Chris Cruger

March 22, 2021

A Year in the Life: The Push We Needed

The pandemic has presented overwhelming negatives, but there have also been some positives for the profession’s future. I remember sitting down with our staff one last time for a team lunch before we sent everybody home to work remotely. We didn’t know much about this crazy virus and certainly couldn’t have imagined that we’d still be dealing with it one year later. I was one of the naysayers and thought it was being overblown, but I still told people to be prepared to be working remotely until after July 4. It sounded silly then (to all of us). Now, I would take July 4, 2021, as a target date for that return to normal. I imagine most of us would. The past 12 months have been like none other in our lifetime. We have been stretched to limits we never […]
February 3, 2021

Foresight Focus Whitepaper: How COVID-19 Changed the Role of the Funeral and Cemetery Professional

  How COVID-19 Changed the Role of the Funeral and Cemetery Professional Whitepaper DOWNLOAD NOW Introduction One of the key findings in our recently published 2020 Foresight Funeral and Cemetery Consumer Behavior Study (FCCBS) centers around how the ongoing pandemic had generated an unforeseen impact on the role of the funeral and cemetery professional. More specifically, the pandemic has affected not only how funeral homes and cemeteries serve their families in the present reality but has also shaped a reimagined role for funeral and cemetery professionals both in perception and reality. The outcome is an elevated position and profile as “last responders” in the eyes of the consumer. Most families walk into our funeral and cemetery facilities uncertain about what to expect. Negative depictions in the media further cloud their opinion. It only takes one bad apple exposed by the […]
January 25, 2021

The Future is NOW for Funeral Service

With the COVID-19 vaccine now rolling out, it is our greatest hope that the pandemic will soon be behind us. Unfortunately, the pandemic has already proven to have permanent implications on our profession as we repeatedly highlighted from our Funeral and Cemetery Consumer Behavior Study. Our profession has historically been behind the times in terms of embracing technology and new ways of doing things, but the pandemic changed that in the blink of an eye. Everything from the buying and shopping process, the necessity of physical attending services, and the influence of technology has had in all aspects of our profession. It is obvious that the consumers are talking, and we need to listen. I want to summarize a several critical points: Funeral homes need to adapt and evolve. Now is the time to embrace new ways of doing things. […]
December 22, 2020

Succession Planning in 2021: If You Won’t Do it for Yourself, Do it For Those You Love

 Simply put, succession planning is the strategy of passing on leadership roles, and often ownership of a company, to an employee or group of employees. Sounds simple, right? So why is this so difficult to do? – Its because there often isn’t the depth of leadership or skills within a small, often family-run funeral or cemetery business. It is also because many of us have problems letting go! Not long ago, the NFDA and Foundation Partners Group published a study called “2020 Funeral Business Planning Survey” about the state of Succession Planning in the Funeral and Cemetery Industry. The study showed that more than 50% of Owners plan to retire within the next five years (25% within the next 24 months) and more than 50% of those have little or no plan!  In a profession where we preach preparedness and […]
November 23, 2020

The Operating Plan

One of the greatest mistakes that funeral home and cemetery owners and management make when putting together a strategic plan is confusing it with other types of planning. A strategic plan is a tool that provides a framework to accomplish a mission with efficiency and impact. If it is to be effective and useful, it must clearly define the goals, the action steps, and the resources to accomplish them. Typically, the Strategic Plan covers a timeframe of three to five years but must be constantly monitored and adjusted into clear annual operating plans. No matter what you call it, the key is that you have a plan. What is an operations plan? In short, it lays out who, what, when and how of your daily operations for the next year. It is meant to define how human, financial, and physical […]
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