A Brief History

How to save thousands on a traditional funeral

  • Have you ever wondered why there are so many funeral homes and they all seem to be small local business operations?
  • Have you ever wondered what the funeral director and staff do all week long when their funeral home is only doing two or three funerals a week?
  • Have you ever wondered why funerals today are so expensive?

Once upon a time, when a death occurred someone would run to the local funeral home to notify the funeral director. He would then hitch the horses to the hearse and arrive within an hour or so to remove the dead body and take it back to the funeral home.

Accordingly, funeral homes had to be small operations serving a limited area in close proximity to their brick and mortar structure. The market area they served was normally the distance around their facility that could be reached by horse-drawn hearse within an hour or so. That business model made sense at that time and the funeral industry developed around that business model.

Then along came the invention of the automobile which requires no time to hitch the horses and can travel in an hour the same distance it would take a horse drawn wagon a day to travel.

How did modern transportation affect the funeral industry business model? It didn’t! Nothing changed. Most of the funeral homes were already established and in place. The funeral business simply continued on with its original business model and structure.

Eventually, telephone technology allowed people to communicate over vast distances and became widely in use during the mid-twentieth century. Still nothing changed in the funeral industry. Even the development of wireless mobile phones, so common today, had no impact.

As amazing as the internet is, not even computers and the internet changed the business model of the funeral industry.

With all of the inventions and advancements over the past century, none have yet brought change to the old funeral home business model. What other segment of our economy can say that modern transportation and technology has not affected it?

Old Business Model

The Funeral Director’s Retirement Plan

Because of this old funeral home business model, the local funeral director who now owns the business likely worked for the prior owner as an employee until one day being given the opportunity to buy him out and become the owner himself.

It was an exciting day when the buyout papers were signed. But because the new owner didn’t have a lot of money, the purchase price was financed which required the new owner to make monthly payments to the previous owner for the next twenty years. Those monthly payments were a significant part of the previous owner’s retirement income.

And now that he has paid off the previous owner, he is now positioning to sell out to the younger funeral director who has been working for him the past ten to fifteen years. This younger employee funeral director will soon become the new owner and the process will start all over again.

Although this business model is expensive for the consumer, it works as long as the price of funerals rises each year along with the total number of funerals conducted.

However, over the past decade or so one of these things has fallen off. The total number of traditional funerals conducted has decreased sharply, which has caused prices to skyrocket.

But why has the number of funerals decreased so much?

Rising Costs

The Impact Of Cremation

cremation-graphRemember back when hardly anyone chose cremation? The past decade or so has seen the number of people choosing cremations increase every single year, with 2015 estimated to be the year in which more people select cremation than a traditional funeral.

Most people choose cremation as an option because it costs so much less; which means it is much less profitable for the funeral home.

Because the number of traditional funerals has declined so rapidly, to offset this revenue loss the funeral home has had to raise the prices of traditional funerals to make up for it.

That means if you are a consumer who prefers a full-service traditional funeral, it will cost you a lot of money. Remember, you may be the only family that uses the funeral home facility this week. Obviously, that means all of this weeks overhead in salaries, utilities, prior owners retirement buyout payment and all other expenses and overhead has to be built into the one funeral you purchase.

Even if the funeral home conducts two or three funerals in their average week, still, all of that overhead must be paid by only two or three families.

Incredibly Expensive

An Obsolete Business Model

The old funeral home business model makes funerals incredibly expensive for families. With today’s advancements in transportation and technology, what other business could exist by operating in only a five or six mile radius around its costly brick and mortar facility, while offering a product nobody really wants to buy and hoping they are able to get two or three customers a week. Think about it for a moment and you’ll probably agree that this old and tired business model is dead. It makes no sense for the consumer.

Transportation and Technology

A New Business Model

The next big thing is here! It’s not the invention of the automobile or telephone. But it is the invention of a new and better business model for the funeral industry, and ChurchFunerals Direct, Inc. is leading the way with our national funeral booking platform. Our precision funeral booking platform can be accessed online at our website or by downloading our mobile app. Those who desire a more traditional method can access us off-line by simply calling our national toll-free telephone number at any time of the day or night. We are always open and available.

As part of our precision funeral platform, we have built the ChurchFunerals Direct Network, which is a network of licensed funeral homes, funeral directors and churches. By conducting funerals in local churches, we have stripped the brick and mortar expenses out of the cost of a traditional funeral.

And by using modern day inventions such as today’s transportation and technology, we have expanded the area served by each of the licensed funeral homes in our network in order to leverage their excess capacity. That means they get to do a lot more funerals every week, not just the one or two they had been doing.

Because of their increased volume, they can charge significantly less per funeral and still earn more profit overall; all while conducting your traditional, full-service funeral in a church right in your own community. That means you'll get a traditional, full-service funeral that your loved one deserves, and often at a price that is less than the cost of cremation.

So when death occurs don’t shortchange the memory of your loved one by skimping on a funeral, or worse, having them cremated. Give them the traditional, full-service funeral that they deserve. Today, with ChurchFunerals Direct, it is the affordable option for your family.

Because we are a platform for consumers and our purpose is to reduce the costs of complete full-service funerals, only a limited number of select funeral homes and funeral directors are admitted into our network.

By consolidating the funeral market, we are grabbing market share and directing it to the excess capacity of select funeral homes in the ChurchFunerals Direct Network. The result for the consumer is a better funeral experience at a much lower cost, often less than half of what you would pay somewhere else.

However, just because a particular funeral home is not a member of our network does not mean that it is a bad funeral home. It only means that you’ll likely pay a lot more, often twice as much, for the same full-service funeral that you would get through ChurchFunerals Direct.

With the development of our national precision funeral booking platform, we are re-engineering the entire funeral industry infrastructure. The next new thing is here.


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