Benefits of Hiring a Funeral Business Consultant

Written by: Jake Johnson President and CEO of Johnson Consulting Group

…Time is limited
…Focus on what matters
…Experience counts
…Discover new levels of success!

You may have heard the phrase, “Work on your business instead of in it!” In today’s world, outsourcing is more accepted than ever for the astute owner that wants to focus on what matters most in their organization. Imagine for a moment that you are worth $1,000 an hour as an owner (Quite honestly if you think about it it’s probably not that far off and maybe even off on the low side for some!) If this is the case, just what exactly should you be spending your time doing AND what exactly should you not be doing?! The fact of the matter is that we often have a hard time letting go of things and in turn we are stuck in minutia of work instead of focusing on the big picture items that help us grow!

Today, many funeral business owners utilize a local accountant and attorney to help with their decision making, business advice, and financial reporting. While the owner is receiving a certain level of help and guidance from these business professionals, they also might not have a dedicated funeral business background or actual work experience in the industry. What if the owner is experiencing challenges like decreased call volume, unsatisfied families, poor merchandising, inaccurate financial reporting, and decreased profit margins? Who do they turn to for help and advice with solving these industry specific issues? Is their local accountant and attorney in a position to give that specific guidance to the funeral business owner when it comes to rising cremation rates or the emergence of new competition in the service area? Would you go to your primary care physician for a heart condition or be better suited with a consultation from a Cardiologist? Just as with this example, funeral business owners that choose to engage with a funeral business consultant have the pleasure and knowledge of knowing that their business relationship is with someone that has been in their shoes, that knows their business and that can understand the challenges that they are facing.

Let’s face it. Owning and operating a funeral business is no easy task. Challenges can arise every day from staffing issues, rising cremation, scheduling demands, and families that are both grieving and struggling with having to go through the process of being at a funeral business in general. These issues can be physically and emotionally draining to the owner. Now, will that local accountant or attorney give sound advice on how to deal with these challenges? That’s where utilizing a funeral business consultant can make all of the difference in the world as they have walked that walk, and had the same issues with both staff and families. Funeral business consultants are equipped with the knowledge, experience and tools to assist owners with these challenges and create new levels of success in the process.

So, how do they do it? First of all, a good consultant will seek to understand the issues that the business owner is having. A consultant will conduct a thorough and experienced Q&A session with the owner to understand not only their business and marketplace, but also their competition, staffing, finances, case volume, product offerings, pricing and so on. By taking a deep dive and doing this level of research, a consultant can then absorb all of this information, properly process it, and come to the owner with a customized solution that will in turn allow them to focus on what they do best…serving families and the surrounding community!

What sorts of customized solutions can a funeral business consultant bring to the owner? Of course, that all depends on the issues the owner is having, and the ability of the consultant to process the information and develop a solution for them. For example, throughout the Q&A and fact finding process between consultant and business owner it becomes apparent that the business does not have its financial house in order. A proposed solution by the consultant might be to recommend accounting and management consulting services. Not just any accounting and consulting service, but accounting that is tailored towards the funeral business profession with specific chart of accounts and developed specifically for the profession. By engaging in these funeral business specific services, they can easily save time and money for the owner, as well as give them the comfort that their reporting, budgets, expenses and cash flow are in good hands.

Of course, trusted accounting and consulting services is just one solution for the funeral business owner. Consultants can work with the business owner on an array of different industry-specific challenges:

  • Succession Planning: does the funeral business owner have an established and thoughtful plan in place? Does the owner eventually want to sell out to a family member or another funeral business? When is the anticipated retirement of the owner, and what price do they hope to fetch for their business? These are difficult (but crucial) questions to answer, and consulting with a trusted funeral business adviser will offer more clarity and a better solution for the owner.
  • Incentive Compensation Plan: does the funeral business owner know how their families feel about the service they have been given and specifically at what average sale the company, location, and arranger are delivering these services? Is the customer leaving the funeral business feeling like they have been listened to, and their wants and needs have been taken care of by the staff? Many funeral advisers can offer industry specific survey and sales analysis programs that ask for direct feedback and comments from the family. This important information can then be used to determine the quality of service a family is receiving, and if improvements need to be made. Furthermore, survey responses can be used to rank the effectiveness of arrangers which then can become a critical part of an incentive compensation plan.

These are just a few examples of what a funeral business consultant can do to help improve your business. When properly implemented, their tools, their knowledge and their industry expertise can be shown to deliver real results to the business, the performance of the employees, and bring increased satisfaction to the families that they serve.

Can your local accountant and attorney do all of this? Maybe you need a more customized approach from folks that actually have funeral profession experience?

Jake Johnson is President & CEO of Johnson Consulting Group (JCG). The members of Johnson Consulting Group have been actively involved in buying, selling and managing funeral businesses and cemeteries since 1982. Johnson Consulting Group offers a Total Solutions approach to their clients for the entire life cycle of their funeral business, including Management Consulting/Accountability/Coaching, Mergers & Acquisitions, Business Valuations, Exit Strategies, Strategic Planning, Loan Sourcing, Accounting, and Family Satisfaction Surveys.

To learn more about the services offered by Johnson Consulting Group, or if you would like to speak with one of our consultants today, then please call (888) 250-7747, email us at or visit our website