A great article on our CEO from Precious, a magazine for Women entrepreneurs of Colour.
Hasina Zaman is the co-founder of Compassionate Funerals, which provides a full funeral service for diverse communities. The company offers transitional compassionate care, spending the majority of time listening to their client’s wishes and then creating the service that reflects their needs. The company launched three and half years ago.
What drove you to start your own business?
To be in the power to make changes, fill gaps and to serve families with compassionate care. To attract and build a team that would reflect values of compassion. To be located physically is a place where we would be easily found and be seen by the funeral market and industry.
What was your career path prior to starting your business?
Lecturer, teaching, training and artist (mosaics and ceramics). In Further, Adult and Secondary Education.
Tell us about the business planning stage
For business planning, I shopped for three months for a business idea and then presented the funeral idea to a business mentor who gave it approval to go ahead. I did both primarily and secondary experiential research. I have had lots of business support and the key to this was my husband had 25 yrs industry experience.
How far ahead do you plan and what keeps you on track and motivated?
I plan 12 months ahead. Our clients are our inspiration and knowing that we provide ease and peace is what drives me. Also Team Compassionate and my purpose to serve and expand keep me fired.
Can you describe a typical working day?
Typical day. Visit bereaved clients to arrange funeral. Liaise with hospital, cemetery/crematorium, work our logistic. Have appointment for headstone order and prepaid funerals. Connect with ideal clients. VCP = visibility, creditability and profitability. Attend team, business and networking meeting. Media work.
How do you work on making your business grow?
The best way is like having a baby. The baby needs feeding and the only way to feed a business is with transactional activities which grows the business.
What is the best thing about being your own boss?
Freedom to choose, decides, change, and take responsibility for both mistakes and successes.
What are the challenges of working for yourself and how do you tackle them
In moments life can get stressful, I tackle this by having a faith, family, friends and a team that supports me.
Who do you admire or look to for inspiration as a business owner?
My husband Allistair Anderson, Sirdra Jafri, Joan Halifax Jon Underwood, Death Cafe & Oprah.
What piece of advice has had the most impact on your business? And who was it from?
The best businesses solve BIG problems. Wilson Luna.
What are the 3 books, websites or resources (professional or personal) that you would recommend to other business owners?
Think and Grow Rich, Napoleon Hill
Being with Dying, J Halifax.
Awakening, S Jafri.
The Good Funeral Guide, C Crowling.
What other passions do you have away from your business? How do you relax?
I love adventure sports, running, karate, cycling and praying. I relax by doing my daily prayers and living a life of appreciation, self-acceptance and love.
Connect with Hasina via Facebook: Compassionate Funerals | Twitter: @compassionate2u
Compassionate Funerals were finalists in the Business of the Year category at the 2015 PRECIOUS Awards.