The £1m lesson in how not to be a funeral director

26/01/2023   //   No Comments

SAIF is shocked but unsurprised to learn of the scale of loss incurred by St Margaret’s Hospice over its failed funeral venture. Squandering £1m is an expensive way to learn that funeral directing is a specialist profession, which requires both caring skills and commercial sense.

Sadly, in recent years it seems everyone – from local authorities to tech startups – has had a go at being a funeral director, lured by the prospect of easily-earned wealth and the misguided notion that they can undercut incumbent businesses.

The reality is that funeral directing is hard work, requiring round-the-clock inputs and significant investment in facilities and staff. This is precisely what members of SAIF commit to, as caring independent funeral directors serving their communities 365 days a year.

Anything less is doomed to failure, as Somerset-based St Margaret’s venture has proved.

SAIF welcomes new entrants to the funerals market. Competition is good for innovation and consumer choice.

But when it comes to choosing a funeral director, bereaved families can rest assured that their local independent exists first and foremost to serve their needs at life’s most difficult time.

We advise the public to beware of funeral businesses whose main objectives are aligned with the needs of remote shareholders, council spending shortfalls or charity fundraising goals. These are all the wrong reasons to become a funeral director.

Find a SAIF Member