721
7 min 7 sec

Online Memorial Services Are the New Funerals

An Australian communications strategist creates an online memorial service that earns $250,000 a year.
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What It's About

An Aussie ushers obituaries into the new millennium.

Business Model
Service
Skills Required
Research & Coordination
Complexity
Medium
Profit Potential
High

Words of Wisdom

We asked Andrew if he's faced any challenges when explaining to potential customers why they should pay money to have an online memorial for their loved ones since this isn't common knowledge yet.

He said showing people the benefit of what his service provides is key. Skymorials isn’t expensive. Also, since he’s working with resellers, most funeral directors (as an example) give the product to customers at no charge as an added value.

Fun Fact

Looking to grow his business, Andrew flew to Manila, in the Philippines back in January 2018 on a hunch. The country has an enormous Catholic population and is a colossal social media user—one of the biggest in Asia. Naturally, he figured he’d have a good market! He now has offices and a full sales staff working with 35 funeral home locations who use his software for their clients.

Notes from Chris

Episode 721
Andrew Ranger is a serial side hustler. He created an iPhone app that did NDA agreements. He was involved with a crowdsourced website for coming up with company brand names. And somewhere in there, he developed a payments platform for cafes and restaurants.

He did all this while working his day job at an advertising agency in their marketing and communications department. Andrew is a strategist and likes working hard. While at his 9 - 5, he noticed the rise of publishing tributes and fan pages on Facebook for people that passed away.

However, he noticed these pages weren’t always respectful or built for a specific need. He also wondered about the people who die that aren’t even on Facebook by choice. Some of them might cringe at the thought of being on there when they die.

He also saw the gradual decline of traditional newspapers where tribute notices and obituaries are commonly placed. This led him to create the side hustle we’ll look at today, Skymorials. Andrew said he built this platform for people to create memorial web pages for loved ones in hopes that they’d remain online, cherished forever.

At first, the pages were free. Then he began charging a small price, just $75 for a page that would be hosted indefinitely.

Since his first sale in 2016, Andrew has successfully scaled Skymorials into that $250,000 a year juggernaut. However, he still considers himself in growth mode which explains why he’s content to reinvest most of the profits back into the business.

What’s next for Skymorials? Andrew says he’s scaling fast. Currently, Skymorials has grown to be used by people in 20 countries and he now has a goal to take him into every single country worldwide. By reworking an age-old service to honor the passing of loved ones, he’s able to do well for himself while doing good for others.

 
  MENTIONED IN THIS EPISODE:

  • Skymorials: Learn more about this memorable side hustle over on Andrew's website!

SEE ALSO:

Inspiration is good; inspiration combined with action is better. Now get back to work!

Yours in the revolution,

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Quote of the Day
"This is a slow-moving business, so you shouldn't get into it unless you’re a patient person. Build a simple product that people need first, then work out the bigger picture later. After all, Microsoft started with a couple of guys wanting to build a programming language for a new computer they saw in a brochure. They didn’t envision the rest."
—Andrew Ranger #SideHustleSchool

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To infinity and beyond,

Chris Guillebeau