As someone rightly said, “There is nothing certain in life except death and taxes,” therefore funeral service-related businesses are always going to be around and in-demand. While it isn’t for everyone, running a funeral home warrant for a special set of skills and personality traits. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the median yearly salary of funeral home operators was found to be $52,210, although self-employed funeral home operators may earn more.
If a career in funeral home management sounds appealing to you, here’s a quick checklist of things you should keep in mind:
- Training and Licensing:
College mortuary science courses last anywhere between 2 to 4 years, not including the mandatory post-graduation apprenticeship. You will be required to master the common funeral service practices, like embalming, for example. Remember, the training and licensing requirements differ from place to place, so don’t forget to look up the criterion for running your own business in the funeral service industry.
- Personal Characteristics:
As a funeral director, you will be constantly expected to be patient and understanding, as most of your clientele will include people who are processing their grief over a loved one passing away. Not only should you be at ease working with cadavers in different states of disfigurement, but should also be sympathetic in your approach while handling a business transaction.
- Managerial Skills:
Apart from the usual people skills needed to support multiple grieving clients, you must also have dependable managerial skills to keep the business afloat. You will not only supervise and guide a bunch of employees (mostly in marketing and accounting) to perform various tasks related to the last rites.
- Marketing Difficulties:
In several cases, funeral homes are passed down from one generation of the families to the other, leading to a closely-knit, strongly established community of peers who’d be happy to put in a good word for you if they’re treated right. If you’re starting the business from scratch, you will be battling against other niche-specific owners and would require developing an inventive marketing strategy, in order to draw in more business and establish a trustworthy image.
Various funeral homes offer extended pre-planning services, where people can arrange for their own funeral when their time comes in the future. Having strong sales skills and being tactful is of prime importance in the funeral service industry. Since most people like to shop around to discover the best deals, you must offer multiple products and services at contentious prices to stand out from the crowd.
Remember, one way to honour the deceased party is to ensure that the wake and funeral as centred on their close family and friends as possible. Pay attention to details, including the deceased’s profession, favourite hobbies, or any particular holidays or place that they enjoyed. Use all of this information to personalize the event, for example, be mindful of the religious symbols you use, or put up a small representation of their pictures/ mementoes of their employment on the funeral notices.
Lastly, a person’s life (and death) will significantly impact many people, and an ideal funeral service will be respectful of all the parties involved.