Project Category: Substantial Improvement Property
Start up funeral home
Project Qualification: Substantial Improvement PropertyReal Estate:
Non-Real Estate: IATotal Capital Required: $500,000Equity Required: $400,000Project Control: We have agreement on terms to acquire the key propertyTimeline: Less than 30 daysAddress: 611 Prairie St Grinnell Iowa 50112 United States
Caring for a family when a loved one has passed away is my passion. I have been in the funeral service industry for the last 17 years. That's almost half of my life. I have held many a hand, been the shoulder, rock, verbal punching bag that was needed. I have also been the person that was able to leave a beautiful, everlasting and peaceful memories for each family. That is what the funeral service is; a very unique business in which emotions are always running every direction. The only steady thing, no matter if the death is expected or not, is the person helping the family with the final arrangements of their loved one. My goal is to provide those services, introduce new greener options and give the care and compassion deserving of every family. In a male dominated industry, I am the only licensed female funeral director residing in Poweshiek County. A majority of the family owned funeral homes in Iowa are primarily owned by men.
Establishment of the Cox-Smith Funeral and Cremation Service will provide Grinnell and the surrounding area with a way for people to celebrate the life of their loved one when it ends and for the living to gather social support to bring closure and peace.
This plan outlines the strategy by which the Cox-Smith Funeral and Cremation Service will define and dominate a new category of funeral service in Grinnell and surrounding areas. The funeral home will be owned and operated by Sarah Cox. I am an experienced funeral director and embalmer, co-owner of Saints Rest (a local coffee shop in Grinnell), mother of three young men, foster mother to many and aware of the need/possibilities for another funeral home in Grinnell, Iowa. My husband, Chad Smith has experience in business management and has worked in customer service for over 20 years and will be assisting me with day to day duties and office management. He is the father to four wonderful children.
Table of Contents
Products and Services
Estimated Sales for Cox-Smith Funeral and Cremation Service
Budget for Cox-Smith Funeral Home
Costs of Land, Building and Equipment
611 Prairie Street, Grinnell, Iowa
610, 611, 621 & 623 Prince Street, Grinnell, Iowa
Preparation Room Supplies
Cox-Smith Funeral and Cremation Service is a proposed new business in Grinnell, Iowa. A community of approximately 9,500 residents. Currently there is only one funeral home servicing this area. Most towns of this size have two funeral homes. Funeral homes provide a variety of products and services.
Products include, but are not limited to:
• Caskets - Aurora, Batesville and York are the largest casket suppliers - it is our intent to use both Aurora and Batesville since they have the closest centers
• Outer burial containers - Watts Vault Company and Wilbert Vault Company are the main ones in central Iowa - there is no state law requiring the use of an outer burial containers, it is however, required by most cemeteries for maintenance reasons. We will be using both, as they both serve this community
• Urns - Aurora, Batesville, Crescent, Mark Thomas and Wilbert are just a few urn suppliers. There is a wide variety of urns and showing a small selection is acceptable and educating the public that there are more available through the funeral home
• Jewelry - Aurora, Batesville, Crescent and Meadow Hill are the companies I place my trust in for the best quality of work. These are a constant reminder of their loved one, can be passed down in the family and a great advertisement when the wearer gives such praise to their custom jewelry
• Miscellaneous remembrance memorabilia - Digital pictures, folders, candles, service recording upon request are just a few of the endless memorabilia that can and will be supplied to the families served
Services include, but are not limited to:
• A licensed funeral director 24/7/365 to serve every family at need, pre-need and for after care services
• Removal from place of death at any time of the day/night, assuring the family that their wishes will be carried out to the best of our ability
• Preparation of deceased (embalming, cremation (or both), donation)
• Coordination of services with facilities of choice (funeral home, churches and gathering areas)
• Preparation of legal paperwork (death certificates, permits, insurance claims)
• Writing and submitting of obituaries to papers, websites and for use for services
Marketing for a funeral home can be tricky. People like new/updated things; that in itself is an advertisement. But honestly, the best marketing and showcasing of a funeral home is when there is a need. People from all walks of life come through those front doors. From the time they get out of their vehicle, the funeral home is being evaluated. How welcoming it is, the lighting, the eye appeal, the seating, the comfort level that the public feels in a funeral home is the comfort that they will start to remember and come to expect.
Welcoming of new business article placed in Grinnell Herald Register and Poweshiek Chronicle
Funeral home website and proper use of internet advertising space - already have domain, waiting to activate the full website.
Maintain and strengthen the established relationships with the nurses at the hospital, nursing homes and within hospice - they are the providers and help guide families to funeral homes and options
Drawing attention to services and details, promoting celebrating life with an open floorplan with a reception area, instead of the somber and morbid proceeding of a closed facility without open space and windows
Reputation is something families value and take into consideration when selecting a funeral home - I bring my reputation and rapport (albeit through Smith Funeral Home), but families remember the individual that served them and helped them through the grieving process
It's a fact….100% of us are going to die. On average, approximately 150 residents in this area die every year. At this time, there is only one funeral home in Grinnell. A few Grinnell families will use the cremation society (4 families), some longtime residents may use an out of town funeral home (3 families), the rest of the families in Grinnell will use what is available to them (143 families). Currently and unfortunately, there is only one choice in Grinnell. It’s always been said that “there is nothing wrong with friendly competition” to get a portion of those 143 families.
Competition: Smith Funeral Home and Iowa Cremation Society. With proper education comparing apples to apples with the cremation society (get what you pay for) and providing excellent customer service, that will beat the cremation society. Having an updated facility (with a reception area), personal, detailed attention and excellent customer service, that will be the determining factor with any competing funeral home.
Operating procedures and personnel are the key to a successful business. I know and understand that I would represent Cox-Smith Funeral and Cremation Service at all times. Our staff will see this too. Leadership begins at the top and your staff, community and families will see the hard work and dedication at succeeding and how rewarding it is. With great staff, we will work until things are accomplished and in a timely manner. Funeral directors plan a huge event in a few hours and coordinate the whole thing in just a few more. It's a lasting memory; from the first meeting when entering place where the person has passed, to the arrangement conference, to helping with extra needs and requests, to the celebration and honoring of their loved one.
Operating procedures: to provide a kind, ethical and safe environment; not only for the family and their loved one, but for the funeral staff. Sarah as Funeral Director, Chad as office manager/funeral assistant and possibly one more to help with services - to be determined
Personnel employed by the Cox-Smith Funeral and Cremation Service must be professional, courteous and caring at all times. This is our hometown, this is our community, these are our families. We see these families on a regular basis; either through a brief passing on the street, to a meal at a table next to them. When it's a family we meet for the first time; through a death; memories and bonds are formed. Impressions are formed and reputations are made. It is my wish to serve my community with what I do best…serving.