, it will be much easier for you to accurately map out how much business financing is required to get started and keep going.
3. Assess The Market
Another important tip before embarking on the journey of the funeral home business is to first have an idea about what is going on in the existing market. For instance, keep track of the annual funeral rates in Singapore – do people prefer burials or cremations? Remember, Singapore’s funeral market is highly competitive, with several independent and small funeral directors competing against a small number of large national chains.
Similarly, most funerals in Singapore are still carried out by traditional means, i.e., the body is transported to the funeral service in a hearse. Also, there is another trend gaining traction these days, i.e., green funerals in which the body is buried in a biodegradable coffin or cremated without a coffin. Not only this, but there is also a trend for people to pre-pay and pre-plan for their funerals to avoid putting the family under financial strain in an already difficult time.
Thus, being a savvy business owner, you must first decide the services you wish to cater, for instance, if you want to offer other cost-payment plans or pre-payment. Remember, while some trends may be popular right now, they may have some implications on your cash flow. Thus, be mindful of the ongoing trends and consider the pros and cons before following trends instinctively.
4. Marketing And Networking
Another important tip for your memorial service business is never to neglect the potential of establishing a strong offline and online presence through effective branding and marketing. For instance, always set up a professional website with complete information about your offered services, contact details, pricing, and robust customer service support. Similarly, utilize different social media platforms to share educational content and engage with the community on grief support and funeral planning.
Besides branding, you should also pay close attention to partnerships and networking to help your business build credibility and reach a wider audience. For instance, build relationships with nursing homes, local hospitals, clergy, and cemeteries. Remember, networking is one of the most promising ways to scale your business. It can lead to collaborative arrangements and referrals that benefit your funeral home and other organizations. Moreover, it also helps establish a strong reputation in the community that can be a game changer for your startup.
5. Embrace Technology And Continuous Education
Last but not least, just like any other business, you need to stay up-to-date with trends in the funeral business to stay ahead of the competition. For instance, you can easily automate your administrative tasks using software for online obituaries, record-keeping, virtual memorialization options, and live-streaming funeral services. Basically, embracing technology will significantly enhance your service quality, make your business more credible in the competitive market, and help you reach a broader audience easily.
Similarly, embracing technology doesn’t mean that you should neglect to invest in human resources. Thus, make sure that you also invest in consistent training and education of your staff. Since the funeral industry in Singapore is constantly evolving, you need to ensure that your staff remains informed about regulations, new practices, and ongoing trends to ensure that you deliver only top-notch funeral services and build brand authority.
The Final Words
Starting a memorial service business in Singapore may seem intimidating at first. It may not only require you to set up a business identity, seek new ways to market it, build brand credibility, and establish a vision and core values, but most importantly, to provide the best possible service and support in such sensitive moments. Thus, make sure you understand what you are getting into before considering such a venture. Also, make the most of the above-discussed tips and incorporate these practices in your startup from the get-go to ensure the establishment of a successful funeral home while providing people the best final chance to say goodbye to their loved ones.
Ankita Tripathy loves to write about food and the Hallyu Wave in particular. During her free time, she enjoys looking at the sky or reading books while sipping a cup of hot coffee. Her favourite niches are food, music, lifestyle, travel, and Korean Pop music and drama.