What would you pay for a funeral home?


I have a confession. I enjoy negotiating with car dealerships. My wife thinks I’m crazy. After all, no one likes the haggling process. Right?

I do. To me, it’s a game, and I can be very competitive when there’s money on the table.

Here’s an example.

Years ago, I walked into a dealership during a snowstorm on the last day of the month.

A snowstorm meant that I was probably the only buyer they had all day.

The last day of the month meant the used car sales manager’s bonus was on the line.

When I left, I had purchased a 2-year-old Acura for $17k. Their asking price was $32k, so I felt pretty good about the deal. It helped that I have a brother who managed a car dealership and could tell me the wholesale value of a car.

It also helped that my brother had taught me one of the golden rules of used car brokers “the profit is made when you buy, not when you sell.” If they didn’t make their margin objectives on a car, it was almost always because they paid too much for it in the first place.

Last week, one of my funeral home clients called to ask my opinion on a competitor he was thinking of buying. The price seemed reasonable but, just like with a used car, getting the lowest possible price on the deal would just make sense.

My client already knew that he would need to redecorate the funeral home. But what other factors did he need to consider?

In this newsletter, I’ll outline three factors related to online marketing that I would consider when purchasing any funeral home. The first one is pretty obvious, but most people would not think of the other two issues.

Online Reviews
There is tremendous marketing power in being the top-rated funeral home in your community. I have had multiple clients tell me that families choose their funeral home precisely because of their online reviews.

I have had clients acquire funeral homes with negative reviews at a discounted price. We immediately shut down their website, domain, Facebook page, and Google My Business listing.

We then started fresh with a new brand because when you’ve got negative reviews, that may be the best thing to do.

Domain Authority
Every domain on the internet has a corresponding Domain Authority number between 1 and 100, where 1 is the worst and 100 is the best. This number indicates how the internet perceives the domain and website and how easily it will be for your content to rank higher in the search results.

If the funeral home you are buying has a Domain Authority that is significantly lower than the competition, it’s time to discount the deal. Depending upon how bad the score is, you may need to abandon the domain and start fresh like we had to when there were too many negative reviews.

Facebook Ad Manager account status
Facebook advertising is arguably the most powerful ad platform in the world. If you wonder how a free service like this makes their money, Facebook advertising is the key. I have dozens of campaigns running for clients, and the cost per result is excellent.

However, Facebook advertising is also incredibly complex, and the rules are constantly changing. An ad that passed their filters today might be banned tomorrow.

If you break too many of Facebook’s unwritten rules, there is an excellent chance that your Ad Manager account will be disabled. Once it has been disabled, the chances of getting it back are very slim, and you are essentially blocked from ever advertising on Facebook again.

If I were considering purchasing a funeral home with a disabled Facebook Ad Manager account, I would discount the deal.

I would consider those three online factors when purchasing a funeral home; online reviews, domain authority, and Facebook ad manager account status.

If you find problems in all three of these areas, walk away from the deal. Or at least get a significant discount because you will need to rebrand the business for it to have a chance to succeed.

Remember, the profit is made when you buy, not when you sell. Paying the lowest possible price for the business means you have more money available to invest in marketing, and that’s what you need to fuel your growth.

Until next time

John

PS: After we finalized the deal, the used car manager showed me what they had paid for the vehicle when it was traded in. We agreed….they had paid too much.

John Callaghan

Fractional Chief Marketing Officer for Funeral Business Builders

Recent Posts