When compared to other major life cycle events, like births and weddings, funerals are not expensive. A wedding will cost at least three times as much as that of a funeral; but because a wedding is a happy event, those costs are rarely criticized.
A funeral home is a 24-hour, labor-intensive business, with extensive facilities (viewing rooms, chapels, limousines, hearses, etc.), and those expenses must be figured into the cost of a funeral.
The cost of a funeral includes not only merchandise, like caskets, but the services of a funeral director in making arrangements; filing appropriate forms; making arrangements with doctors, ministers, florists, newspapers and others; and seeing to all of the other necessary details.
Funeral homes are largely family-owned with a modest profit margin. The statistics below may be helpful in assessing the true economic picture of a funeral home:
- Family-owned 85%
- Firm in business for 63 years
- Average calls/year 167
- BEFORE tax profit 11.3%
(Source: 1995 NFDA Survey of Funeral Home Operations)