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Autor: anton • November 24, 2010 • 4,562 Words (19 Pages) • 2,039 Views
It starts off with a competition analysis. This gives a good background on the competition of the industry. It goes into detail about key points in the competition at a national level and also at a local level dealing with our own personal competition. The plan conducts a SWOT analysis in detail about how our business matches up with its competition. The SWOT analysis takes me into our business relationships. It goes through the importance of alliances and our relationships with other businesses. Next is our target market. This gives a good description of who we are targeting for our business and who we aren't so much. After the target market, it guides you through our marketing strategy. This includes pricing, financial, marketing, and promotional strategies involved in the funeral business. After the strategies, it gives a thorough description of the services we provide and the prices. That leads the plan into the promotional decisions. This includes different ways our firm will promote our business to the public. Finally, it concludes with an evaluation of the performance of our business. It measures how well we reached our goals and what we need to improve on.
INDUSTRY AND COMPETITORS
The funeral home industry has been at a steady decrease for the past decade. Not only is this present at a local or regional level, but at a national level. The traditional funeral service and burial are becoming less favored. Instead, across the country, families are preoccupied by external distractions. These distractions have nothing to do with the funeral homes' capabilities, but with the growing popularity of cremations. "Our cremations have tripled in the past 5 years," said Jason Monell, a funeral director in Northern Kentucky. Cremation has been a popular choice in the West for years, but the trend is sweeping the country as cremation gains wider acceptance. "In 2002, arrangements for 22 percent of all deaths in the United States included cremation, according to the National Funeral Directors Association. By 2010, the association expects that to nearly double" (Conner). There are many reasons why cremations are going to take over the industry down the road. This causes funeral directors to create other services and opportunities to make their businesses profitable.
The first main reason why cremations are gaining popularity has to do with the environment. This is probably one of the most apparent and obvious reasons. Cemeteries are starting to run out of land causing people to develop a concern. However, there are measures currently taking place to help conserve land. For example, Highland Cemetery in Northern Kentucky has dedicated a whole portion of there land to lawn crypt vaults. These vaults are eight to ten feet deep and keep two caskets in them. The cemeteries stack two caskets on top of each other with a cement vault shelf in between. The lots are often sold to older couples where they may see death occurring in the next ten years. The younger population is hesitant to purchase them due to the uncertainty of their life. Environmentalists are also concerned that rainforests are starting to get knocked out, often providing habitats for some of our endangered species. This is often the case in the South.
Another big reason cremations are gaining popularity is because of money. To most people it seems far-fetched that people think about money in such a tough and vulnerable time, but it is not uncommon. Having a direct cremation is significantly more cost efficient than having the traditional evening visitation and service the next day. The caskets or cremation boxes that are used and the services that are offered are often less expensive. These cremations add up and cause funeral homes to lose serious revenue.
The third main reason is convenience. People are starting to understand and accept the fact that they might not be living in the same area the rest of their lives. In the past decade it has become more common for people to switch jobs and move to different areas. It has become a problem since their loved ones are buried at a location far away from their current residence. Although performing a disinterment, the act of digging up a grave to move it to another location, isn't out of the question, they are expensive and an inconvenience. In cremation cases, the remains are typically in an urn which can be transported at ease.
There is no doubt that cremations are hurting this industry as a whole, but on a smaller scale, the strengths and weaknesses of my local competition are quite significant. Being in a rural area there is not a wide array of competition. However, the competition that you do have is very tight. Slayback Funeral Home, presently located in Bellefontaine, Ohio, has been around for over 75 years. The community has grown very loyal to their business and has a great amount of respect for it. Being a second generation funeral director, it is safe to say that the name has been around and has been trusted for a number of years. The owner and his employees are familiar with the community and are very involved. Along with the owner, who is well respected, there are four other funeral directors there that are also community supporters and supported by the people. Although their funeral home has some strong strengths, their weaknesses create a huge opportunity for my firm to come in and do very well. Mr. Slayback, the owner of the competing firm, is coming very close to retiring and hired a young man who isn't from around the area or well known. Although the original name may stay on the sign and keep a loyal part of the market, with time I feel we can gain a big share of the market. My partner and I are already known in the area since we and our families have grew up there. However, I have to capitalize on some of the other weaknesses of the existing business in order for my firm to excel. I have worked for my competing firm and for Johnson Funeral Homes in Northern Kentucky. Slaybacks' isn't near as formal or personal as I would like mine to be. I think the opportunities are there for me in the market that could excel my business and detract from my threats.
In my line of business there will be few business to business relationships. My firm will not be big enough for me to have the need for intermediaries. Instead, the manufactures that I will have to deal with will deal straight with me. It is important for this funeral home to establish good relations with a few manufactures and businesses. Batesville,