Funeral Homes expand services to find New Revenue and Brand Loyalty

We recently came across a couple of brief articles pertaining to existing funeral homes making additions to their operation in order to add new revenue.

The first of these articles is from the Hastings (Minnesota) Star Gazette and you can find it here.  It pertains to the Ellis Funeral Home of Hastings breaking ground for a new crematory being added to their funeral home so that they will not have to use a non-owned off-site crematory for those families that choose cremation services.  The article points out that Ellis and his staff believe it is better value to the family to know that their loved one does not leave the Ellis Funeral Home care during the process.

The second article that we came across is from the Wisconsin Rapids Tribune and you can read it here.  It is about the Herman-Taylor Funeral Home of Wisconsin Rapids adding a pet cremation service center and crematory in a separate building on their funeral home property.  The center will have its own arrangement office, urn selection area, and a small room for people to say goodbye to their pets in a private environment.  Owner Justin Herman commented, “We are well-prepared as experts of taking care of other members of the family.  This was a natural way to expand business and reach out and take care of all members of the family.”

Funeral Director Daily take:  It is our opinion that these are smart moves by these two funeral homes.

As for the crematory at Ellis Funeral Home, we have said that it will become increasingly more difficult to get crematories zoned in existing facilities so it is smart to get something going now if possible.  The ability to operate your own crematory not only gives you the ability to control some of your pricing in that realm but, as they pointed out, it gives families the option of choosing your funeral home simply because they know that their loved one will not leave the premises.  In a small community that can really be a market differentiator.

As for the pet crematory at Herman-Taylor, that is also a good move.  Over the last couple of years I’ve changed my tune on this potential business builder.  I used to really worry that consumer clients may get mixed up and think a funeral home cremates people and pets in the same crematory.  I used to think it was okay to go into pet cremation, but make sure you use a different brand name.  However, people in the industry have caused me to think differently now.  I’m convinced that a well operated pet cremation business, under your brand name, will lead to a higher market share for your funeral home as well.  It will introduce people who may have used a competitor funeral home to your brand and staff and, if satisfied, become the reason that they may change brand loyalty.

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