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Juggling Family and a Funeral Home: Tips for Family-Owned Funeral Homes

by | Mar 18, 2019 | Funeral Profession

mother and daughter laughing

Family-owned funeral homes are a reward on their own. You get to work side by side with your family members doing something that you’re passionate about. Teamwork comes naturally, as you know each other well and how you best work and think.

However, with all the benefits, there also are some challenges that you’ll need to work through. But as long as you have a plan and work together as a team, you can have a successful business.

Let’s discuss some tips for family-owned funeral homes to have both a successful business and home life.

Establish a Work-Life Balance

Establishing a work-life balance is crucial for family-owned funeral homes. For this reason, it’s best to keep work-related discussions at work and separate from your home life.

However, this doesn’t mean you can’t talk about your workday around the dinner table. It just suggests you save more important work-related discussions for your funeral home rather than your home. Your home should be a place for relaxing and spending quality time with your family.

Of course this isn’t always easy, as funeral directors are on call 24/7. But whenever possible, save work-related conversations for your funeral home to create a healthy work-life balance.

Create a Succession Plan

Especially for family-owned businesses, you should have a detailed succession plan. Who is going to run the business once the current owner retires?

For funeral home owners with multiple family employees, this could be a more difficult discussion. It’s important to have an open and honest discussion with your family to decide who is the most qualified candidate. By having a plan in place, you can avoid conflicts down the road when the time comes for a new owner to step up.

Have Rules for Handling Conflicts

In a perfect world, everything would run smoothly. But, unfortunately, conflicts arise and you should prepare for how to address them. They also can serve as learning moments for everyone and improve your business for the better.

For example, oftentimes, conflicts arise between the different generations. Each generation has its own way of doing things, but it’s important to take into account everyone’s point of view. Change is scary, but being stagnant is even worse for a business. Embrace ideas for innovation so your funeral home can continue to grow and better serve your client families.

Going back to the work-life balance, don’t let family conflicts get brought into the workplace. This not only creates a tense and awkward situation for your staff, but also for your client families. Resolve these conflicts at your home so they aren’t brought into your funeral home.

Don’t Be Afraid to Recruit Outside Help

It’s more than okay to hire people outside of your family. You’re still a family-owned funeral home at your core, even if all of your employees aren’t family members. Hire employees that feel like family that you forget aren’t blood-related. Whether it’s another funeral director or a marketing manager, you can welcome them to your funeral home family with open arms.

Don’t Play Favorites

Treat family and non-family employees equally, as no one should receive special treatment just because they’re family. Evaluate everyone based on their skills and work ethic and have annual reviews to make sure everyone’s living up to their potential.

Interested in more tips for family-owned funeral homes? Download our free family funeral business eBook!


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