What really happens behind the scenes at Simple Direct Funerals?
A few weeks ago you may recall some comments from a competitor criticising me because as a one-man-band I couldn’t look after a person in my care very well. It wasn’t nice and was sorely unfounded.
They wanted to create the impression that SDF was a second-class inferior service that you’d be best to avoid. What they didn’t know was that the feedback from families has been overwhelmingly positive. They also didn’t know how SDF runs.
So what does happen behind the scenes here? How do I do what I do if it’s just me doing it?
The first thing is that I’m not a cowboy doing things on the fly. I have thought long and hard about how I run SDF. I took 18 months going through everything I could imagine, researching and talking to different people before opening the doors.
The process I use with a person who has died is simple and efficient, and it is never disrespectful or careless. The fact is I don’t do much with the person other than transferring them into the coffin. In many ways I think treating the person less is better because I’m not undressing, washing, embalming and moving the body from different places.
If I need help transporting someone, I have people on hand. Kath has worked in rest homes and is very capable of assisting. Sometimes the family or staff at a rest home are able or would like to help transfer person from bed to stretcher. So handling a person is ALWAYS done with care. We are basically sliding the person across from bed to stretcher.
I just wanted to make this very clear. Working alone, doesn’t mean an inferior service. It does not mean the person is not cared for.
So what else happens here?
When you phone you talk to me and usually get all the answers you need from the “horse’s mouth” there and then. Very straight-forward, very clear. The goal for me is to have you feel informed and reassured about any questions or concerns.
Besides this there are a few other things I get to do.
- Build and run my website
- Managed advertising online and paper
- Look after the accounts / pay bills
- Make coffins / order wood / collect wood
- Erect signage when needed.
- Maintain cars
- Meet families
I love what I do. I love being intimately involved with my business and what I am able to offer the community. I am always fine-tuning things to better serve families. I know I don’t get things right sometimes, but I will always listen and make improvements.
I love meeting and helping families. I know it’s a cliché, but every family is different. And I love being able to help them have the funeral they want – no pressure from me to do things a certain way, only support.
I love how I set SDF up so that I don’t need to try and get families to spend more. The money side is basically all sorted so we don’t really need to talk about it. We can just focus on taking care of the person and the funeral itself. It really does make things so much easier.
I’m not in this business to get busier or take over the funeral industry in Nelson. I am more than content helping those families who want an easy funeral to organise and in a way that is relaxed and competent. I know SDF won’t suit everyone and I’m ok with that. I don’t pretend to be something I’m not.
I feel incredibly fortunate being able to run this business the way I can. The positive feedback means everything. It is such a privilege of helping people at a vulnerable time and to know it makes the difference for these families in a positive way.
Behind the scenes is pretty much what you see in person. I don’t act differently or put on a show. Honesty, integrity and openness is how I operate. I think this is what people are beginning to realise – that SDF is much more than low-costs. It is a type of service no one else can offer, because no one else is like me. (This is a very good thing).