How to start a tombstone business in South Africa

How to start a tombstone business in South Africa

A tombstone business is a great way to help people remember their loved ones while making a good living for yourself. This is a guide on how to start a tombstone business in South Africa.

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Creating a tombstone for a loved one that has passed on is a good way to bury them with dignity and to remember them. A beautiful tombstone is a good way to reminisce, it’s a visible sign of where the loved one is laying.

As a tombstone maker, your job is to create beautiful tombstones for your clients. The barriers to entry for this business are not very low and they are not too high either. Your biggest monthly expense will be paying rent for your operating premises.

This is a business that is not going to end anytime soon, as long as people are dying; there will forever be a demand for tombstones. The only way that will change is when people stop dying.

Get training

The first thing you have to do is to get proper training, training usually lasts a couple of weeks and a few months at the most. You will learn how to engrave different stones, from granite to other marbles.

There are multiple training centres in South Africa, training usually costs R5 000, you will also know which equipment to work with. It makes the whole process of starting the business much easier.

Register your business

After getting training and experience; you should register your business. Business registrations currently cost R125 in South Africa. It makes it much easier to get contracts, insurance and a business banking account.

Get operating premises

This will likely be the most expensive box to tick, it’s best to rent and to rent a place that gets a lot of foot traffic. That is usually a town, towns get a lot of foot traffic but renting can be a bit expensive, you can rent from as little as R6 000 per month on smaller towns.

Fortunately, there are not a lot of renovations to be made for a tombstone business, you just need to showcase the different tombstones. You also need a place where you are going to build the tombstones, which should be different from where you are going to sell them.

Get equipment

You will need a stone cutter, a Hoyer lift and a sandblasting machine. These will help in creating your tombstones. It’s possible to engrave the stones by hand but it’s highly inefficient, it’s much better to use modern machinery like laser.

Get insurance

A lot can go wrong while engraving tombstones, it’s best to have a liability insurance. Especially when you get workers, your workers can sue you for injuries and that can put you out of business, a liability insurance covers you in case of such incidents.

Market your business

You don’t need to spend a lot of money in marketing for this business; being situated in the right place will attract enough people to give you a good business. Those people are also likely to recommend you to other people.

Just put a sign next to your shop that makes it obvious to anyone passing by that you are selling tombstones. People will know where to find you when they need you.


This was a guide on how to start a tombstone business in South Africa. Do you have any thoughts or questions? Comment below.

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This Post Has One Comment

  1. Good morning

    I’m Dumisani Mahlangu hereby enquiry about training courses for stone granite, cutting, polishing and design lessons.

    Please provide me with necessary information, training courses and fees and dates.

    I’m interested in opening my cabinet kitchen granite tombstone and flooring.

    Kind Regards
    DD Mahlangu

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