John G Hogg Funeral Directors quickly grew a loyal customer base and a strong reputation after its foundation in 1992, going on to open three branches across Sunderland.
Founder John Hogg was therefore keen to preserve its good name when he took the decision to join Funeral Partners 26 years later.
He said: “I’m relatively young but I suffer from a health condition. I really needed something to take the weight off my shoulders when it came to the growing admin side of the business.”
“Funeral Partners has trusted us to run the business as we always have. I’m still working full-time and that was the aim for two years, but now I feel I can go on for longer.” – John G Hogg
John was proud of his business’ successful practices and family-run reputation and, when approached by Funeral Partners, he was quick to stress the need for continuity and maintaining its strong community links.
John said: “Funeral Partners clearly had a lot of trust and confidence in the business and we developed a good rapport during the talks.
“They listened to my concerns and reassured me they wanted the business to remain successful without any unnecessary changes, which was crucial for me to hear.”
John was impressed by Funeral Partners’ commitment and proven track record and agreed to sell the business. He took on the role of Business Principal, while his partner Claire and son John continued to be Funeral Directors in the business.
John said: “John G Hogg’s success is down to how involved we are with the community, and as Business Principal I can focus all my energy on strengthening those connections.”
John immediately noticed the business had support from Funeral Partners to get more involved with the community, including working with palliative care provider St Benedict’s Hospice and mental health charity Mind.
“One of our colleagues was diagnosed with cancer last year and I was able to organise a sponsored Boxing Day Dip for our staff, which raised £6,000 for Sunderland Patient Cancer Support,” John explained.
John was also pleased to see Funeral Partners was true to its word in allowing the business to operate in the same way. The intense period of time with the accountants, legal teams and paperwork is a distant memory.
He explained: “We still give a personal service and operate like a family-run business with me, John and Claire at the forefront. Many of our client families are unaware of the ownership change because nothing has changed in terms of our care and support for them.”
The funeral directors had new limousines and mortuaries before joining the network so hasn’t needed much financial investment to date in the property. However, Funeral Partners’ modern computer system and support structure has been a welcome upgrade.
John said: “The computers have significantly streamlined the admin side of the business. We now have a HR team above us that’s able to help with guidance and health and safety requirements, a finance team to support budgets, invoicing and processing and a central marketing team to help promote our business through traditional and new digital channels. I am also looking forward to seeing our new website.
“All of this means we can focus on what we do best – serving our local community.”
John is excited to remain with the business on its journey and, with his health having improved, is looking forward to the future. He concluded: “Funeral Partners has trusted us to run the business as we always have. I’m still working full-time and that was the aim for two years, but now I feel I can go on for longer.”