Market research in a funeral home is essential to achieve your goals and increase your business volume. If you put in the time and effort, it will provide you with all the information you need to open a funeral home, open another branch of your existing funeral home, or launch a new service in the market. In this article we give you two key tools to get you started: the PEST analysis and the funeral home SWOT analysis.
How to conduct a funeral home market research
A funeral home market research is a comprehensive report to assess how customers will respond to a new business or service. It is extremely useful because it allows you to analyse a project or strategic plan before making decisions so that you can optimise results, avoid mistakes and unnecessary costs, and minimise financial risks.
To carry out a good market research of a funeral home you must analyse:
- Supply and demand
- Prices and costs
- Distribution channels
- Logistics and suppliers
- Competition in the market
- Target audience
- And all the information you need about the characteristics of the product or service you intend to introduce.
Key questions in your market research
With the information gathered for your funeral home market research you should answer the following questions:
- Which other funeral homes offer the same service as you, which is the demand in the market, how it is distributed geographically and if there is a time pattern with higher demand in some specific months.
- You should also know your target audience: gender, age, income… as well as its temporal evolution (is there more and more demand or is it decreasing?) and the future projections of the market to try to anticipate the evolution of supply and demand.
- You should also carry out an analysis of prices and their evolution among your competitors.
- And of course, in your funeral home market research you must know who you are competing against: who they are, what turnover they have, number of employees, production costs, margin, market share… The more information you have, the better.
Below we explain two strategic tools that will undoubtedly help you to prepare a good funeral home market study: the PEST analysis and the funeral home SWOT analysis.
A funeral home SWOT analysis
The funeral home SWOT analysis is a fundamental strategic tool. It consists of determining your weaknesses, threats, strengths and opportunities. Just as the PEST – as we will see below – is used to analyse the where and the when, your funeral home’s SWOT analyses the who and the how. In general terms, it serves to make a diagnosis of a company in terms of its strengths and weaknesses, as well as an external comparison with the rest of the competitors and the market situation. In this way, you can define the strategies for action to guide your funeral home’s decisions and achieve the established goals.
For a funeral home SWOT analysis, you must first analyse your own business in order to understand its strengths and weaknesses. This includes your production capacity, quality, costs, sales strategy, image, positioning of your services and market share. Also, your advertising, promotions, customer service, staffing, business structure and financial resources.
Your strengths are all those factors and resources that you currently have and that give you a competitive advantage to access the market. For example, having the best thanatoaesthetics agents on your staff; having a good profit margin that allows you to be flexible in your pricing policy; your followers on social networks are constantly increasing…
Weaknesses in the SWOT of a funeral home are those characteristics of your business that are hindering its success or could even be a problem in the future. They are all those factors that are a limit and an obstacle and need to be eliminated. For example, the funeral parlours we use are rented and the price is constantly rising; there has been a major purchase of new equipment and vehicles that limits the budget for the next two years; the location of the funeral home is difficult to access…
Once the internal analysis has been carried out, you should proceed to observe your environment and your competitors. Collect all those external factors that have a decisive impact on your performance.
Opportunities are the possibilities we can exploit to gain advantages and benefits. For example: none of the funeral homes in our area offer the possibility of holding remote wakes; there is a specialised newspaper in the industry with which we could form an alliance to achieve synergies, advertising, new customers and new migration flows.
Threats are the external realities that we must overcome in order to achieve our goals. For example: a new funeral home with better services than ours has opened; the rise in the price of raw materials is a problem for the purchase of caskets…
The purpose of collecting all this information in a funeral home market study is to analyse the scenario and design a suitable strategy for our business. If your threats and weaknesses are more numerous, you should opt for a defensive strategy. If, on the other hand, your strengths and opportunities are dominant, you should definitely go for an offensive strategy.
PEST analysis for a funeral home
As a complement to the funeral home SWOT analysis, the PEST analysis is used to identify external factors that may influence the development of your business. These external factors include political, economic, social and technological conditions, the initials for which the acronym PEST stands for. With this analysis you can measure the potential and current situation of a market, as well as its attractiveness or even expiration. At World Funeral News we have published numerous studies that can be of great use to you, but you can also turn to funeral home associations and national and international statistical bodies to get the information you need. And now let’s look at what data you should include in your PEST analysis for a proper market research of your funeral home.
- Ecological / environmental policies
- Current legislation
- Future legislation
- Labour laws
- International legislation
- Regulatory agencies and processes
- Government policies
- Governmental period and changes
- Foreign trade policies
- Financing and subsidies
- Economic situation
- Unemployment rate
- Economic stability or growth
- Interest rate
- Trends in the local economy and trends in other countries
- General and specific taxes on products and services
- Industry-specific factors, routes to market and distribution trends
- Exchange rates
- Consumer trends
- Brand image
- Media point of view
- Fashions, customs…
- Technological development
- Research funding
- Associated technology
- Savings and cost overruns in production depending on the speed, quality control and effectiveness of the technology.
- Consumer access to the Internet, social networks…
- Technology associated with logistics