I’ve said this before – I got into the funeral business because I saw two things I thought I could do better than what was on offer.
The first was to reduce the high prices families paid who just wanted a simple straightforward funeral – usually a direct or private cremation. Before I started Funeral Homes were happy to charge as much as they could – sometimes upto $8,000 for a direct cremation. Families didn’t have many options, so the Funeral Homes had little incentive to reduce their prices.
So I started with a one set price that included everything a family would need for a cremation. No hidden costs – everything clear and simple from the start.
I heard stories of families being encourage to spend more and do more in the name of “honouring” their loved one. It was so easy to tick a box for this or that and before they knew it the funeral costs rose by the thousands.
At a time when families are already stressed and emotional they had so many decisions to make and some Funeral Homes are more than happy to use this to increase their income.
One Funeral Home in particular tried to price me out of the market – but it didn’t work. They tried to intimidate me with lawyers when I needed to change my name – but it didn’t work. They copied a lot of the things I was doing – but it didn’t work.
But SDF was more than just offering people a truly affordable option… The second thing was to make the funeral process simple for families to manage.
Perhaps the most common feedback I have received from families is the way I have done a funeral for them. They like that I am informal and relaxed, I care and listen to them, focus on their needs and have the right sense of humour that they find helps. Also they appreciate the professionalism I bring – they like knowing their loved one is in good hands.
I want SDF to be known as the place to go for people wanting this kind of service. I don’t pretend to do other kinds of funerals. The more a formal service with flowers, service sheets, registry book, catering, etc.
Although saying this a few families have done formal funeral services this themselves and saved hundreds. Usually they have done the cremation quickly and later on had a formal service or get together.
The thing I enjoy most about this job is the positive feedback I get. This is not to say I haven’t made mistakes – I have. But I have learnt and always try to improve my service. My focus is always on how best I can serve families who have put their trust in me.
Taking a funeral for a family is something I never ever take for granted. And although I may only be in their lives for a few days (some families out of town or overseas I may not even meet personally), I want their memories to be positive – even though it could be the hardest times for them.
So SDF is not just about providing the most affordable simple cremations or burials. It is also having a service families trust and appreciate.