The death care profession is uniquely positioned when it comes to marketing. Funeral homes provide services that everyone eventually needs, but many prefer not to think about. Because of this, you’ll need to carefully develop your marketing strategy, starting with a SWOT analysis. 

When thoroughly completed, a SWOT analysis will provide you with an in-depth picture of where your business currently stands, providing you with key insights as to how to plan for the future. If you’ve been neglecting a SWOT analysis, the time is now.

What is a SWOT Analysis?

SWOT––an acronym for strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats––refers to a tool used to better understand a business’s competitive position. By assessing factors like internal operations, as well as those of a company’s context, this framework gives business owners a realistic idea of where their company is positioned.


Strengths can refer to areas in which your funeral home currently excels. This category also includes anything that sets your business apart from the competition. For example, a fine-tuned aftercare program or an extensive backlog of preneed sales would all qualify as strengths.


Weaknesses refer to any aspect of your business that stands to grow or improve. For example, a high rate of turnover or a lack of cremation services could be classified as weaknesses.


Opportunities are any external factors that could present a boon to your business. For example, a growing local population would present a great opportunity for a funeral home. Alternatively, an opportunity could be tied to your weakness. 

While a lack of cremation services can be seen as a weakness, this also presents an opportunity, as you could purchase new equipment or cultivate a relationship with a local crematorium.


Threats refer to any factors, internal or external, that could serve to harm your business. For example, a growing disinterest in traditional burials has posed a threat to many funeral homes. 

Why is a SWOT Analysis Important?

As John Lennon once said, “How can I go forward when I don’t know which way I’m facing?” To move forward with a business, you’ll need to know where you currently stand. Otherwise, you could find yourself putting your time and effort in the wrong places. 

A SWOT analysis not only provides a clear picture of the present situation but also the inspiration for strategic planning. By examining strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats, you’ll be able to:

  • Figure out what’s working: While profits are a good measure of a business’s health, numbers alone can be opaque. By pinning down the specific strengths that contribute to your bottom line, you can better determine the keystones of your business and leverage them.
  • Articulate what stands to improve: For funeral homes, any underperforming component of your business can be turned into a strength. The first step is identifying areas for growth.
  • Create strategic objectives: Once you have a clear picture of your business’s current positioning, you’ll be able to plan strategically, both for imminent objectives and those years down the line. 

How Do You Perform a SWOT Analysis?

To conduct a SWOT analysis, you’ll first need to put someone in charge of the project. This person could be an internal leader; however, it’s often best to utilize third party funeral and cemetery experts, as they’ll be able to provide you with unbiased information.

Additionally, you’ll want to figure out an overarching goal for the SWOT analysis. Are you looking to introduce a new product or service? Are you looking to create a five-year plan? Articulating your objective can help you decide which information to pay close attention to.

The next step of a SWOT analysis is research––a lot of it. Identifying the strengths and weaknesses of a business requires careful examination, both in terms of day-to-day operations and financial data. Moreover, identifying opportunities and threats requires a greater knowledge of the death care industry. 

A Better Option 

Depending on the size of your business, a SWOT analysis can take weeks or months of research and work. More importantly, if you want to ensure the work is accurate and unbiased, it’s usually best to rely on the help of an unbiased independent analyst. Otherwise, the data you pull from your analysis might lead you in the wrong direction.

Armed with their extensive experience in the funeral profession, Johnson Consulting Group can curate an accurate reflection of your funeral home. Not only can they provide expertise internally, but their industry knowledge enables them to compare it to the overall marketplace.  

A carefully found SWOT analysis is a vital component of your business strategy. To do it right, you’ll want a skilled team, like the one found at Johnson Consulting Group.