The costs of running a funeral home can be surprising, even to seasoned owners and professionals. Car maintenance alone can become a big part of a funeral home’s budget and it’s tempting to cut back in this area if a home thinks it can get by with less in terms of hearses and professional cars. Cutting back on cars seems like a pretty easy fix for a home that wants to improve its profit margin, but it can also reduce their ability to serve their clients and could produce more problems than it solves.
A funeral home can easily get by with one or two hearses, especially if it’s a small home that doesn’t often house more than one or two funerals at a time. This is usually the case with independent and family-owned firms but even they can benefit from expanding their fleet.
So how many funeral hearses does a single funeral home really need? The answer comes partly from the size and business of the home itself as well as the diversity of the services it offers and the local clientele.
Determining Your Ideal Fleet Size
Essentially, any funeral home director has to answer three key questions when it comes to determining just how many hearses his or her home truly needs.
- How many funerals does our home offer in the average week?
- How often are hearses used in our services?
- How old is our current hearse?
These three questions address the two main issues when it comes to hearses – how often will your funeral home use it and how old is your current hearse?
Ideally, most funeral homes should keep and maintain two working hearses. This provides flexibility not only in the amount of funerals and services a home can offer, it also ensures a hearse is always available, even if something should go wrong with the main car.
Funeral hearses can be pricey due to their size and the niche marketplace. There are a number of well-kept and maintained used hearses on the market, though, and this can help many homes to budget in a second or back-up hearse. While prices can vary from one market to another, it’s not uncommon to find a secondhand or refurbished hearse for roughly half the cost of a new vehicle.
The fleet of cars a funeral home needs varies depending on how large their business is, the type of clients they see most often and, of course, the home’s budget. Balancing these concerns is no easy task and determining the number of hearses and cars a home needs is only the first step. Sourcing reliable transportation is an absolute must for any funeral home which is why the company you work with is every bit as important as the car, limousine or hearse you eventually decide to purchase.
Filed Under: Funeral Industry