Case Study: Start Up Funeral Home Takes 18% Market Share


Funeral Provider

Business To Consumer


Client Situation – AT A GLANCE


Find a niche and serve it extremely well … the clients will come


  • New provider of funeral services to a market that had the highest concentration of funeral providers per-capita in Wisconsin.
  • Limited working capital
  • Consumer education of the benefits of alternative funeral services


  • Solid 10-year business plan with realistic projections for growth and market share penetration.
  • Business planning included an exit plan for the owners after 5 years in business.
  • Weekly measures of KPI’s
  • Alternative guerrilla marketing strategies to reach their target market
  • Multiple product and service offerings to generate value-add service to prospective client base


  • Investors were secured to allow for additional cash flow needs
  • Non-traditional marketing methods focused on relationship-building strategies with prospective clients and strategic partners.
  • Annual growth rates ranged from 23%- 57%
  • After just 3 years in business, 18% of the funerals conducted were performed by this provider.


Less than 4% of business that started 5 years ago are doing business today. Those numbers reduce to 1% when you look back 10 years. Those numbers are not encouraging, but entrepreneurs are willing to face the challenges in hopes of overcoming the odds to achieve success.

Funeral Service is a business that most people don’t know, or understand, but is one of those things you don’t think about until you need. Understanding the business model and being very clear on the products and services needed by your target market were the keys to success for these Start Up business owners. After meeting the owners and investors, we conducted an in-depth Evaluation / Alignment with the team members, vendors and suppliers. From those meetings, we were able to create a clear picture of their desired results.

When Advanced Business Coaching was introduced to the owners, we generated a 10 year (long-term plan) , a 36 month Road Map with success metrics and milestones and a 1-year action plan that would be visited monthly to ensure the Road Map would be followed. Quarterly meetings were held with investors and team to ensure that transparency of all ac- counting and activities was achieved. Immediate focus was placed on dividing roles and responsibilities of the principles of the business. The Organizational Chart for High Performing Companies was used to establish balanced growth and accountability. Empowerment measures were put in place to allow for key decisions to be made with- out unnecessary meetings.

The needs and wants of the Baby-Boomer demographic was a key component to the establishment of the marketing programs being developed. Focus groups and over 100 interviews were conducted. From this information, a plan was developed to deliver ‘education-based’ presentations to all interested parties. By diverting marketing/advertising dollars from traditional ‘image advertising’ to more direct-response approaches, the client was able to spend 50% less than industry averages and produce 3 times the results.

The first 24 months was time to develop systems and processes to maintain contact with prospective clients. Innovative marketing strategies and educational seminars were implemented to encourage regular contact between prospects and business owners. Strategic partner relationships were formed to find additional connections with their target market. After 5 years in business, market share is currently 18% and growing. What will happen in the future is still being determined, but growth rates continue and families happily call when the need arises

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To your success,

Michael Stelter

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