Tukios is automated tribute video software. Everything about Tukios is easy except saying the name. The most common question we hear is “what’s a Tukios?” Tukios is the plural form of a word from the Swahili language that means “events.” We pronounce it “too-key-ohs.” We wanted our name to be just as unique as our company.
What drew you to start a business in the funeral industry?
The very first funeral I had ever been to in my life was for my great grandmother. When the funeral was over, the funeral home gave us an audio cassette tape of the funeral service. They had recorded the service. Even though it was 1999, my family and I thought this was so weird and funny because we didn’t even have access to a cassette player anymore – everything was on CDs at this point.
So, my first experience in the funeral industry was going to that funeral and realizing how strange it was that cassette tapes were still being used. My brothers and I had always been very entrepreneurial, so in 2001 we began working with some local funeral homes to record their funeral services digitally and put them on CDs. Our goal was to improve the process and bring the product into the 21st century. As technology evolved, we began to stream the audio online and then eventually we were live streaming video of the service online. All of this was under the brand FuneralRecording.com.
How did Tukios get started?
After the success with FuneralRecording.com, I noticed there could be major improvements made to video tributes as well. We used the background we had in recording funeral services for nine years and started producing simple software to create video tributes.
That’s how Tukios was born. Tukios started in 2010 and our goal was to make funeral director’s lives easier by saving them time and money on tribute videos. We try really hard to create raving fans out of our clients. Every new feature we add is done with the goal of making things faster, easier, or adding personalization to the video creation process.
I decided to go with a weird name and bright colors so people would remember us when they met us at the trade shows or saw our ads in the publications.
Once Tukios got rolling, it didn’t take long for us to get a lot more traction than we ever did with funeral recording. Today Tukios is the most popular tribute video software in funeral homes.
What is your favorite thing about working in this industry?
Genuinely my favorite thing about this profession is the people. I feel like they are the salt of the earth. Most everyone in this space is a good person and it makes working with them a great experience. They are kind, genuine, loyal, and authentic. Obviously, you have run ins with a few that don’t fit that description now and then, but for the most part I am really proud to be associated with such good people.
I have started businesses in other industries, and my experience elsewhere only confirms just how great the people in the funeral world are. I think it takes a special kind of person to be a funeral director and to do the job that they do, so by default you are going to end up with a really solid group of people.
How do you set goals for your business?
We start with big goals and then as a team we reverse engineer our way back to come up with some smaller goals that will help us reach the big ones. As a company we set yearly goals, monthly goals, and even daily goals to help us get to where we need to be.
Looking forward to the future what are you most excited about moving forward in the funeral industry?
With the entire funeral industry as a whole, we have been seeing major changes in recent years. I personally love change, so I am excited to see where the industry goes. Today’s consumer is so much more self-educated than ever before. We have this DIY movement taking place that is giving funeral homes the opportunity to reinvent themselves so they are not pushed out of the way. I’m excited as a supplier to be able to help funeral homes adapt to stay relevant in the space. I am excited to continue to be a problem solver as we are faced with rapid changes in this industry and find solutions to issues as they are presented to us.
What are your favorite off-the-clock activities? How do you relieve stress and relax?
Golf is definitely at the top of the list. I love sports in general, but golf is by far my favorite to play. I am based in Ogden, Utah where we have access to some pretty awesome outdoors. I enjoy hiking and mountain biking on the local trails. My wife and I love to travel and if time permits I enjoy a going to the movies. I also can’t leave out one of my favorite things, which is to come home from work to see our daughter Gia who is 10 months old.
Do you have any advice for other business owners in the funeral industry that might be struggling to keep their business going?
I get asked this question a lot, and my answer is almost always the same. Most of the people struggling in this profession are new. As a business owner in death care, when you come to the table with a product, this industry demands that you prove yourself before you actually begin to get traction. This means showing up to trade shows for three or four years and making a lasting impression. There are tons of startups in the funeral industry, and not many survive much more than a year. My advice is not to be discouraged when progress isn’t being made quickly. You have to be prepared to spend a few years building a name for yourself and your brand. Nothing is going to happen overnight, so you have to be prepared to put in the time. FBA