Bereavement services is a growing field that can be rewarding for those with compassion for those who have lost loved ones. The average funeral costs between $6,000 and $7,000, which means that opening a funeral home business can be a profitable venture. However, the cost to start a funeral home can be high.
One of the most important purchases you will make in the beginning stages of your funeral business is the funeral home building. Depending on your available funds, you may prefer a specific purchase option over the other. Leasing space for a funeral home can be more affordable for many who cannot afford a down payment for the purchase of a suitable funeral home. A typical lease, plus utilities, for the average funeral home is about $5,000 per month.
You will need a funeral director. Chances are, if you are running a small operation, you will also act as the funeral director. To do so, you will need a funeral director license and a two- or four-year degree from an accredited university. The cost of the funeral home director license ranges from $200 to $300, and must be obtained from your state's board of embalmers and funeral directors at least 60 days before opening your business. Most states require that funeral home owners take a mortuary course, offered by the American Board of Funeral Service Education. The average cost for the course is about $5,000.
You will need quite a bit of equipment to start your funeral home business. It will be necessary to buy an embalming machine, which costs about $4,000, and a stainless-steel preparation table, which is about $5,000. You will also need caskets and urns, as well as embalming supplies and professional makeup. The average cost of these items for beginning operations is about $15,000.
You will need to have a hearse and funeral "lead car" available for funeral processions. Since the vehicles will be used for business, leasing may be more attractive than buying them. This will allow them to be traded in often for newer models, which will give your business an updated, professional feel. Leasing a hearse and lead car can cost up to $1,500 a month. Of course, this cost can be reduced if you happen to already own a vehicle that is suitable to use as a lead car.
As with any other business, marketing will be one of your key business costs. To ensure that the community is aware of the opening of your funeral home, as well as any special offers you may have, you will need to advertise your business. You will need to have a website to promote your business. You will also need to buy print advertisements as well as television and radio commercials. Healthy advertising budgets range from $50,000 to $100,000 a year, but costs can be reduced with creative marketing tactics, such as the use of social-networking websites.