If you own or help manage a cemetery, chances are you are aware of the concerns around the industry of possible year-over-year profits declining. Perhaps it is due to an increase in cremations, but no matter the reason I would contend that cemeteries do not need to fear cremation or any other uncontrollable threat. Rather, they need only fear the things they have the power to control – their own resistance to change. Let’s be honest, no one likes change and small business owners are no different. There are many ways a cemetery can be proactive to stabilize and maintain steady year-over-year growth. Let’s talk about just one – a website for your cemetery:
Update or Build a Professional Website for your Cemetery
A professional website for your cemetery can make a major impact on your revenue. Don’t believe me? When was the last time anyone picked up the phone book to call your cemetery? Probably, 1999! Okay, maybe 2003. Chances are folks are looking for your cemetery online and 5 out of 10 times they are using a smart phone or tablet – not their computer. So make sure when your website is designed that the developers make it mobile friendly.
Just being found online is not the only benefit to having a website for your cemetery. Perhaps the most important benefit is the ability for you to automate tasks and provide valuable information that is often difficult to explain. Do you realize the more information you write out on your cemetery’s website the less time you and employees will need to spend on the phone? People will review your website before they pick up the phone to call you – the more you publish the less you need to repeat yourself!
Sell/Resell Traditional Products on your Cemetery Website
Now maybe you were thinking about just publishing the prices of your plots or graves? What if you could sell plots right on your website… along with flowers, headstone cleanings, or grave markers themselves! Imagine streamlining your sales processes online – less phone calls and less uncomfortable confrontations with distressed family members. Creating an eCommerce website for your cemetery can really benefit both your customers and your staff.
Sell New Products & Services on your Cemetery Website
Now this is the heartbeat of this entire article about generating new revenue streams. Cemeteries can increase their revenue by offering new interactive products like online memorials, personalized genealogy web pages, and other virtual products. Did you know that there are hundreds of third-party online memorial and genealogy websites popping up out there? Did you know they are charging anywhere from $50 to over $500 for a virtual memorial page? Why is your cemetery missing out on this vital opportunity?
It is only logical for the virtual memorials and historical genealogies to be hosted by the cemetery where the loved one is buried. It’s time for your cemetery to jump into the 21st century and earn back lost revenue!
If your cemetery is experiencing or anticipating a decline in revenue year-over-year it’s time to consider improving your online presence and offerings. Be sure to check out my article on Marketing your Cemetery’s Website to learn more and avoid costly mistakes.