Guide to Writing A Funeral Home Business Plan

A business plan is important in any industry in the United States, but the funeral business often overlooks the act of creating one. (1) These completed plans may seem superfluous in the funeral home services industry, but they are incredibly useful in helping you look ahead for the safety and success of your business, no matter how the industry changes. Business plans support and identify key goals, a roadmap to success, and allows you to share your strategy with investors, loved ones, and co-founders.

“I’m surprised how many existing businesses manage without a plan. How do they establish what’s supposed to happen? In truth, you’re really just taking a short cut and planning in your head–and good for you if you can do it–but as your business grows you want to organize and plan better, and communicate the priorities better. Be strategic. Develop a plan; don’t just wing it.”

– Jim Berry

A business plan can also help you make key decisions about buying a funeral home or creating one from the ground up. For example, if you create a business plan template and then look for a funeral business that aligns with your goals and is already making a huge profit in the location you want, then it makes sense to buy that funeral home.

If you have a business template and cannot find funeral homes that align with your goals and makes sense to purchase, then it might be easier and better for your sanity to start from scratch. Your business plan should be updated to accommodate these changes. Reviewing the differences this decision makes in your overall business strategy can help you decide whether it is the right decision for you, no matter which path you choose.

Do not be afraid to deviate from your original business idea. In the world of entrepreneurship, things never go exactly as you plan. Business owners quit, deals fall through, and profit expectations for the facility might fluctuate. It is impossible to accommodate every situation in a business, but you can always revise and update a pre-existing business plan.

How to Write a Funeral Home Business Plan

Do you know how to start a business plan? If you choose to take the entrepreneurial route of owning your own business and bootstrapping your way through the first couple of years, then you might have also decided that, like many people, you will write your own business model.

This is a fine decision so long as you understand what should go into the paperwork to support it. Learning how to write up business plans will help strengthen the legitimacy of your funeral home business and keep your business legally compliant. and able to apply for business credit.

“You have found the perfect business idea, and now you are ready to take the next step. There is more to starting a business than just registering it with the state.”

– How to Start An LLC

When in doubt, never hesitate to hire a professional. A business plan is the foundational building blocks of your funeral business, but so are people. Hiring people is not something you should skimp out on or take lightly, just like you should never take your accounting lightly.

Some areas of the funeral business will require professional assistance from outside people if you are inexperienced in business planning. To start financial projections and marketing plans, for example, are where many new funeral home business owners become stuck in their planning.

Want to learn how to write a model for funeral business services? A summary of each section is in the business plan sample below:


This is an introduction to the document explaining the nature of why you chose to start the small business and your overall intentions. You can list general information about the business here if you plan to purchase a funeral home business, or if you are looking at a space to rent and start your own home.  

This is the place to broadly outline your plans. Include information such as the business location, how many people will be in the venture, and details about the space.

What are the requirements for the center, chapel, parking, displays, meeting rooms, and other provisions?

Will there be a website?

What type of equipment will you need to start, and how many vehicles will you need of which type?

What will be your primary method of sales?

Executive Summary

An executive summary is a general description of your business and the problems you solve. Who is your target market, and what are your financial highlights? Many investors look at the executive summary as a key indicator of the business’ success and the validity of the idea, so it is important to refine this section and include all the information that is relevant to an investor’s decision.

In plans like this, investors typically look for market success, demand for that business in a certain location, and how long the business will take to become profitable so they can receive dividends on their investment.

Company Description

This is your chance to strike a chord with your investors and potential founding members. Name your business something easy to remember and provide a caring tagline that speaks to the brand voice you want to push forward.

All branding material should be placed in this section, including guidelines for the overall tone of your business as well as the atmosphere of the funeral home business. With each design and branding decision, you are making a statement. Make sure that statement follows the three C’s: Clear, Concise, and Coherent.

You want your business to break through the noise and be something your audience remembers even when they have passed by the signage and tuned out the television commercials.

Market Analysis

In the market analysis, you will need to identify your core audience and determine what your customers need. What is the primary demographic? This analysis is done locally and may require professional assistance to correctly conduct and analyze the data gathered.

Your market analysis should identify the buying patterns of your target demographics, how you are going to reach those customers, and what your average customer’s needs will look like.

Marketing Plan

Include detailed information here about your marketing plan. Will you have contracts with local hospitals, cemeteries, and caskets salesmen?

How will you market your business to the general public?

What message do you want to send to your clientele?

A marketing plan should use the information gathered in the market analysis to shape what avenues of marketing will be ideal for your funeral home business plans. Will your primary method of marketing be through traditional channels, or digital?

Traditional avenues of marketing growth include television ads, radio, targeted business presentations, local connections, newspaper ads, and roadside billboards.

Digital marketing avenues include social media publications, online advertisements, and website marketing. This type of marketing is also easier to track, as it is easier to track client acquisition data and conversion through online channels than it is through a billboard in midday traffic or a radio ad.

If you are purchasing the funeral business from another owner, ask for their previous marketing plan and whether they would be willing to transfer their current marketing efforts to you. From there, you can analyze the data and trim the marketing channels that are not working and focus on the channels that are bringing in the most customers. 

Business Management

Once your funeral business has been established, it is your job as a funeral director to manage your staff and the accommodates you provide to clientele. Your management practices should assist you in achieving the goals you outlined in the introduction.

What unique services do you offer your clients? This can be anything from transportation to counseling facilities, food, and drink during the procession. These accommodations will increase business and allow it to stand apart from the competition. For example, some funeral homes have begun housing therapy dogs as a way to counsel grieving family members. This is not something a client would receive elsewhere and can spark some joy or lighten a heavy heart.

Financial Projections

This is the main area of a home business plan where you will need professional assistance to complete it. A business consultant or accountant will be able to provide these services. These services are typically needed throughout a business’s lifetime, so it is important to start the working relationship in the early stages of your business.

When working through financial projections, you will want to consider marketing costs, staff costs, and other fixed expenses that you will accrue throughout the funeral home’s first year of operation. From there, you will need to assess how you will manage these expenses and highlight your marketing plans to begin bringing in money.

If you are purchasing a funeral home, you may be able to utilize their previous customer base and services to get referrals through word of mouth and provide services to clientele who are already aware of the funeral business through the previous owners’ marketing channels. This is another benefit to purchasing a funeral business rather than starting from scratch, as the first three years of running any business are typically the hardest for many businesses, not just funeral homes.

Plan for Business Success:
How Do I Start a Funeral Home Business?


There are several steps to acquiring a funeral business or starting your own funeral home. (3) Starting a funeral business costs less than purchasing one over a mortgaged period, but the risks are greater and there is no pre-existing clientele or marketing base to help you get started.


Starting a funeral business from scratch is not an ideal choice unless you are experienced in the funeral business already and are willing to consult several business advisors along the way.


Opening your own funeral home requires experience in and knowledge of mortuary services. You also need compassion and strong customer service skills to work with families that need help making arrangements to bury their loved ones.”

– Nancy Wagner


Acquiring a funeral business from another director is the best option to ensure your success in the industry. Often, funeral home directors who are selling their business are willing to transfer all assets to your account, including marketing channels, profit loss information, client books, and detailed service handbooks.


If you are acquiring a funeral business, you will still need a funeral home business plan to present to the seller and any investors you might need along the way.


Keep in mind that funeral directors need to obtain certain licenses to practice mortuary services, and these requirements depend on the place of operation. Continuing education may also be required, and your staff members may need to hold certain certifications depending on their job description. These are all details that you should consult with a funeral business advisor about.


Home Business Plan Sample: How to Succeed with Your Business Plan

When asking “what kind of business do I need?” you should settle for a business that accommodates your acquisition of the funeral business as well as any exit strategies you want to include for yourself and fellow founding members. Your basic services should be included in the business plan, and if you are presenting your business plan to investors, you will need a roadmap to success. How do you intend to make your money?

Money is a sensitive subject, but so is death. Funeral home directors have to get used to dealing with money and death in the same sentence, and many tend to take on a detached air of professionalism when the calculators come out.

This is an important subject for keeping your business afloat, however, and potential investors will need to know how you will conduct the business and create financial success. The tips below include a few ways you can create success through client interactions, as well as aid iin aquiring new customers.

Be Empathetic and Accommodating

It is humbling to work with people through times of mourning. Funeral preparations are not something most people want to think about until it is too late. When clients come to your funeral business, they are looking to grieve and mourn the loss of the deceased. By listening to their stories about the deceased and taking a moment to provide sincere care and empathy, they are going to feel like you and your staff care about their problems and the life they are mourning.

Try to be accommodating to their requests. If you typically host somber, quiet funerals, but the client wants a funeral that is lively and upbeat, celebrating the life of their loved one in a positive light, do the most to accommodate their desires. Likewise, if they are looking for a funeral that touches on certain cultural or religious overtones, this is something you should try to include in the service, even if you do not hold the same beliefs or cultural roots. Make the day about them and the deceased, not about your preferences.

Don’t Over-Pitch Your Services

Money is a secondary concern for many who walk through your doors, but if you try to force a sales pitch on them, they are likely going to turn around look for another funeral home, or leave a scathing review. To a funeral business, reputation is everything, and trying to over-pitch your services is one of the fastest ways to flush your businesses reputation down the drain.


Get Involved with Your Community

As a funeral director, you undoubtedly care about the locals and provide a service helping them process their grief. It is a necessary element when taking on the role. Sell your community on the idea that you care about their life, too.

By getting involved with the community, participating in community service and events, and sponsoring fundraisers, charities, and popular attractions, you can get the word out about your funeral business and sending a clear message of, “We are here and we care about you.”

Ready to Take the First Step Towards Providing Funeral Services?

The funeral home business advisors at 4BSF are at your service, ready to assist in your search for funeral homes for sale in your local area. We can help you work through last-minute details and consult with you over your business.

If you are ready to own a business, whether you are new to the funeral business or are experienced in mortuary services, we will guide you towards success. Contact 4BSF today to learn more.