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Why Cremation Rates are Increasing (It’s Not Just About Price)

December 03, 2015 by Danielle Burmeister

My husband and I are cheap. He drives a 15-year-old car with 190,000 miles and no air conditioning. I check Facebook and email on a Dell laptop I found on a super sale for $160. We use cell phones that are at least five years old. We don’t pay for cable and usually watch the newest blockbusters whenever they become available at our local library. We clip coupons and shop sales. And we make out like bandits on Black Friday.

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Why We’re Thankful for Funeral Professionals

November 19, 2015 by Danielle Burmeister
Featured, Funeral Directors

The year I turned 12, we celebrated my birthday with boxed macaroni and cheese and diet sodas enjoyed quickly and quietly in the main office of the funeral home. When my sister graduated high school, we toasted the milestone in a conference room with McDonald’s hamburgers and stale Oreo cookies while my dad ran back and forth to a visitation. During my freshman year of college, we didn’t celebrate Christmas together until January, unwrapping presents and listening to Mannheim Steamroller when everyone else in our neighborhood was dropping their trees on the curb for the trash collector.

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Compelling Ways to Communicate the Value of Your Funeral Services

November 17, 2015 by Danielle Burmeister
Funeral Home Marketing

In 2004, Al and Laura Ries published The Fall of Advertising and the Rise of PR, introducing what was then considered a radical new approach to marketing. The father-daughter pair argued that, in order to remain effective, marketers had to address the needs of today’s consumers, rather than those of consumers who were making the majority of the buying decisions in the 1950s, 60s and 70s. Consider the following excerpt:

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How a Funeral Home Blog Can Help You Connect with Your Community

November 12, 2015 by Alyssa McNab
Funeral Home Marketing

More and more often, people turn to online resources to get information that drives their purchasing decisions. In fact, one study estimates that by 2020, customers will manage 85% of their relationships without talking to a human. Beyond using your website to find general information about your services, members of your community could also be exploring the content to gain a better overall picture of the type of business you’re operating – and form opinions about whether or not they’d want to use your services in the future.

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Why Ignoring Preneed Could Cost Your Funeral Home Business

November 03, 2015 by Alyssa McNab
Preneed Funeral Planning

Homesteaders conducts periodic surveys of our policy owners to learn more about their experiences with prearranging. The results of these studies reveal a lot about what motivates consumers to plan and fund funerals in advance, and this information can help funeral home owners craft meaningful messages about prearranging to share with their client families.

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Cremation Services or Traditional Funeral – Why Not Both?

October 27, 2015 by Danielle Burmeister

In 1949, retired American Army Captain Harold William Atkins was working part time at his father’s Pensacola, FL, ice cream shop. After noticing several customers ordering ice cream cones with two flavors stacked atop one another, he began working on a device which could dispense two flavors, in equal measure, at the same time. As the inventor of the enormously popular chocolate/vanilla twist cone, Atkins understood 65 years ago what many funeral professionals today continue to wrestle with: sometimes, customers want two seemingly incompatible things at the same time.

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5 Qualities to Look for When Hiring a Funeral Home Office Manager

October 22, 2015 by Holly Cully
Funeral Home Workplace

Can you think of a person in your funeral home who your families and the rest of your staff members know they can rely on no matter what? For many firms, this person is the funeral home office manager.

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Is Your Funeral Home Website Search-Friendly?

October 20, 2015 by Alyssa McNab
Funeral Home Marketing

Try this quick experiment: Type “funeral homes in [your city]” into the Google search bar, and see where your funeral home ranks in the list of results. Are you happy with these results? If not – or if you’re happy with your placement and would like to keep it – you’ll need to carefully consider your funeral home website’s search engine optimization practices as part of your funeral home marketing efforts.

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Funeral Home Marketing By Walking Around

October 15, 2015 by Dean Lambert
Funeral Home Marketing

Have you ever heard of “management by walking around” (MBWA)? MBWA was something popularized in the 1980s that is still practiced by many business leaders today. It helps you be more visible, connect with your staff for idea sharing and invite suggestions for doing things better in your firm. Practiced routinely, it can provide a wealth of information about morale and productivity, as well as clues to why your firm is performing better or worse than expectations. MBWA can illuminate the internal factors influencing business goal achievement — the “strengths” and “weaknesses” components of a SWOT analysis.

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Meaningful Holiday Memorial Service Ideas

October 08, 2015 by Danielle Burmeister
Grief, Aftercare

Last November, my family gathered together for a memorial service celebrating the life of my grandmother. After a long and well-fought battle against cancer, she had passed away in our local hospice house, surrounded by all of us who loved her most and best. For the first time, our once jovial extended family faced a long stretch of winter holidays weighed down by the raw and acute pain of grief.

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