Frazer Blog

Reactive vs. proactive: Which one are you?

by | Jun 22, 2016 | Funeral Profession

A man in a suit leaning against a wall

Your funeral home is a business. It’s something that can be easy to forget, but it’s important to remember.

The care and quality services you offer families often takes top priority, while the business strategy takes a backseat. There’s nothing wrong with that — that’s what makes funeral homes crucial to their communities.

However, that doesn’t mean you should neglect a business strategy altogether. Not having a sound strategy could potentially cost you client families, and will hurt the long-term viability of your funeral home.

Let’s take a look at two different approaches to business strategy: reactive and proactive.

A Reactive Business Strategy

A reactive approach to business is very common. This is because it’s a simple strategy, and very close to human nature. A reactive approach is just as the name implies, in that you react to changes in business and adjust accordingly.

Here are a few examples:

  • A competitor moves in across town and offers lower prices. You react by lowering yours.
  • You start noticing more families coming to your funeral home asking about a service or product you don’t offer. You react by offering the new product.
  • You bought a website, but your provider doesn’t update it. Eventually it becomes outdated and doesn’t offer features that your families start asking about. You react by updating your site.
  • A rival business moves in and opens a new facility with modern amenities. Your funeral home now has to react by updating your own building.

A reactive approach isn’t inherently bad — it means you eventually make changes, but it’s only when you need to and those changes can come too late. An ambitious rival can come in, steal business, and ultimately hurt yours, which leads us to:

A Proactive Business Strategy

A proactive strategy is about analyzing the business environment, noticing trends, and adapting to them before the rest of the market does. It’s not as easy as being reactive, but it pays off because you successfully keep yourself ahead of the competition.

Here are a few examples:

  • You adopt a new service or product for families. You immediately alert families by reaching out via a newsletter or social media.
  • You know families might be concerned or have questions about a service. You create a frequently asked questions page on your website in anticipation of those questions.
  • You use community feedback to help you decide what amenities to invest in so that your funeral home stays up-to-date.
  • You notice an article about the rise of a new trend, and you make sure your business is one of the first to offer it.

The more proactive you make your funeral home, the better you can meet a family’s needs.

How to Stop Reacting, and Become Proactive

Nobody wants to fall behind to competition. But how can you adjust your strategy so that your funeral home remains proactive?

Here are a few ideas:

  • Always research trends. This means learning from blogs or websites that focus on the funeral profession, reading trade publications, and using social media to network with other funeral directors.
  • Make sure your website developer offers upgrades and new features. Things change so fast in the age of the internet, and you need to make sure your website stays modern.
  • Talk to families. The community is a great resource to get feedback. Use social media to invite discussion, or hold a local Q&A with your families. Find out what they want, and find out how you can offer it.

Funerals have changed a lot in the last 50 years. Are you just now reacting to these changes? Or are you trying to remain one step ahead?


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