8th August 2022

Local Independent Business VS Chain/Corporate Businesses
‘Supporting Your Local Independent Businesses’

In this Blog post I would like to touch on a subject that is very dominant today more than ever before!!!!! With the world getting over a global pandemic, (in which buyers shopping habits changed dramatically) I would like to discuss ‘Supporting your Local Independent Businesses’ and why this is such a good mindset to have and what the pros and cons are of such a statement!!!!

We have sadly noticed an increase in large corporations within the Funeral Industry taking over independents and retaining the business name. This has been common practice for years however we have seen a large increase locally and really urge families to check who they are dealing with carefully.

It is no secret that Andrew and I both come from a corporate background, and we are not ashamed in this fact AT ALL as we were able to gain so much knowledge and experience in this environment to then put into practice when we opened our own little Independent Funeral Home.

We both previously worked for the UK’s second biggest funeral provider for many years, and I can guarantee you, that probably at least 75% of the independent firms around the area has owners and staff who also begun in this way. So why was it an excellent education to us all? And more importantly.... why did we go down the independent route instead of staying in the safety net of a large company?

Within a large corporate company, often money is not an issue when it comes to equipment, premises décor and training opportunities for staff. At the end of the day, the staff that are working for a large corporate (especially within such a sensitive environment as being in a Funeral Home) become the face of the company as do their premises. Our previous company would not spare any expense in having the best vehicles and equipment available meaning that we were accustomed to having very high standards from the offset. We were both also able to grow as employees, by taking in house training sessions and being given the opportunities to participate in varying roles and having many different challenges in our day to day working life, all of which allowed us to gain many skills and lots of knowledge throughout our time within the company.

All sounds great right? So why leave I hear you say?! Just two words will cover the answer of this - ‘Personal Touch’.

Large corporations have several things those little independent businesses like us do not have:
- Multiple Shareholders
- Sales Targets
- Algorithms
- Boards
- Multiple chains of command

We wanted to be able to really help our families in their time of need to the best of our ability and unfortunately when a large company is involved, it can be restrictive circumstances out of our control that decide whether something can or cannot be done. We felt that if it was just Andy and I, we can effectively ‘call the shots’ and do absolutely everything in our power to make a families wish come true. We wanted to be able to connect with our local community and help in any way that we can. We live around a 3-minute drive from the Funeral Home and have been overwhelmed by all of the wonderful friends we have met within the community since opening up. We absolutely LOVE that on an almost daily basis, we will have people pop into the office just to say ‘Hi’ or for a cup of tea (although Andy is convinced its so that they can give the dogs some fuss more than anything haha!!!) We feel so incredibly lucky.

Within the Funeral Home, 80% of our suppliers are independent local firms and we ONLY use local independent tradesman for any maintenance (the funeral home itself, vehicles, equipment maintenance etc) as well as using ONLY local professional services such as our website designer and our accountants. All of our lovely staff that help us also live within a 15-minute drive of the office.

Did you know that the majority of local independent businesses help each other too?! We have the most wonderful relationship with other Independent Funeral Homes in the area and it is not unusual for us to call each other for a little help whether it be an extra member of staff, to borrow equipment, for advice or even just for a general chit chat! We know no matter what we face there is always someone to help if needed and we would always be there in return. I will be honest, until we started this journey, I thought all similar businesses would be in constant competition and would effectively be trying to out do each other, how wrong was I!!!! And how grateful am I that we have gained wonderful friends in this way too!!! The independent world is very close knit in a truly beautiful way.

So, we have been really thinking about this lately, ‘Supporting Our Local Independent Businesses’ and what you can really gain from using them. We have come up with the following thoughts:

- Local Independent Businesses Support the Local Economy: As I stated above, many local firms like to think in a similar way to ourselves, and help to support other local businesses, thus helping the local economy to grow. This has so many added benefits such as local employment opportunities becoming available allowing people to live and work in their local area. A business that does well in a local area creates more tax income to local councils thus then being available to help local causes such as school development and community projects as well as community maintenance and charity funding.

- Local Independent Businesses Build a Stronger Community: The age old saying of ‘its not what you know, but who you know’ really comes into force here. Being a part of the local community connects people from all walks of life. How often are you asked, ‘Do you know where I can get…?’ ‘Who can you recommend for….?’ ‘I really need to borrow….?’ And by all sticking together, nine times out of ten we will put people in touch with others who may be able to help if we are unable to, even for just a small errand, that in turn creates a connection that may never have existed previously.

- Local Independent Businesses are PERSONAL: When you go into an Independent Business, you can guarantee that the owner has an overwhelming sense of gratitude to you for just walking through the door. Sounds cliché I know, but if they are anything like Andrew and I, they will have put their heart and soul into creating that business and will do everything possible to give 100% dedication into helping you. They are specialists in their field!!! Whether it be a little café, a butchers shop, a mechanic, a florist or a farm shop etc, that owner will have done everything in their power to make sure that they are providing you with the best products and services they possibly can. Remember, that the little independent business is that owners life, and again if they are anything like us, it’s a lifestyle choice, not 9-5pm, but one that we all adore.

- Local Independent Businesses Bring Individuality and Choice: Not bound by generic conformity that is often found with corporate or chain establishments, a local independent business can really have a unique take on a service or product that they offer. As Funeral Directors we find that in an independent setting we are able to provide so many more options to families that may not be possible in a corporate environment, maybe due to policy but equally it can be as simple as it just not being practical for a large business to do either logistically or financially. This is where we are able to do what we do best and do everything in our power to make a request happen, as only myself and Andrew are the ones responsible!

We have decided that on our plight to raise awareness of Local Independent Businesses, we are going to do an ‘Independent Business of the Month’ post on our Facebook and Instagram page hoping to highlight the business to our lovely followers. If you have any ideas for businesses for us to visit in the local Woodbridge or indeed Suffolk area, please do tell us!!!!!!

Until next time, Take Care,


If you would like some help please call us on 01728 747795 or email us here

How to find Markham Funeral Services:

Markham Funeral Service | Woodbridge | Suffolk