Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)
What Tools and machinery do I need to manufacture Tombstones?
No costly machinery or tools are used. All material used during the tombstone training is SABS approved and used to manufacture tombstones. You will be able to make a tombstone for around R400 depending on the type and size of tombstone that you make. It is now possible to make and finish a tombstone and erect it on the same day that the funeral service takes place. You will probably need about R10 000 to purchase tools and machinery as well as the raw materials to manufacture the first few tombstones.
The Tombstone, although not made from granite will be able to compete with other tombstones in the market. Have a look at the beautiful tombstones on the banner at the top of this page. Not one of them is made of real granite. Not one of them cost a fortune or need any advanced tools to manufacture!
If it is legally erected, (according to the rules and regulations pertaining to the particular cemetery bylaws), any work erected on a grave is called Memorial work. Any headstone, tombstone, plaque, slab covering a grave, railing, monument, gravestone, inscription, etc. done on a memorial that is legal, is called Memorial work.
Cemeteries are developed in sections. The sections in which the deceased will be buried depends on the deceased’s will, or the family’s wishes and are many times dependent on the finances available for burial and type of memorial the family wants to erect in honour of the deceased.
The manuals that accompany the tombstone training will provide you with information to help you understand the rules, regulations, duties and responsibilities of the person who trades in the making and erection of memorials. You will receive sample drawings of tombstones to help you with creative thinking when designing a tombstone.
What are New Age Tombstones?
New age tombstones are engineered to look just like granite, marble or any other stone that the client prefer. With Granite, it is not just the raw stone that is expensive, it is the cutting and especially the polishing that is expensive and very time consuming. Granite and marble are not the only stone that is used to create beautiful Tombstones. Technology and increased knowledge means new types of tombstones made with alternative substitute materials have evolved. These tombstone products are created because of a need for these products.
If the need for these particular tombstone products were not evident, the tombstones would never survive in the market. Yet one has only to visit the graveyards, and many of these New Age Tombstones will be seen. That is off course if you can spot and distinguish the difference between the genuine granite product and the simulated granite product.
Do you provide training in granite or marble tombstones?
No we do not, because the demand for New Age Tombstones is bigger. New age tombstones are different, innovative, beautiful and affordable.
New Age tombstones can look just like real granite and marble tombstones erected in the graveyard. The difference is that these tombstones are cheaper to manufacture and very affordable. The customer can design the tombstone, the colour of the tombstone and the finish of the tombstone. This means that the customer does not have to have the same old tombstone that looks just like most of the other tombstones in the cemetery.
As the Tombstone Manufacturer you save money during the manufacturing process, whilst the customer receives an affordable good looking custom designed tombstone according to their specifications at a good price.
How are New Age Tombstones Manufactured?
Granite can be simulated for a fraction of the price of real granite. It looks like granite but it isn't real granite. In fact, if you do not want it to resemble granite or marble, you can create any other finish that you like. These tombstones are called New Age Tombstones due to the fact that the tombstones are manufactured using engineered materials which are SABS approved. As a bonus and benefit to the tombstone manufacturer the same materials can be used to create table tops, washbasin tops, tiles, statues, memorials, head boards, fireplaces and claddings, statues, in fact almost anything that you like. With this method you do not require the expensive tools and machinery needed with real granite and marble. It is not as labour intensive as working with real granite.
Tombstone Manufacturing materials are easily sourced from anywhere in South Africa, and neighbouring countries.
Can these tombstones be sandblasted?
Yes it can be inscribed with a sandblaster just as you do with real granite. These tombstones definitely do not look cheap. It is UV Stable, water and fire resistant, weighs just as much as real granite and marble and is just as hard wearing, beautiful and stylish.
The Cost of the Tombstone Training Workshop is R6,000.00 per person.
If you attend the tombstone training course, you need to pay the full course fee to reserve your seat. However, when you arrive at the Tombstone WORKSHOP and BEFORE the workshop starts, you ask questions and view samples of tombstones that were made during the workshops. If you are not satisfied, you will be refunded.
If you would like to view the training center before making your decision, you are most welcome, provided that you make an appointment. We will then make sure that someone is available to show you around. We are happy to answer questions
Details of accommodation available in Randfontein:
The following establishments cater for clients with different accommodation needs. Please contact them should you require accommodation while training.
PO BOX 597, Randfontein, 1760
Tel: 011 692 3516
Fax: 011 693 4909
8 Palm Avenue,
GPS: Longitude 27 degrees 41' 55" East;
Latitude -26 degrees 09' 52" South
Tel: 011 693 4199
Cell: 076 789 9158
Fax: 086 667 6699
Do you travel using Public Transport?
Travel from Johannesburg station by train to RANDFONTEIN. We will pick you up at the RANDFONTEIN train station and take you to the guesthouse where you have booked your accommodation.
How do I sell Tombstones?
Your Tombstone business cannot be successfully run without a thorough knowledge of Marketing. If anything, any entity that runs a business must understand that marketing is a lifelong learning process. What works well today, will not work well in a year or two. The reason for this being that the economy and customer preferences changes as time goes by. To help you with your marketing efforts, we provide you with the option to advertise your business in 8 of our directories.
Technology has a high impact on products and the sale thereof. More people than ever use the internet using their internet enabled cell phones, business computer, laptop and other means of searching the internet. The internet and searching the internet is here to stay.
How do I register my Tombstone Business?
You need to choose a name for your business website. Registering your tombstone business is not difficult to do. We can assist you with choosing the name, free of charge as it is part of the benefit of doing business with Trimo Training and Consulting. You will also have to make a decision about which business structure is the best for your tombstone business and situation.
What is a Sole proprietor?
Easy to set up, with very little formality, laws or regulations. This is the easiest form of business.
You will be responsible for the debts of the business. In other words, if the business does not succeed, your personal assets such as your house, car, etc can be attached by the sheriff of the court and sold, so that the people that you owe money can be paid.
You will make all the business decisions.
You will have to supply all the finances to start the business, but all the profit is yours. Unfortunately the knowledge base and skills of the business is smaller. The business can be limited in its growth potential, one person cannot be everywhere at the same time.
What is a Partnership?
This business is also easy to set up with minimal rules and regulations.
Responsibility for the running of the business is shared by the partners.
All partners are responsible for the liabilities and debt of the partnership according to their share of the business. All partners share in the profit of the business.
Every partner brings their own experience, expertise and finance to the business which is beneficial to the business.
The negative can be disagreement between partners.
What is a Close Corporation?
(If you can get hold of a shelved CC or have an existing cc).
Relatively quick and inexpensive to register.
The debts and liabilities are the responsibility of the Close Corporation and not the owners of the business.
If the business goes bankrupt, only the assets of the close corporation will be sold to pay debts. The owners of the close corporation will not lose their personal assets.
Because of point 2 it is not easy to get finance for the business unless you stand surety for the debt.
A Close Corporation on the other hand is seen by suppliers and customers to be more credible because there are strict accounting regulations for this type of business.
Where do I register my business?
After you have chosen the name of your tombstone business and depending on the type of business structure that you choose, we can assist you with contact details for registering the business.
You also have to register with:
Receiver of Revenue. All your business expenses can be deducted before you pay tax. This means the vehicle, office, tools, workshop, salaries, equipment, water and electricity, petrol, and many more. Talk to a good bookkeeper or accountant.
VAT, if your turnover will be more than the limit provided by SARS. If under that amount, you can decide if you want to register or not.
U.I.F. If you employ people, whether temporary or permanent. You will contribute 1% and the employee contributes 1%. When the employee becomes unemployed, the U.I.F pays a monthly sum to the employee.
Regional Council Services, find info at Municipality.
Workmen’s Compensation. If an employee gets hurt during work time, he/she get 75% of the salary paid by Workmen’s Compensation.
P.A.Y.E., if salaries are paid. See receiver of revenue.
Visit your local branch of the Labour department to acquire rules of Basic Conditions of employment.
How much space do I need to manufacture tombstones?
You will mostly work outside, but do need space to store tools and machinery and finished tombstones. Many people start in the space taken up by a double garage and move when their products become known to larger premises.
Do you supply us with a business plan?
Yes, we do, it can be found in the tombstone manual and you just have to fill in your details.
How should I market my tombstones?
You will find information in your marketing manuals that you will receive if you attend the tombstone training workshop.
How do I research the market?
These answers are found in the Tombstone Marketing Manual.
How to I advertise my business?
Apart from the information available on this website you will find more information in the manuals.
Do I need a showroom to display the tombstones?
Yes you do, people want to see what they will be buying. In any case, it is good for people to be able to see the product as this will encourage them to ask about the product, giving you the opportunity to sell. The value also lies in what they will tell people who might be in the market to purchase a tombstone.
A Tombstone Showroom increases your sales, especially if it is situated in the right place. A lot of people should walk past it every day. Walking customers pay more attention to what is going on around them than driving customers. They pass the business too quickly.
Because customers see your Tombstone business every time they walk past it, every detail of what they see will be edged into their minds. The next time anyone needs a tombstone your establishment will come to their mind and they will remember what they saw.
Tombstone workshops are held in Randfontein on the West Rand of Johannesburg. It is also held in Newton Park, Port Elizabeth.
How many days does it take to complete tombstone training?
Tombstone training takes 2 days to complete. Yes, the manufacturing process takes 2 days to complete, with plenty of time in between to discuss the tombstone marketing process.
How is the Tombstone manufactured?
You will use engineered raw materials, together with specialised cement, additives, different types of aggregates, pigments and a customised mould to manufacture the tombstone. You will be taught how to make the mould; this is a very quick concept that can be rearranged on demand.
Where will I find suppliers of the tools, machinery and raw materials?
No shortage of any of the raw materials or affordable tools. We supply you with contact details in your manuals.
When are the Tombstone courses held?
For more information please contact us. We guarantee that we will never give or sell your e-mail address to any third party and that we will only use your e-mail address to contact you and answer your questions. We honour your privacy.
Apply for the Course by Completing the Application Form.
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