Is Your Funeral Home In Danger of Becoming Irrelevant?

Funeral Home Becoming Irrelevant


Are you in danger of becoming irrelevant?  Sometimes it’s easy to fall down that slippery slope.  Countless funeral organizations have achieved this dubious distinction.

Here are the warning signs of becoming irrelevant:

  • Facilities are outdated and tired looking
  • Staff are disengaged, marking time and unmotivated
  • More time is spent whining than doing
  • Making the excuse that “customers just aren’t like they used to be”
  • Preoccupation with the past – and no time spent on the future
  • Expectation that tomorrow will be just like today…and it is
  • No one exploring the big issues like:
    • Where do we need to be?
    • What do we need to do?
    • How do we change?
    • How can we be better?
  • Feeling of being trapped
  • Absentee ownership

Wise words from Nick Saban, Football Coach, University of Alabama

Recently, I heard Nick Saban share one of the ways he motivates his Alabama Football Team, “We didn’t come here to be irrelevant!” he tells them.

It’s a wake up call.  I don’t know about you, but I didn’t come here to be irrelevant. I don’t think you did either.

Admittedly, things in Death Care have been trending negatively for several years now,  but when I listen to a lot of us, it sounds like we think it’s hopeless.

I vigorously disagree.

Nothing is ever so bad you can’t do something.  Maybe it’s time to sell.  But…maybe it’s time to decide you don’t want to sell.  Maybe it’s time to admit you aren’t a great leader, and find a mentor to help you learn to be a better one.

There are lot’s of things we can do but the first step is to…

Look beyond your circumstances

You see, if you only look at your circumstances, your circumstances are in control.

The burden of the present is simply too much.  Research shows that those who candidly face reality but never stop believing the future can be better, have a much better chance of succeeding than those who give up.

Makes sense, doesn’t it?  When we look beyond our circumstances we start seeing things as they could be instead of the way they are.

We gain a sense that it isn’t the beginning of the end… but only the end of the beginning.

The takeaway

Dying is one thing that will never go out of style.  People will always die.

How they choose to interact with that event or process is the only thing in play.  Right now, we have the “Home Field Advantage”.

What will we do with it?  So far…not much.

But that can change.  And if history is any indicator, it will.

Stand up, get back in the fight, learn to think for yourself and stay away from depressing people…you can’t afford to let them bring you down.


What are some other signs of becoming irrelevant? Share your thoughts in the comments below!




“Ya know how sometimes we get ourselves into situations and nothing we do seems to work to get us out? Well, Alan Creedy has the unique ability to quickly see what can be done, separate it from the ‘rabbit trails’ and create a personal strategy for success.” Alan Creedy is a business advisor and consultant with more than 32 years experience in the funeral and cemetery professions. Subscribe for free to his weekly commentary offering insights for better performance by clicking here on The Creedy Commentary


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  1. Jared Skarda

    Customers aren’t what they used to be, but that’s a challenge that every business faces. The funeral industry is slow to adapt because they have “home field advantage”. Nobody has stepped up and invested a ton of money and time in building a better mousetrap when it comes to the funeral industry. Ten years ago, if you put some ceramic fish on the corners of a casket, looped a video, and threw an obit up on your website, then you were providing a personalized funeral. Today those things are just the norm (although sadly some firms still don’t do all of those things). Those things are all “props”. Nobody has ever gone to a movie and said, “The acting was terrible. There was no story, but the props were awesome. I’d pay good money to see that again”. Yes, you need props, and you better have the best ones available, but you also need to be a “director” (that word is probably on your license), and be able to help a family tell their story. The current economic conditions have fast tracked change in this industry. Your business is either going to be one that provides a truly meaningful experience, or one that disposes of human remains at an extremely low cost. The demand for something in the middle just isn’t going to be there anymore. A quick look at your balance sheet should tell you what direction you need to be heading.

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