Chris Cruger

January 25, 2023

Planning for Your Future Starts Today

So 2023 is here. The question is what do we do now? The last few years have seen changes in our profession like never before. What used to take years to change, now takes months or weeks. The process of planning for the future is more important now than ever. We have seen incredible challenges in staffing, rising costs, and rapidly changing consumer attitudes. If there is anything to be learned over the past few years, it’s that the business is different today than it was three years ago. You all have seen it; the way we conduct business has simply changed. The pandemic ushered in a new era of funeral service that requires us to plan and adjust quicker than ever before. Some leaders in our profession have been resistant to change; but operating “the way it’s always been” […]
November 21, 2022

Strategic Planning Isn’t an Option

It is absolutely essential for those looking to thrive in the profession today. It’s that time of year again – time to close out the old one strong and get the bricks in place for a solid 2023. We’ll talk about the planning process and 10 simple steps to get you on your way, but first, there are some areas requiring a little extra-special attention in 2022, areas of critical importance be-cause the profession is not keeping pace with the world around it. From 2017-21, the average price of a funeral has increased 6.6%, while the CPI (Consumer Price Index) increased more than 16%. This scenario is not sustainable. There are forces in play today that require you to be at the top of your game. Rising costs, the cremation rate and rapidly changing consumer attitudes require a well-thought-out plan. […]
August 25, 2022

NEXT GEN: Leading

Top challenges facing those who lead the team and how to deal with them. One thing nobody impressed upon you when you were chosen for a position of leadership is the importance of simply showing up – to be there to handle situations with integrity, confidence and a balanced head; to be the guiding light; to be present; to be there when you’re needed, whenever that might be. Another thing no one told you was that you are supposed to have all the answers. Actually, that’s not true, but it isn’t far off. As the profession moves into this post-pandemic era, there is greater need for quality leaders today than ever before, which also means there is tremendous opportunity for young professionals today. Whether that journey leads to working for someone else or for yourself, success will likely require you […]
May 30, 2022

Five Traits Leaders Share

Many of us think of leadership and management as being synonymous, but they really are not. Moreover, leaders and managers potentially possess very different skill sets. While management and leadership often have overlapping functions, they should not be used interchangeably. Peter Drucker said, “Management is doing things right; leadership is doing the right things.” A very subtle, yet profound difference. The good news, bad news – You do not necessarily need management skills to lead, and vice versa, you do not need leadership skills to manage. What you do need is a clear direction and plan to execute on. Management is the how and when, while leadership is the what and why. Now, the interesting thing about these two functions is that they play a role in every organization. Whether you are a team of two or have 200 employees […]
May 29, 2022

Reinvesting in Your Future

Things in your business have changed, and owners may need to refocus their plans. The last couple of years have been quite the wild ride as the world as we knew it was turned upside down. The ways we’ve done things for decades have changed and so must our thinking when it comes to reinvesting in our business. What we reinvest in our business is a combination of capital (money) and your most valuable resource, time. There is only so much of each, and the way we use them is vitally important in securing the future of our business. We have been filled with revelations about consumers and their propensity for convenience, transparency and preneed. Their wants and needs are different now, so we must adapt. We are plagued by staffing challenges and many of the same factors impacting the […]
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