Will Independently Owned Funeral Homes and Cemeteries Live on?

Will Independently Owned Funeral Homes and Cemeteries Live on?

Earlier this year two of the largest publicly owned death care companies in North America merged, creating further consolidation in an industry that was once dominated by smaller family owned businesses. Consolidation within an industry can raise concerns for smaller entities. Larger companies have the ability to centralize many of the services provided to customers and significantly reduce overhead. In addition, they have the competitive advantage of purchasing goods in volume which leads to large volume discounts.

A large percentage of independently owned funeral homes and cemeteries are family owned businesses. The businesses must find a way to remain competitive and plan for the future. Independent death care operators must manage high fixed costs – rents, salaries, equipment, vehicles – the list goes on and on. Some positive news is that although the large publicly owned death care companies are able to reduce costs; these costs are usually passed onto the shareholders rather than the consumer.

Some items that independently owned death care companies should be discussing and evaluating to remain competitive and be viable for future generations are:

Building and maintaining a reputable company image

Conducting and evaluating customer surveys

Developing marketing and investment strategies for the increasing cremation rates

Investing in sales training to increase pre-need sales

Conducting an analysis of competitors in the local marketplace

Succession planning

If you have questions or concerns regarding the current operations of your cemetery or funeral home or any of the items in this article, please contact Jamie Iseminger, CPA, at jamiei@mksh.com, or call 301-662-2400.

Jaime IsemingerArticle Provided By Jamie Iseminger, CPA, MKS&H A&A Manager

About MKS&H: McLean, Koehler, Sparks & Hammond (MKS&H) is a professional service firm with offices in Hunt Valley and Frederick. MKS&H helps owners and organizational leaders become more successful by advising them regarding their financial, technology and human capital management needs.

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MKS&H is committed to providing personalized tax and accounting services while developing a deep understanding of you, your culture, and your business goals. Our full view of financial systems and the people behind them allow us create and evolve the best solution that will help you and your business thrive. The accounting experts and consulting professionals at MKS&H work together to help you achieve the financial results you want.

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